Category: Development issues

Penang Hill turning into a Christmas tree; 24 NGOs say no more botak hills

Penang Hill scarred

Last night while taking the ferry from the mainland to Penang Island, I gazed at Penang Hill. Whereas in the past, the lights at the summit of Bukit Bendera (Flagstaff Hill) would twinkle in the clear night sky, this time other specks of light in the middle of the hill were piercing through the black shroud enveloping the hill after sunset – evidence of more hill-slope development or clearing.

At this rate, Penang Hill will soon be transformed into a giant Christmas tree rising from the centre of a fairyland island surrounded by smaller Christmas trees (highrise condos for the wealthy at the sea front, built on reclaimed land). Do we want this sort of hill-clearing and hill-cutting in Penang? Surely, these bald patches are visible from Komtar.

So it is timely that two dozen Penang-based residents associations and civil society groups have signed an open letter to the Yang Di-Pertua of the Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang expressing concern about the degradation of hills in the state. (more…)


Batu Ferringhi residents launch petition against overdevelopment

Batu Ferringhi residents have launched an online petition expressing concern about high-rise high-density projects that could mar the tranquil setting (what remains of it) of this popular coastline.

This is the link to the petition.

Meanwhile, the Penang Structure Plan 2005-2020, which is the overriding planning document for Penang (just below the National Physical Plan), has this to say about the area. Note the densities specified: (more…)


Soaring vegetable prices hurt household budgets

It is not only because of the floods that prices of vegetables have soared. The weakening ringgit may have made foreign vegetables cost more, while fuel price hikes last year may also have contributed to the price hike.

Blog reader Henson sent in this photo of kangkung which normally costs RM6.99, growing freely in a drain in Relau

Blog reader Henson sent in this photo of kangkung which he says normally costs RM6.99, but here is seen growing freely in a drain in Relau, Penang



Don’t blame God! Humans the ‘real’ cause of severe floods, says professor

I was feeling puzzled about the extreme floods in many parts of the country. We have always had floods in the East Coast, but why has the flooding been so bad and widespread this time around? To get some answers, I asked Dr Chan Ngai Weng, a professor of physical geography at USM, what he thought were the real causes of the severe floods.

The  Temerloh suspension bridge

The Temerloh suspension bridge