Economy

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Bukit Relau summit now. Notice the cleared flat land.

The above satellite image is of the 1.5km-long flattened summit of Botak Hill, which Penang Forum activists were not taken to see. Instead the four-wheel drives stopped at the boundary of the plot of land, well below the top (see the yellow pin in the photo below). Why were they not taken to the top?

That cleared strip at the summit is over 1,500 feet in length
That cleared strip at the summit, the yellow line, is over 1,500 feet in length

The photo below is a 360-degree shot of the summit in early 2014 taken by an avid hiker.

Botak Hill summit in early 2014 - Photograph: rexymizrah.wordpress.com
A 360-degree photograph of the Botak Hill summit in early 2014 – Photograph: rexymizrah.wordpress.com

The hiker has published more photographs on his blog of the devastation on Botak Hill along trails leading to the summit. Vigilant hikers like him are the guardians of our hills.

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In all my years of observing politics, whether local or foreign, I have never before come across an administration that so frequently warns of the possibility of having to pay “(hundreds of) millions in compensation” to developers or landlords. To me, this mantra seems to be a favourite fall-back position (to browbeat critics into silence?).