Environmental lunacy. Malaysia is sadly a very corrupt country and unapologetically operates one of the last systems of apartheid in the world.
Improving transport infrastructure in and around Penang Island and between Penang Island and the rest of Penang State on the Malaysia Peninsular would massively increase suitable existing land for development and would more broadly increase the wealth and standards of living of the people. Island building, on the other hand, is about creating new land for connected individuals to profit from and avoiding the dissipation of wealth.
The Mahatir Government has in recent weeks incarcerated two executives working on the proposed connecting under sea tunnel, on alleged corruption. The Crony Islands proposal faces no such problems.
To hell with the environment and the people, at least Foster and Partners will benefit from yet another massive corrupt Malay white elephant.