Hill land clearing: A possible modus operandi


Let me speculate about a possible modus operandi when it comes to clearing of hill land above 250 feet for so-called ‘development’.

Take a hypothetical case:

  • Acquire a dormant RM2 company.
  • Buy up acres of some hill land with a spectacular view. It should be very cheap as you are not allowed to build above 250 feet; so the land is only useful for some small-time farming perhaps.
  • Now this is the tricky bit: try and somehow get the zoning converted from hill-land to ‘residential use’ or ‘special project’ or whatever, anything that allows you to build expensive housing. If you succeed, the value of your land will rocket, many times more than what you paid for it.
  • Bring in the heavy machinery to start clearing the land pronto, before anyone else is aware. Better still, if you know someone involved in the land-clearing business. This way the land becomes even more valuable for future development.
  • Brace yourself for a public uproar.
  • Expect the authorities to take action to placate an angry public.
  • Expect a penalty, maybe a puny fine or blacklisting of your company. (That’s nothing compared to the value of the land.)
  • Lie low and wait for the public outcry to die down, until the storm has blown over.
  • Sell the land or transfer the land to another RM2 company or big-time developer.

This is just a hypothetical example of what might be possible. What do you think? Is there another loophole I missed?

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Kah Seng

You forgot another thing – lucrative one too. Sell the hillside earth to land reclamation for profit by the truck loads.

That seemed to be what happened between Chee Seng Garden hillside + Alila earth and reclamations at Straits Quay and Pantai Molek a few years back.


Another one: To placate fearful neighbours and MPPP, put up large and eye-catching blue plastic covers of dangerous slopes.


Anil: This is just a hypothetical example of what might be possible. What do you think? Is there another loophole I missed?

Char Koay Teow Answer: Kam Cheng Kong – You dare to do it, I don’t want to know it. But no one is above the law beyond 250ft. See how long Penangites will cry foul over it. Good luck to your chey shua, kua hai (home on the hill, enjoy sea view).

Note: This is just a hypothetical scenario of what might be insanely possible in Penang Island of greedy developers + malleable authorities.

billie cduk

Under the NLC (National Land Code) there are provisions to built on agricultural land…but if not mistaken very very low density of a unit/acre. But the situation again shifts if the land is more than 250 feet above sea level. Anyway all subject to SPC (State Planning Committee) approval headed by the Chief Minister.

Observe carefully another at Bukit Gambier, a developer has magically lowered the 250 feet contour and cutting into reserve land to minimise earthworks cost. Who is there to police these people?

Boleh land!

Gerakan K

Why questioning the award of “special projects” ??? It’s dap gomen right to award such status. Are you now indirectly implicate dap gomen into such deals with private developers ??? Do not be so irresponsible. Dap cat gomen will not involved in such deals. Dap will lose in election if you keep reporting as such. Do you want UBAH or NOT ??? Let us embrace UBAH and close one eye


Cut the land and convert class 4 slope to class 1.

semuanya OK kot

Our public servants including politicians dare to tell us not to speculate. Yet, they dominate the news with inane and senseless pronoucements, wild accusatons against those who dissent, slander and treason that goes unpunished, cover-ups, etc.


1. If timing is right, sell the soil and rock to any land reclamation for extra and substantial income.

2. Blast, brace for complaints, blast anyway.


And one plausible way. Cut the hill to below 250 ft. Wow the land clear for development