A disaster waiting to happen…

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Rather than banning all hill-slope development, the developer-friendly Penang state government wants to emulate Hong Kong in monitoring hill-slopes and it has set up an expert panel.

In Hong Kong, those who flout regulations end up in jail.

This could be the panel’s first assignment. A long-time Penang resident has alerted me to the following:

(A couple of days ago,) when driving back from a day of walking in the Penang National Park, I saw a hill-slope project that is surely one of the worst along the Batu Ferringhi road…. It is east of the Rasa Sayang and on the hillside opposite the Malaysian army base (former Gurkha base) at Fort Auchry.

With a slope of well over 30 degrees, perhaps even 40 degrees, the entire hillside up to the crest line has been denuded of tree cover revealing bare laterite strewn with scores of massive and precariously suspended boulders among which a mechanical digger was at work. Another disaster waiting to happen!

This is an upmarket condominium project with prices ranging from RM750,000 to RM2.6 million. Also semi-detached homes.

Would some kind soul care to snap a couple of pictures?

Says blog reader Plain Truth:

When it rains heavily, one of the last places on the Penang Island that one wants to be at is along the Batu Ferringhi coastal road with the hillside mud and water pouring down.

If these hillside developments are not curtailed, it is just a matter of time before disaster strikes.

That costal road is potentially a deathtrap.

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14 Comments on "A disaster waiting to happen…"

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Andrew
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Andrew

This PR government led by Lim Guan Eng does NOT give a damn about Penangites’ concerns about preserving hillslopes and the quality of life on the island. He is only interested in securing his own ego and the profits of developers. He is an accountant by training. He only understands the power of money, money, money. Any difference with the BN clowns? Yes, different political party, that’s all.

jeff
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jeff

Hillside and slope construction require sophisticated and advance civil engineering knowledge and know how in order to proceed, in Malaysia, both are lacking in private sector and monitoring agency, lack of meritocracy in our education system produce half past six engineers that are way apart from advance nation standard.

Ong Eu Soon
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One of the way to fight back against hillside development is to keep pressuring the authorities using the following catch 22 questions: 1) Ask whether there is any best management practice being implemented to reduce negative environmental impacts. 2) Ask about the sort of best management practices being implemented if there is any. 3) Ask for a hillside development policy and ordinance if the state government really keen on hillside development. 4) Ask whether the state government should defer hillside development until a policy or ordinance exist to govern hillside development activities. 5) Ask which statutory body that responsible for… Read more »
hoyohoyo
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It seems like Mr Anil is getting more selective and populist… You selectively put up health arguments against Wifi/WiMAX that float around in the Internet, while neglecting any of the rebuttal and uncertainty reports… You selectively emphasize and then keep harping about the government being “developer-friendly”, while fail to also mention about series of “not-so-developer-friendly” measures that were taken… You argue that the government should become a total populist champion, by converting PTC land back to recreational purpose, by thrashing all the approved high-rise buildings projects, by burning all the hillside developments… and then goes bankrupt… The setting up of… Read more »
Han2
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Han2

Is there an association or NGO organizing some kind of a protest like those at Damansara 21? Let me know because I am damn angry now with the previous and the present state governments, really a bunch of idiots….

frankie
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frankie
The blame game has started. Everyone wants to blame the developers and the state government. The buyers too need to take some blames. I have always suggested to my friends on the island to consider buying properties at Province Wellesley, many do not want to consider at all. The impression is the mainland is backward, dirty, is too far away and I have a few who told me that they rather die than living on mainland. So by limiting their options and their preference of living on hill overlooking the sea, as the chinese used to say, they have no… Read more »
PlainTruth
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PlainTruth
The Batu Ferringhi coastal road is not a flat road. It is on a gradient meaning that on the way up to the beach hotels, the road slopes upwards and on the way down to town, the road slopes downwards. On one side is the hill where the bungalows / condo developments are taking place and on the other is a steep drop into the sea. All it takes is a small boulder falling off the hill onto the road to halt the passing traffic. The passing cars will then have to stop to let the opposing cars through. The… Read more »
wira
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wira

Penang island doesn’t have that much flat land remaining.
However, there are plenty of those over at Province Wellesley and they are a lot cheaper too.

No more approval for hill side projects please.
If developers can’t find the land to development, ask them to go over to Prai side.

pat ling
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pat ling

We have plenty of flat land so why the need to build on hillslopes? Why can’t we leave nature alone? Not giving approvals for hillslope projects will solve all such loss of lives & heartaches. One other way that the people can help tackle this problem is to boycott purchase of properties built on hillslopes.

Han2
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Han2

Not to mention that the entire Batu Ferringhi tourist stretch would be permanently destroyed forever. Stop the damn hillslope projects, I’d say! Hey Anil, some nice pics of the ongoing projects in your website would surely scare the wits out of many, including those who bought the properties without actually seeing the slopes (those from KL and Singapore!). See if they want to live in these houses!

Ganesh
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Ganesh

Better to ban all hillslopes projects once and for all. Why? Because one or two potential inspectors in the future in monitoring hill-slopes maybe susceptible to duit kopi.

It would be tempting to brush aside a potential danger when someone gives you, say, RM10 mil to sweep it under the carpet.

We are talking about lives here.

Han2
Guest
Han2
I fully endorsed Plain Truth and his opinion. I live in Batu Ferringhi. As it is now, the road is covered in mud everytime it rain and traffic has to be controlled with a few foreign workers waving red flags to regulate traffic movements. The sea is cloudy with mud residue flowing down from the hill slope construction works. Disaster in Penang is waiting to happen, it is only a matter of time. If it does happen, the party responsible shall be the present state government as it has the chance to stop the potential landslide and it didn’t. Listen… Read more »
Eagle has landed
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Eagle has landed

Either the state government has to work hard now and set a firm policy decision or wait for the disaster to take place.
The choice is with the state government, surely LGE can differentiate between a tree and the forest.

PlainTruth
Guest
PlainTruth

When it rains heavily, one of the last places on the Penang Island that one wants to be at, is along the Batu Ferringhi costal road with the hillside mud and water pouring down.

If these hillside developments are not curtailed, it is just a matter of time before disaster strikes.

That coastal road is potentially a deathtrap.