With the rejuvenation of Nature during the coronavirus lockdown clearly visible, many had hope that governments would be more sensitive to the ecosystems.
But not in Penang, where we saw:
- a renewed determination to pursue massive land reclamation
- an announcement of new 150-acre reclamation project along the southeastern coastline of Penang Island
- a new proposal for a cable car project (over RM300m) from Penang Hill to Teluk Bahang along sensitive hill terrain, despite the federal government refusing to allocate RM100m for an earlier cable car project
Welcome to Penang, Darul Tambak dan Kebel Kar. All this is happening at a time when ordinary people are struggling with job layoffs and reduced incomes.
Penang Hills Watch has eloquently responded to the latest plan:
Penang Hills Watch (PHW) refers to a news report which highlighted the proposal for an over RM300m cable car route from Penang Hill to Teluk Bahang.
We are gravely concerned by the announcement of this proposal for the following reasons:
1. The route passes through a well-preserved hill dipterocarp forest
The alignment of the cable car would pass through two forest reserves, namely the Teluk Bahang permanent forest reserve and the Bukit Kerajaan permanent forest reserve.
Parts of this proposed line, especially between Bukit Laksamana and Western Hill are steep hill slopes (photo above), posing a substantial natural geo hazard.
Building 20 pylons over 6km and constructing a 10km maintenance road through this well-preserved forested area will fragment the forest, through the removal of trees and the necessary excavation and terracing to stabilise cut-and-fill slopes alongside the road. Full statement on Aliran website