Penang floods: The price of out-of-control, irresponsible development

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Penangites woke up this morning to a deluge of images of flash floods around the state which will surely haunt those who have approved developments projects that have concretised much of the state including its hill-slopes.

Heavy rains began early this morning and many Penangites were unable to get to work. Muddy water gushed down hill-slopes, turning hill-sides into scary brown waterfalls. This storm comes a couple of days after a similar one hit parts of the Klang Valley a couple of days ago.

This must be the worst flood in Penang in recent years.

See what happens when property development projects are approved haphazardly, hill-slopes degraded, and concrete and tar are poured all over, reducing the capacity of ground absorption of rain water. See what happens when we don’t have a proper Local Plan?

Photograph: P Wong

Until now, the authorities had ridden their luck. But today’s floods have laid everything bare for all to see. The chickens have come home to roost.

And matters can only get worse with climate change as rainfalls increase in intensity and frequency. Even the heavily built up Spice convention centre area, the state government’s pet project, has been affected.

And they are still insisting on a RM1bn ‘paired road’ up on the hills from Teluk Bahang to Tanjong Tokong and the RM8bn six-lane Pan Island Link that will hug the eastern hill-slopes from the north to the south of the island … Seriously?

Blog visitor tunglang reports at 11.36am:

As at this time of writing, the flood waters have not receded after some 4.5 hours of flooding in various places of Penang. This is unprecedented!

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With the massive, feverish, uncontrolled cutting of hills in Paya Terubong just for a hill road, we don’t need brains to think where the muddy water was supposed to come from to flood the places esp All Seasons and Masjid Negeri.

At this time of writing, no vehicle traffic can cross the floods in front of Masjid Negeri, P Ramlee and All Seasons.

Wish I still had my LandCruiser2 which could cross four feet of water.

I think you might need a boat at this rate!

As an environmentalist pointed out, the root causes of these floods are:
– poor land-use planning;
– irresponsible EIAs that biased towards developers;
– poor drainage infrastructure to support high density development; and
– development without proper planning.

MBPP announcement:

PARAS AIR DI SUNGAI TELAH MELEBIHI PARAS BAHAYA (KEMAKINI 9.30am)

Hujan lebat and paras air telah naik di beberapa kawasan di Pulau Pinang.

KEMASKINI SETAKAT 8.50am, kawasan yg telah dikenalpasti:-
Sila laporkan kawasan-kawasan yang banjir :-
1. Kampung Masjid
2. Kampung Makam
3. Jln P. Ramlee, Sungai Pinang
4. Kampung Mutiara, Batu Feringghi
5. Jalan Langkawi
6. Jalan Kebun Lama
7. Masjid Negeri, Ayer Item
8. Kampung Masjid Hashim Yahya
9. Parit Lumba Kuda
10. Jln Thean Teik, Farlim
11. Logan Rd
12. Bayan Baru
13. P.Ramlee Rd
14. Jln Residensi
15. Han Chiang
16. sPICE
17. Giant Bayan Baru
18. Jln Luar Elit Avenue Heights
19. Lentang Pondok Upeh, Balik P.
20. Jln Bukit Lama
21. Bukit Baru Batu
22. All Season, Farlim
23. Reservoir Garden
24. Depan SMK Raja Tun Uda
25. Sg Ara depan Stesen Petronas
26. Jln Dato Kramat (Sekolah Convent)
27. Jln Paya Terubong (berdekatan Suria Vista)
28. Lebuh Rambai
29. Jln Magazine
30. Jln Tun Dr Awang

READ MORE:  Proposed road projects in Penang not a solution to traffic problem

Orang ramai diminta berhati-hati semasa berada di luar rumah dan merancang perjalanan anda. Keselamatan anda dan keluarga perlu diutamakan.
Sebarang aduan mengenai banjir, tanah runtuh, pokok tumbang dan lain-lain, sila hubungi Hotline MBPP ditalian:
04-263 7000/04-263 7637

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50 Comments on "Penang floods: The price of out-of-control, irresponsible development"

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Heng
Heng

HILLY Housing projects at Paya Terubong, Bukit Gambier, Tanjung Bungah now should be rated high risks.

Anil can start to compile risky sites on island and mainland to correlate risk and per square feet price.

After HILLY concern, next seaside condos to face high tide flooding should there unprecedented storm hitting the islands.

IDEAL and IJM with many sea reclaimed projects should now hire Engineer to assess the risks?

Maran Muniandy

I must agree

Mohd Adrian

Facebook reminded me it flooded in Oct 2016 too. Annual event now?

Grand Marquis

Saving Penang should start by saving yourself from the denial syndrome. You have to admit the incompetencies and selfishness of the top shot at Komtar. They can have their RBA to spin their dear leader success and use whatever regulations to hide facts from public knowledge, but as Anni said, nature will lay bare for all of us to judge and see. If you still can’t see, then no one can save you.

Eric Kuek
Eric Kuek

Every motorist must check his denial syndrome and conscience each time he steps on his car accelerator, releasing carbon to the environment and contributing to global warming.

Syerleena Rashid

It rained heavily non stop since 3am. Penang is caught in the middle of two storm systems. Many areas on the mainland were flooded too

Ijoe

Absolutely. Someone needs to sue the state exco for gross negligence.

NYC
NYC

Sorry to say that putting all the blame purely on “out-of-control, irresponsible development” as written shows the level of understanding you have on this situation.

Various warnings and reports have mentioned that typhoon Doksuri was expected to bring abnormally high amounts of rainfall and strong winds. If this scale of problem regularly happens during each monsoon season, then only would your points would be justified as you have pointed.

NYC
NYC
It would be naive to put Friday’s unfortunate incident purely on 1 cause, and that is why I felt that this article blaming it solely on poor planned development is nothing more than a one sided story. I too was one of the thousands of people on the island affected by the weather yesterday. But I too have a relative’s home in a kampung in Kedah behind Gunung Jerai that was flooded due to the same weather over the same night. That house regularly flooded whenever it rained heavier, and after they raised the river embankment the regular flood waters… Read more »
Heng
Heng

Engineer(s) highly sought after to mitigate flooding ?

tunglang
tunglang
So, we are expected to ride out every storm & smile at the stinking muddy water flowing into our homes? And to smile cleaning up muddied floors & walls & furnitures while waiting for the sun to shine more smiles? I am sorry to say that while some make bundles of money from feverish land development, we the ordinary people suffer from out-of-control flooding due to obvious reasons we are expected to smile & keep quiet! Today, I went to help an office (near Jalan P.Ramlee) clean up the floors full of … muddy water. And from the 2+ hours… Read more »
Shriek
Shriek

All Malaysia rivers look like lim teh. Even coming from virgin jungle. Maybe animals have big jobs inside?

Heng
Heng

Car service centre and furniture shops stand to gain more customers after big flood requiring replacements.

They earn more than engineer do for just a havoc rainy moment.

Jeremy
Jeremy

It rained for almost 24 hours. There is nothing political about this.

Eric Kuek
Eric Kuek

Do not forget carbon emissions by those cars on the road 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Global Warming! An inconvenient truth.

Heng
Heng

https://www.facebook.com/thaiyalan.Parmanadan/videos/1781223951891762/

SETIA Green landsliding waterfall video, time to move out of danger zone. Property belong on the way, stay at your own risk?

RVP MVP

Phuket also flood bro

Ugly Betty Fan
Ugly Betty Fan

How many seasons are there at All Season’s Place?
Two.
Wet or Dry.

Hahahaaha

Jerome
Jerome

The development in the Malaysian cities is done mostly in ad hoc manner, no integration with existing infrastructure, resulting in drains not able to discharge water effectively. Old drains surrounding new development are not designed to divert more discharge. More often than not the drains are clogged with leaves and rubbishes. Another reason is the unusual high rainfall lately due to climate change. At least we are not hit by typhoons that are striking Hong Kong and Taiwan with higher frequency these days.

Ho Say Liao
Ho Say Liao

Anil
Prai area also flooding. Little development also flood. So must report accurately.

Shriek
Shriek

To PG. Forum, PG is only the island. Seberang is not PG. Like east is not Malaysia. Malaya is the malaysia

Michelle
Michelle

Anil, agreed with you. I am staying near to Jawi that impacted due to current development caused Jawi become valley, all water flow towards. Greedy causes this happen

CVT
CVT

Butterworth also kena like hell ! Mak Mandin and Kampung Permatang Rawa are places with little developments like high-rise or so ! In fact, many of the drains in town area are so dirty and clotted, once it rains, you can see how fast it overflow !

Shriek
Shriek

If permatang is also flooded, why it is also flooded like in pg island? I.T. no logic. Pekan often flood, so Jib will also lose his seat?

PolitiScheiss (a.k.a. IT.Scheiss)
PolitiScheiss (a.k.a. IT.Scheiss)

Yes and one of the worst affected is Permatang Pauh.

So will BN win Permatang Pauh in GE14?

If the Penang state government don’t do anything about it, they will be asking for it.

Giam Teik Kiang

I’d call this wrath of good. Never go against nature. They were there way since before we exist

Ho Say Liao
Ho Say Liao

Rain more, more flooding to send condo price crashing to more realistic level ?

