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This could be a leading contender for the Dirtiest Stream in Penang. It is frightening to think that the polluted water could end up in the sea of Tanjung Bungah, not far from beach hotel resorts and popular stretches where many children wade into the sea.

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Last night while taking the ferry from the mainland to Penang Island, I gazed at Penang Hill. Whereas in the past, the lights at the summit of Bukit Bendera (Flagstaff Hill) would twinkle in the clear night sky, this time other specks of light in the middle of the hill were piercing through the black shroud enveloping the hill after sunset – evidence of more hill-slope development or clearing.

At this rate, Penang Hill will soon be transformed into a giant Christmas tree rising from the centre of a fairyland island surrounded by smaller Christmas trees (highrise condos for the wealthy at the sea front, built on reclaimed land). Do we want this sort of hill-clearing and hill-cutting in Penang? Surely, these bald patches are visible from Komtar.

So it is timely that two dozen Penang-based residents associations and civil society groups have signed an open letter to the Yang Di-Pertua of the Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang expressing concern about the degradation of hills in the state.

The scheduled teleconference with Sirul in Australia over an internet radio station has failed to materialise. The link-up with Mahfuz Omar at the Pas Media Centre in Jalan Raja Laut, KL was due to start at 11.33am over Hijau.FM.

At 10.44am, ‘Sirul’ was apparently contacted and given a phone number that would be used to contact him for the teleconference. But the event failed to get going.

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Student activist Adam Adli and PKR supreme council member Fariz Musa were arrested when police moved in on a solidarity protest at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman for the imprisoned Anwar Ibrahim.

PKR Youth leader Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad had a close shave with plainclothes police and managed to slip away after being pulled away by supporters.

Adam and Fariz are now having their statements recorded at the Jinjang Police Station. Lawyers have been informed that they are expected to be released in the coming hours without any remand extension. Supporters have vowed to wait for them outside the police station until the pair emerge.

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