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Penangites flock to Andrew Ng’s film The Hills and The Sea

The film The Hills and The Sea drew a full house at the Majestic Theatre in George Town this evening.

The 16-minute film, produced by independent film-maker Andrew Ng, focuses on the impact of land reclamation among the fishing communities and how hill-cutting was affecting the langur.

This is my short on-the-spot report:

The crowd was rather diverse – young people of all ethnic backgrounds, environmentalists, representatives of the fishing community and other concerned Penangites.

The interest generated suggests that Penangites have become more concerned about the environment in the wake of hill-cutting, the recent floods in Penang and climate change.

Scientist Dr Kam Suan Pheng of Penang Forum, Nazri Ahmad, the head of the Penang fishermen’s association, and Andrew, who recently won a Film Freedom Festival grant, fielded questions raised.

One of the most important issues raised during the discussion was whether consultants preparing environmental impact assessment reports were really independent considering that they were paid by developers. This is something that must be resolved if people are to have faith in the EIA process.

Meanwhile, keep an eye on Andrew’s work. He is starting to make waves with his films on the pressing issues of the day. Already, several in the audience have requested him to produce a follow-up film about the recent floods in Penang.