Photo evidence of Tanjung Bungah Beach erosion


Site contributor Michael was alarmed by what he found at Tanjung Bungah Beach and sent in this revealing photo-story.

Michael reports:

You can see the base of the public access steps located between the Sea-wind Hotel and The Naza Hotel.

The photos then are taken from this point (to a distance of about 400m) moving right facing the ‘built’ frontage (my back to sea). The concrete drain pipes are in front of the low-level Sri Pantai Motel to the immediate right of Naza Hotel. They were all standing upright and firm, aligned along the same line as the Naza concrete foundations when we arrived in December 2010.

Since then they have been repeatedly attacked by storm wave action and then fixed – to no avail. The sea has undercut the bank once protected by the pipes so that this Motel has lost a couple of metres of land.

The trees with their roots exposed were stable and within the grass surrounds. First, the coconut trees (at least six or seven of them) progressively fell over as the sand was stripped from the beach. You can see some roots half buried in the sand.

Then after the coconut trees were destroyed the big ‘umbrella trees'(?) started losing sand around their roots until they look like they are today.

Further, along on the beachfront of the Chinese Swimming club and the skyscraper ‘MY Home’, the land and the grass areas are disappearing, and there is a bank where before the grass had a smooth slope to the beach. Palms planted about two years ago in the grass are now dying and many are growing from the sand. Trees planted are stunted and will not survive.

The last photos I took are of the steps leading back to the public access. They are very steep and I noticed the heavily rusted support barrier had finally given way, making this a very treacherous route to the beach. The only safe route to the beach is now next to the Tanjung Bungah Hotel at least 800m further along.

Going by Michael’s timeline, surely this erosion was not caused by the 2004 tsunami! (An E & O consultant had blamed the tsunami for the sedimentation at Gurney Drive.)

And now, what will be the impact on Tanjung Bungah Beach of Phase 2 of the Seri Tanjung Pinang land reclamation?

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2 Sep 2013 6.01pm

Hi Anil,

(My wife) has this idea that Penang Island will eventually disappear.

Enjoy it while you can Lah!


Club41 Oon
Club41 Oon
3 Sep 2013 10.10am
Reply to  clem

With that kind of negative thinking and failure to adapt, your (wife) will disappear sooner.
Enjoy her while you can Lah!

This blog should encourage constructive views with the aim to improve our country, particularly Penang. In spite of all the doom and gloom in the endless possibilities of 49%Gomen, we shall have faith in the administration of Pakatan to at least decelerate the damage done.

Aidil Yunus
Aidil Yunus
2 Sep 2013 12.15pm


Do you agree that 71% of the gangsters are Indians?
If so, good to discuss the root cause in your column.
About time for Waythamoorthy to force Najib to act on the MOU to address the problem?
Or the reelcted MIC chief should come out with plan to alleviate the social issues faced by the Indian community?

Club41 Oon
Club41 Oon
3 Sep 2013 11.21am
Reply to  Aidil Yunus

Is Najib getting Waytha to tackle the gangster problem in the Indian community as his minister?
About time for Waytha to proactively do something to justify his position and salary, and it is an healthy competition for Waytha vs the MIC folks to deliver the goods to the Indians.

4 Sep 2013 10.49am
Reply to  Club41 Oon

For a start, the government should ban KL Gangster 2 movie to glorifies gangsterism.

Phua Kai Lit
Phua Kai Lit
2 Sep 2013 10.19am

You can’t beat the forces of nature.

What we have in Malaysia is continued ignoring and denial of the effects of anthropogenic climate change (and its effects such as sea level rise, coastal erosion, more unpredictable weather etc).

1 Sep 2013 5.27pm

That consultant who cited the tsunami thing is the same one who made the outrageous statements that the Singapore reclamation at Changi Point would cause destructive tidal and water current consequences to the Johore side. Today everyone can see for themselves if his then statements have credibility or not which will say of his credibility today.

1 Sep 2013 3.36pm

Barriers to long-shore drift of sand can be effective in retaining sand at a selected beach over the short term, but they do interrupt the natural process of moving sand from an eroding source of material (often a stream or river) and spreading it along the coast. This is especially true if the source of the eroded material (sand) has been blocked further along the coast, by a natural(e.g earthquake) phenomenon or a man-made one like ‘reclaimed land’ that juts out into the path of the long-shore drift. To keep the beach full of sand requires human intervention and I… Read more »

1 Sep 2013 5.35pm
Reply to  Michael

I suspect this crop of gomen has more concerns for BingChui Cosmopolitan frenzy development to ‘showcase’ on a big scale what manner of ‘transformation’ is happening under their purview of development above the needs & wants of average Penangites. What manner of physical progress at a cheap cost of swap-deal of gomen public land for cosmopolitan flavored development at developers’ fancies & arm twisting is anybody’s nightmarish guess. Never mind that it will be soulless as long as it delivers ‘progressive’ development under DAP, but super-inflation of costs of home ownership. May I say it has a toothless CAT that… Read more »

SH Tan
SH Tan
1 Sep 2013 1.50pm

Penang – Endless Possibilities, for construction capital (developers).

Teddy C
Teddy C
1 Sep 2013 12.08pm

I used to go fishing with my classmates during the school holidays in the sea at the end of Jalan Abbas in Tanjung Bungah more than 25 years ago. I remember that the beach used to stretch 10, 15 meters from the end of the road. I visited the area again a few months ago and I was shocked that the beach is almost non-existent! The high tide mark is almost reaching the doorstep of the houses there. Erosion is a big problem and I have no doubt that the land reclamation at Seri Tanjung Pinang has something to do… Read more »

1 Sep 2013 9.29am

Hope the authorities are aware of this. Unfortunately they often see it but pretend not to see it. How can so much erosion go on without them noticing? Don’t they do regular surveys and inspections? In Sg, they barriers placed at strategic positions to prevent erosion. I have attached a pic. Perhaps something can be done here too.

1 Sep 2013 2.28am

This stretch of beach used to be a great weekend laze-around rendezvous, whether floating belly-up on the sea, buried to the neck in the white sands or siestas under the shady trees. As an avid angler, the times of high tides were no threat to me or the surrounding but great opportunities for catching Koay Kow, crabs or sting rays. Ulama (name derived from its audio cursing) fish were also easy catch with a simple 100 lb line attached with 3 delicious, bloody fat worm-baited hooks & XL sinkers, all drawn from a small Milo tin which also served as… Read more »

marie chee
marie chee
1 Sep 2013 4.16pm
Reply to  tunglang

I remember very well this area, because I grew up here. Yes, it was such a pleasure thrity years ago, u can just pak yr car, near pantai molek, and walk down to the beach. I would just park myy car park under a shady tree and siesta after a meal of mee rebus, and indian popiah at chinese swimming club. Sigh, greedy develpers, trying to make our beloved pearl of the orient into a concrete jungle. Yes let the force of nature and the angry tokongs show their wrath. Even the fisherman living in tanjung tokong and tanjung bungah… Read more »

1 Sep 2013 6.10pm
Reply to  marie chee

Marie, I empathise with how you feel about home, sweet home Penang Island. It certainly holds many cherished memories of one’s life that cannot be simply washed away, not even by the present angry sea or tsunami. If you do have the opportunity to physically walk down memory lanes, memory beach, memory trails without a watch, you will either be wishing it’s a long nightmare or pinch your reality skin & hope it’s all surreal. But the CHANGE we bargained for at a price (of trickling Fed’s money) the past 5 years is unexpected & we are unprepared for this… Read more »