Citizen Nades explores Penang property development


Citizen Nades was in town last week to find out what the fuss over property development in Penang was all about.

I met him for the first time for a little chit chat over drinks while he was here. The man is obviously passionate about investigative journalism and that keeps him going.

This is what Nades found out in Penang.

In the case of property development projects, only residents living within 20 metres are entitled to formally object. This is obviously inadequate for larger projects or projects on hill-slopes.

Nades also wrote about the renewal of lapsed planning permissions. Is the renewal automatic or can the Council decide afresh? The law says “the local planning authority … may grant an extension…”

‘May’ – not ‘must’.

Read Nades separate pieces on these two points in theSun on Tuesday.

In two more pieces today, he wonders aloud about property speculation and the ‘bubble’. He also discusses all those plans: the 1996 zoning plan and the 2007 Structure Plan and notes the delay in coming up with the Local Plan. Read these reports.

Meanwhile, the Gerakan chaps are arguing that the state will not have to pay much compensation as the 2007 Penang Structure Plan “supersedes all other guidelines. It clearly says that high-risk slopes, which include land above 76m or have a slope gradient of over 25 degrees should not be used for housing.” See this report in The Star.

The Penang Chief Minister, however, says he wants a letter of indemnity.

And so it continues.

The rest of us will keep a close watch on the hills. (The sea is by most accounts already murky and not the best place to swim, partly due to sedimentation from all the hill-slope projects and perhaps port activity.)

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Singaporeans are capitalising on strong Singapore dollar 9vs Ringgit) to buy up Malaysian properties.


In the case of Kg Buah Pala, it is still not clear what happened at the end of BN and the start of Pakatan govt… who approved the already lapsed agreement that lead to the demolishing of High Chaparral…


Buah Pala folks got a better ‘durian runtuh’ than those Felda folks. The house is worth many times more than the RM15K.
Cannot understand why people said they are shortchanged when legally they got no case for anything.

santhira kumar madhavan

The Kg Buah Pala is not about the villagers. There was a natural pond there that never dried up even during the worst drought. That pond was used to draw water to supply the whole of Penang during the El-Nino water crisis. What happened to that pond? The Penang Government should have protected that pond.

Sze Tho

Let’s get it clear, it’s not about the villagers……? You are issue about the pond?

How big was the pond?

You want the state to revoke the development of this PRIVATELY OWNED LAND because of a pond?

I think you need to reconsider the logic of your argument, friend.


No more ‘escape’ from hillslope development
Penang Gerakan questions council’s use of clause in approving projects
Thursday, July 19, 2012 – 11:54
by A. Sangeetha

However, Teng said building condominiums defeated the structure plan’s purpose in keeping forest and hills green due to the ecologically sensitive nature of such land

If that is the case, how come a housing project in Batu Ferringhi in 2001 when you were in charge of the local council ended up being an illegal quarry and dumpsite ….answer that THN


The issue of development is a very tricky one. While no one wants the environment to be degraded, the pursuit higher incomes, and the growing population will invariably impact on the environment. In Australia, there is a movement to limit the growth of the population, which have attracted a lot of people. The means to do it, the movement says is to determined the “carrying capacity” of the country i.e. the population that the country can support adequately and comfortably without having any adverse impacts on the environment. Should we do that in Pg island ??? can we do that???… Read more »

santhira kumar madhavan

Not only hillside, now, there is a clear evidence of Penang Government under LGE approving projects at rivers reserve buffer zone. At Seberang Jaya RIBI (Rumah Ibadat Bukan Islam) Enclave, bordering the Penang Bird Park, the State Government has approved a project to build Rumah Mayat under (a private) group. The matter is now under the MPSP, who has written to all the temple in the enclave for their view. This Rumah Mayat project in being approved to be built on a land zoned as a linear park and is a river reserve buffer zone. It also borders the religious… Read more »

ong eu soon

MPPP should follow Penang Structure Plan THURSDAY, JULY 19, 2012 – 11:58 by A. Sangeetha – Malay Mail Location: GEORGE TOWN ENVIRONMENTAL experts concur with Gerakan’s call for the Penang Island Municipal Council to adhere to the Penang Structure Plan 2005-2020 when addressing hillslope development projects in the state. Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) honorary secretary and environmental lawyer Meena Raman said in the absence of the Penang Island Local Plan, the structure plan will prevail and the council was obliged to use it to consider development projects. “The structure plan is a development policy drawn up under Section 7 of… Read more »

Sze Tho

We need advise from a lawyer…..not a loyar burok.

Get well soon, Bo Hoot.

Anak Pulau Pinang

The Gerakan is dead meat in the next general election simply because the average Penangite cannot imagine the newly named chief of the Penang Barisan Nasional as the next chief minister.

It will be better for him to focus on his business of attracting foreigners under the Malaysia My Second Home project …


I also wonder about the EIA report and approval for the E&) Tanjung Pinang project. Clearly it has caused the ocean currents to change resulting in the siltation of Gurney Drive.


Hello orang Penang where were you when Gelakan/Koh Tsu Koon approved the project of Seri Tanjung ???

It is too late to cry for Gurney Drive now !!! Nasi sudah jadi bubur !!!

So, the most convenient thing is blame Lim Guan Eng when the mudballs cant do wonder to clear the mud in Gurney Drive ???


