Two excavators huffed and puffed their way on a Sunday (yesterday) at Penang’s Sore Thumb, as workers beavered away on land supposedly alloted for the Tanjung Bungah Coastal Park.
The public has been given to understand that there has been no approval given for the development of the Sore Thumb. In any event, work should not be carried out on a Sunday.
Said an upset eye-witness yesterday: “My recent weeks’ visits to the area now have the developer reclaiming from the sea front. Not only are they balding the Sore Thumb but they are claiming more land from the sea. (Refer to the photos which show the newly claimed bay at the sea!) Today, there are two bulldozers actively working in the morning. Someone says they are building a roundabout for a condo’s usage. Does anyone know what the developer’s plans are?”
It is believed that work first started eight years ago on plans to build some kind of marina while others say this land could be linked to plans for nearby high-density super condos. Some speculate that this work could be for access to the condos, a tourism complex or a marina. But with high sedimentation in the area, it is anyone’s guess if this reclaimed land could eventually be used for property development with an unobstructed sea view.
Neighbouring residents who turned up for a recent press conference are opposed to what they see as the alleged appropriation of land alloted for a public park. “We voted for change; now we see Ubah, but it is from bad to worse,” said one of them.
Others point out that a waterway in the area has either been covered up or diverted.
Some of those who attended recent press conferences have wondered why there has been hardly any coverage of this in the English-language mainstream media, given that they tend to be critical of the Penang state government. Is it because these pro-BN media are also pro-developers and receive advertising revenue from the industry?
Whatever the case, and to dispel conflicting accounts, the state government needs to quickly clarify the status of this project and what happened to the Tanjung Bungah Coastal Park for the public, the soft launch for which was held in June 2010. Also, were stop work orders issued in the past for this property development work? What was the result of these orders? What is this work all about?
Meanwhile, another observer shot this video clip yesterday of the work going on at a neighbouring project: