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Fond memories: The infamous leaning arch of Penang Botanic Garden being knocked down in 2010.

Of late, there has been talk that the Penang Botanic Garden should follow in the footsteps of its Singapore counterpart and apply for Unesco world heritage status.

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special projects

Penang Forum’s position against special projects on the hills of Penang, put forward by prominent lawyer Agatha Foo, has been vindicated in recent weeks by three developments. [Basically, Penang Forum said that the Penang state government had come up with guidelines in 2009 that interpreted too broadly the term special projects contained in the Penang Structure Plan, gazetted in 2007. The Structure Plan prohibits development on hill land more than 250 feet above sea level, allowing only “limited development” for special projects under exceptional circumstances.]

  1. A decision by the Appeals Board, chaired by Yeo Yang Poh, in favour of the residents of Sungai Ara, who had appealed against the MBPP’s approval of developer Sunway’s ‘special project’ on a hill in their vicinity.
  2. An article by University of Malaya law professor Gurdial Singh Nijar which affirmed the Appeals Board decision and Penang Forum’s position on special projects.
  3. A statement by the Human Rights Society of Malaysia (Hakam), issued by Ambiga Sreenevasan and Gurdial Singh, supporting Penang Forum’s position and the Appeals Board decision on special projects.

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CAP has just come out with a statement below:

What is Penang without her green? What is Green Lane without the Green? Penang is slowly losing its green as more concrete jungles are taking over for development and paving the way for more vehicles.

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Construction of three highways in Penang Island is expected to begin in June 2016, but the consortium will only need a preliminary EIA before starting work. This is such a major project – highways near hills and densely populated areas – and yet, they don’t need a detailed EIA?

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In this era of climate change, I was alarmed to hear that up to three dozen big trees could be removed along Jalan Masjid Negeri (“Green” Lane) to make way for another car lane. (Update: Apparently, 16 trees could be involved or ‘transplanted’, not 33 as reported – but how many of these transplanted trees will survive?) This is the stretch across the road from the MacDonald’s outlet.

This road-widening project is expected to cost some RM15m. Is this the best use of our limited funds? Would it really solve our traffic problems? For how long?