Kee, there is no need to be defensive here. sinyc didn’t blame PR for what happened to Gney drive. He is just lamenting the need for an EIA for the project which was in fact carried out under the previous admin. He did not target LGE. But there is a blessing and oppurtunity behind the blunder made by the previous govt. If the plans to plant a mangrove forest and convert the silted areas into a park can be successfully carried out by PR, it will be a great achievement. We will have a park, recreation area and the seafront… Read more »


Kevin, i have nothing to blame Sinyc but just add on to say that indeed, there are people who blame Lim Guan Eng for the sorry state of Gurney Drive when the blunder was caused by Gelakan government, and i really would want to know where were the Penang people then.


The answer is obvious. Penang people kicked them and their chief out of Penang in entirety. There will obviously be ppl who will blame LGE but do not fret, most penangites are not blind. A few however, pretend to be blind.

Ong Taik kheng

During my trip to Penang last month, I noted the Gruney Drive shore front is so much cleaner than in the past. I could also see birds and some mangrove plants thriving in the area. Credit must be given to Penangites and the PR government for a good job done. Keep it up!


Why anybody bothers to listen to Gerakan is beyond me. Gerakan, as a political party is suppose to be multi-racial social democrat. BN clearly is now no longer multi-racial, cynically social nor much democratic. In other words Gerakan as part of BN is hypocrisy ITSELF..

If Gerakan very existence now as part of BN is a lie, nothing they say has any sort of truth – its purely for their own self-interest, not even the party, the leaders/office holders..

Ahmad Sobri

Ask ourselves, and let us answer honestly without bias and prejudice, “What had GELAKAN contributed to the growth of Penang for the past 20 years prior March 2008′? It was because of GELAKAN that Penang had been in the economic wilderness for the last 2 decades under their rule. Credit must be given where it is due, Gerakan was productive during the reign of Tun Dr. Lim Chong Eu, after that it was all the way down, because UMNO became very assertive and GELAKAN/MCA/MIC were mere puppets, sycophants! GELAKAN as a political force/party had always been too suspicious of even… Read more »


Yes, Pakatan is not perfect, whatever shortcomings, let’s continue to support Pakatan to stop corruption otherwise we will be a bankrupt nation soon. Thanks to Idris Jala for speaking the truth !

Those who have eyes can see that Pakatan is trying its best to serve the people !

Save Malaysia !!!


Ahmad Sobri, I can tell u that Penangites are proud of their govt and are happy with the progress made. However, none of us are God and can make mistakes. Both PR and BN should be open to criticism, suggestions and ideas. We have to differentiate the two categories of criticism. One is from genuinely concerned penangites who are criticising when they see a mistake for the betterment of Pg. They don’t mean to run down the govt (which they support) but to ‘tegur’ when there is reason to. The other group is criticising and mocking for the sake of… Read more »


Quote: Only owners of property within 20m of proposed development can object.

In the case of a landslide or slippery landslip, depending on hill gradient, type/density of development & force of Nature, it will be more than 20 metres of carnage & murder down hill.
In the case of a hill blasting, a delinquent rock can fly more than 20 metres & plummet blindly at will beyond the fenced up development.

My quote: What an … brain filled with 20 metres of lalang can enforce such ruling!

Nadeswaran, Cheers Kopi-O kau kau kau!


What the fuss.!!! Actually its no fuss. !!! Gerakan govt have been approving building construction on hill slope in the Paya Terubong area since the 70s. Its coming election time and they have no issues at all against the PR LGE govt that have been governing very good. Without any issues, Gerakan BN and MCA must create issues even if it is false or a very petty one.


ya, sometimes i was thinking let’s say Penang is still under Gelakan today, i wonder whether there will be a fuss at all about the hill projects ???

I wonder Star would ever come up with Crying Hills front page ???

I sent two emails to the editor of the Star re Crying Hills and Star’s Properties Fair. Big hypocrisy !!!

I wonder the cowboy editor, Wong Chun Wai has accepted the invitation of Lim Guan Eng to have a talk about the Star’s half truths reporting about hill projects.

Gerakan K

Young: What the fuss

Yeah “What the fuss”, cheat everyone now until there is Highland Towers collapse[1] version 2.0 many years later.



When being demeaned yet you cannot wake up.

Gerakan have been approving and building high rise apartment in hill slopes since the 70s. Is it not?
PR continue to do the same so what is the fuss.

So you are afraid of highland tower. OK Gerakan have been following safety and MPPP guidelines. So is PR govt & MPPP.

And Highland Tower collapse was caused under which administration and govt. Please say it now and we will know whether you lie again.

Wake up …

Gerakan K

Do you want to learn from mistake or repeat the mistake ??? You are now supporting a gomen that keen on repeating the mistake !!!


Bodoh bodoh bodoh is what I can make of you. Mistake what mistake. With the latest technology and safety guielines, building on hill and high slope is no more a problem and cause for alarm. From China to Hong Kong and around the world. It will certainly be a mistake and cause for alarm if we continue with BN AMMO where corruption breed greedy politicians, administrator and their cronies business people who use sub standard material that result in suffering, death and tragedies for the people. You dont need the highland tower to remind us. Landed properties such as the… Read more »

Sze Tho

Forgive him. He forgot his pills. Chronic stupidity is flaring up again.