Check out these two images of the Penang Botanic Garden – and spot the difference between fantasy and reality.

Visit our wonderful parks and gardens… says the Ministry of Tourism, in an ad which appeared in The Star yesterday.

Tourism Malaysia ad

But then… the condition and state of the pond and lilies now is, to put it mildly, less than appealing, indicating either little care or little expertise – or both. The photo below was taken this morning.

Thanks to those who supplied me with the images.

Blog reader QuercusBen tells me the first picture above was taken immediately following the launch of the Amazon lilies. “That’s why it is pretty.”

In another development, an activist informed me that the Garden management is carrying out a project near the Rifle Club. If this is true, then it is worrying. Why? Because the Penang Botanic Garden Special Area Plan is now in the process of being prepared; so all major projects should be put on hold until the SAP is ready (to make sure all new projects comply with it).

Or is this project being dictated by a funding allocation that must be used up or be forfeited? If that’s the case, then it is not the proper approach – as past fiascos at the Garden should have taught us by now.

Update: QuercusBen tweets that the project next to the Rifle Club is for an “economic plants gardens” – plants that have contributed immensely to the Malaysian economy. Unfortunately, he adds, there have been “no plan, no consultation, no experts. just armchair planning”. He alleges that Class F contractors have been appointed for the job. “Even within the gardens, the units don’t consult for advice on what to plant.”

14 COMMENTS

  1. The lily ponds were badly designed in that there is an existing, vibrant stream that flows down from the old quarry, which could have been easily fed into the ponds. This would keep the water vitalised and in a balanced micro-ecology. Instead, the fresh clean water is channeled away into a monsoon drain, and there is a need to top up the ponds with tapped water daily.

  2. It was the tourism ministry’s project which was planned before the March 2008 election. Same as the Penang Hill Train project. With substandard work, they will blame the state for poor maintenance. Who is responsible for the tilting arches ?? So far, all kept quiet

  3. has anyone been to 1Utama lately?…there is a sign there near the rainforest that says the same lady launched this water lily project there… and one phrase even insinuated that you wont need to go to penang to see them.i searched high n low for the plants there, cant seem to find any…anyone has any idea? she sure doesnt have green thumbs, maybe kept in pockets too long

  4. Penang just passed a bill to prevent cross-over kataks ?

    Yennie Yennie PLS be accountable for missing Lily in the Pond. Wherever they are sourced, makesure no blame game later.

    LGE pls verify the responsibilities of who have messed up Botanic Garden

  5. SNAFU.
    http://anilnetto.com/governance/accountability/more-on-the-botanic-garden-mess/

    “But, according to a source, the legality of the Committee was questioned following a reorganisation of the civil service, as the Pengarah of Jabatan Taman Botani reports to the State Secretary and not to the state exco for tourism. So the Committee now serves only in an advisory role. (Submissions for the Ninth Malaysia Plan were prepared by the former Pengarah, who has since retired.)”

  6. Anil, luv your wits!
    Another Tourism Ministry project, pride of Ng Yen-Yen!
    Btw how much do you think had gone into this celaka project?

  7. You couldn’t be righter. It is both, the ‘tidak apa’ attitude and lack of expertise. I have been saying for so long that we have a very beautiful garden compound. Much nicer than the Sg Botanical Gardens or even the Lake Gardens in KL. The problem is the lack of maintenance for the gardens. Don’t even talk about the plants, even the pavements (which are low maintenance) are uneven and sunken into the ground. It is not a big garden which cannot be monitored daily. All you have to do is take a morning walk for less than an hour and you can see what needs to be done for the day. The PBG is under the state govt. and this is a chance for them to show to the public that they are capable of making it a world class park. This micromanagement is important because the results are directly felt by the public. It is good that they have a surplus budget, large investment figures, increased tourism but pls do not neglect day to day details like these. A hole on the road may be a tiny defect to them but it may cost an elderly person his/her limb and hardship for life. All they have to do is to employ people qualified in botany and agriculture and park management to head the department. If possible set up a Parks and Gardens Board to oversee all parks in the state like done in Sg. You need the right people for the right job. It has been four years now, time to get rid of those who cannot, refuse or are incapable of doing the work and to put in someone who can.

  8. ‘Hee’ Katak: “Oh this is truly a wonderful pond as my new home bought at an astronomical ‘price’.”
    Pg Botanic Gardens Katak: “Don’t come here to propagate your ill-specimens & spoil the decent ambience. PBG image is already messed ‘up front’. One Katak was dead crushed by a falling arch. I still prefer my serene, unspoiled Water Lily Pond inside the garden. Haven’t they learn that water lilies can’t grow well in an unshaded environment of scorching sun? This is more like Arabian desert with sauna bath minus the rain trees!”

    • Yennie’s have misled the misinformed tourists to visit Penang Botanic Garden ?
      Will there a repeat of “Kancil car Park” fiasco btwn Yennie & LGE again ?
      Better strike off Yennie this coming GE13, my fellow Raub residents and voters !

    • Come to think of it you are right. Quite stupid of them to plant lilies, amazonian or local, directly under the scorching sun. The ppl who designed the original lily pond inside the gardens had more brains. It is doing well and is completely shaded 360 degrees by large trees.

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