Ho Say Liao
Ho Say Liao

Ideal, Mah Sing, Ivory, SP Setia Properties etc to carry out CSR to rescue the flood victims ?

tunglang
tunglang

As at this time of writing, the flood waters have not receded after some 4.5 hours of flooding in various places of Penang.
This is unprecedented!
With the massive, feverish, uncontrolled cutting of hills in Paya Terubong just for a hill road, we don’t need brains to think where the muddy water were supposed to come from to flood the places esp All Seasons & Masjid Negeri.
At this time of writing, no vehicle traffic can cross the floods in front of Masjid Negeri, P. Ramlee & All Seasons.
Wish I still had my LandCruiser2 which could cross 4 feet of water.

PolitiScheiss (a.k.a. IT.Scheiss)
PolitiScheiss (a.k.a. IT.Scheiss)

I used to live on Logan Road in 1970 and it is one of the roads flooded.

Looking at Logan Road on Google Maps and seeing the “development” which has taken place there, I would not like to visit the place again, lest I suffer a great depression, which I will not recover from.

Penang is no longer the “Pearl of the Orient” but a but a badly managed Singapore wanna-be concrete jungle.

Shriek
Shriek

U mean singland is badly organised? Tell us your suggestion for a small country smaller than lake toba. Kick out all PG. Lang and johor Lang working there?

Ho Say Liao
Ho Say Liao

Penang Transport Masterplan must now include Boats to cruise during flooding ?

Sukumaran
Sukumaran

Anil, Your assessment is apt n spot on. Penang people have to wake up n face realities. Don’t mess around with God’s gift for a blissful life: nature n a beautiful environment. But as you said when we have aggressive n unsustainable development by greedy corporate Developers backed by the Kiasu mentality of Penangites this is the price we have to pay. People of Penang should recall the Tragedy of Highland Towers in 1993. Irresponsible development was the cause. About time for a rethink n reflection by All.

Shriek
Shriek

You engr to blame. Use cheap brittle rail piles. You use relative, drafter to do arch.job. Blue saga seed at work

Lee George

Development before infrastructure! that’s how it works in Penang.

Shriek
Shriek

Of course, you did not tell Detroit mayor has no more money and no rubbish collection and all municipal services.

Ho Say Liao
Ho Say Liao

Now its best time to assess best locations in Penang without flooding.
Market prices now to be adjusted favouring no flood-prone place.
Condo properties must now include no flooding feature.

PolitiScheiss (a.k.a. IT.Scheiss)
PolitiScheiss (a.k.a. IT.Scheiss)

I understand you can buy a property in crumbling Detroit for about as much as you would pay for a used car in Malaysia.

tunglang
tunglang

Sri Impian Condo @ Lengkok Angsana (Farlim) also flooded at the car park!
And it sits on a hillside, not on lowland like Jalan P.Ramlee.
So, where are the safe condos?

Ugly Betty Fan
Ugly Betty Fan

No need swimming pool.

tunglang
tunglang

Blame God or blame the state gomen?
I blame CAT Gomen.
My daughter couldn’t get to USM for her morning class despite my trying various short cuts starting from Jalan Angsana. And it didn’t help without a soul of Trafik Polis to guide us (unaware of the floods) away from the flooded road in front of All Seasons.
Nyiamak CAT!

engineer
engineer

What spinning? I thought ppl here like to blame Gerakan, UMNO and BN for woes in Penang and in this country? Reading comments here is just an entertainment for me.

tunglang
tunglang

Spinning is a habit of a fixated mind who holds a fixed thought of a political nature regardless of a problem at hand. So, with a fixated thinking, how to reason without prejudice of taking sides as is the flooding problem (affecting everyone of different political affinity).

“I thought ppl here like to blame Gerakan, UMNO and BN..” is a farcical excuse to further a habitual spin but does not contribute anything of substance but an opportunity to spin & shiok sendiri.
Maybe, such spinner of “I thought” like to be entertained from spinning.

Engineer
Engineer

Apasal lu salahkan DAP’s CAT gomen? It’s Gerakan, BN and of course, UMNO’s fault ma, no meh? Kalau tarak hujan, mah tarak banjir lor, hehehe.

PolitiScheiss (a.k.a. IT.Scheiss)
PolitiScheiss (a.k.a. IT.Scheiss)

Apah guna kerajaan DAP CAT jika tidak boleh selesai masaalah banjir kilat?

Apa ma’ana nya “Competency, Accountability, Transparency” kepada orang yang selalu kena banjir?

Perkataan “Competency, Accountability, Transparency” sahaja … lembu kepada telinga saya.

tunglang
tunglang

Try spin harder!!!
And less nonsense but more usefulness of your ‘professed’ engineering to contribute productively instead of hehehe!!!

Ho Say Liao
Ho Say Liao

Trafik Polis must now has SOP to handle flooding.

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