When I requested my late dad and my late grandma a couple of days ago to watch over the green spaces surrounding their final resting place at the Bukit Gantong columbarium, neighbouring the proposed Penang Global City Centre, and to ask God to preserve the environment there for future generations, I wasn’t expecting anything earthshaking.
What a day to launch the masterplan of those “iconic” PGCC towers! (Wonder why they can’t say the word “towers” without adding the adjective “iconic” before it. Don’t they have any other word?)
Hours after the launch on 12 Sept, we had an 8.4 earthquake off nearby Sumatra, a tsunami alert, and people fleeing from high-rise buildings.
Too bad for Patrick Lim and Fox Communication that news of the quake and the tsunami alert shoved aside reports of the PGCC launch from the front pages of the newspapers yesterday. There are some things that even a PR firm can’t anticipate or handle.
Yesterday, we had over 2, 200 nervous people being evacuated from Komtar, that forlorn and rundown 65-storey mega project of the 1970s and 80s which stands as an iconic monument to former Penang chief minister Lim Chong Eu’s folly in destroying the heritage character of central George Town. Other frightened workers fled from two other highrise buildings in the state as buildings rattled and shook in the aftershock.
So, it wasn’t the most auspicious day for the launch of a masterplan to build 33 towers of over 40 storeys each, wouldn’t you say? You could even say it was a warning from above: Stop this madness and the wanton destruction of the environment.
Here is a piece I wrote for IPS ahead of the launch.
PENANG, Sep 12 (IPS) – Alarmed civil society groups are coming together to oppose a massive urban development project that could result in 33 tower blocks of over 40 storeys each being built on one of the last huge green spaces left on land-starved Penang island. Full article: Mega city project robs common green