Scary hill-slope project in Chee Seng Gardens, Penang
Residents want the project stopped
This is a message from George Aeria of Chee Seng Gardens, which covers the Old Chee Seng Gardens, the newer parts (houses built by Leader Gardens), Straits Regency, Coastal Towers, Twin Towers and Marina Towers.
The residents are upset with the Bolton Surin project undertaken by GLM Property on a steep hill-slope, which has previously resulted in flooding in the area. They are also asking the Penang state government to emulate the stand taken by their counterparts in Selangor with regard to Class III and Class IV hill slopes.
Over 80 residents attended a meeting on 13 December with the main press in attendance. “YB Teh gave a short speech and took several questions and his message that we got is YAB Lim Guan Eng is not going to be on the side of the residents and will be alowing the Class IV hill slope construction to continue,” said Aeria.
“We have told him that if he does not stop the developers, then our vote for change has come to naught, i.e. we wanted the Gerakan and Umno government of Penang out and wanted DAP to start controlling the developers but if he does not, then we will NOT support the DAP government.”
The residents told the state government reps that if they do not stop Class IV hill-slope construction, they would support any other party, including the BN i.e. they would play off one party against the other.
We, the residents of Chee Seng Gardens, who started the fight to get the stop work order in Sept 2008 are now pushing for the project (Bolton Surin) to be stopped altogether as the hill slope is really very steep (above 60 degrees and maybe more). The recent Bukit Antarabangsa tragedy has shown us that no hill can be developed; (neither can) a slope so steep be made to just stay steep without falling down some time in the future.
This is made worse by the fact that Malaysia has a VERY lousy history of slope maintenance, or rather, no slope maintenance at all. The City Councils do not monitor the construction and only act when a resident complains and pushes the matter. (The authorities) take no action but file it as NFA (no further action). Developers just cement up or wall up these steep cliffs and expect that the cliff will defy gravity in perpetuity.
Our hills are made up of different soil from that of Hong Kong. Our government administration’s monitoring and (track record in) ensuring developers follow guidelines is pathetic when compared to the efficiency of the Hong Kong government. The only way to avoid future hill-slope tragedies in Malaysia or Penang is to stop all hill-slope development (of) beyond Class III (25 to 35 degrees slopes) and Class IV (> 35 degrees gradient) hill slopes.
In view of this, the residents of Chee Seng Gardens, who moved for the stop work Order in Sept 2008 met on 13 Dec 2008 and over 80 residents unanimously called upon the state government of Penang, under the DAP, to heed our calls and to do what is POPULAR among the people and what is RIGHT for the ECOLOGY of the STATE and that is to cancel the Bolton project and to thereafter rehabilitate the steep hill slopes in Chee Seng Gardens.
THe pictures shown above are taken by us and show a slope of no less than 60 degrees or even more. The developers’ (GLM Property) claim that they will cut back the hill to finish off at a gradient of 38 degrees is ridiculous as the hill top above is already forest reserve and state land. There is no way to cut back.
We will persist in our attempt to get the new state Government to heed our call as we voted them in to show us a change for the better than the old administration under Gerakan and Umno. Persisting in steep hill slope development that puts the lives and property of innocent long-time residents in the area at risk (in harm’s way) is NOT the way to stay in government over a single term.
OUr next move will be to meet the CM and thereafter to stage a peaceful demonstration should our efforts not succeed. Further actions will follow to show our State Goverment that hill slope development on Class III and Class IV hill slopes MUST CEASE and that the existing CLASS IV project must be cancelled
for and on behalf of Chee Seng Gardens Residents