Victory for Sungai Ara residents opposing hill project


The present Penang state government has given a commitment that as long as there is no change in government, the Sunway City project in Sungai Ara will not be allowed to proceed.

Credit to the Sungai Ara residents who had done their homework and research; their dogged determination and persistence finally paid off.

Still, they could scarcely believe their ears when Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng told them during a dialogue yesterday that the project would be referred to the State Planning Committee, chaired by him, and it would not be given the green light.

Credit as well to the Chief Minister for heeding the residents’ concerns. He also wants to release the full list of the 31 projects above 250 feet approved during the BN era.

Hopefully, the same concern should be shown for any hill-slope project on steep hill-slopes. In this regard, the list of the 38 hill-slopes projects approved since 2008 should be made public too.

As a side-note, one of the things I find most interesting from this whole saga is that, yes, the State Planning Committee DOES have a lot of power to decide whether property development projects should be allowed to proceed or not.

Guan Eng adds in a statement:

As a people-centric government that listens to the people, we have listened to the people who value the safety to their families by strictly imposing a building line at 250 feet which is half of the 500 feet set by the Federal government. Projects carried out above 250 feet are either approved by MPPP before March 2008 or for those after March 2008 consist of β€œspecial projects” approved by the previous state government on 13.9.1996 which MPPP can not reject as long as technical requirements are met.

This is why the Sunway City Sungai Ara project was approved by MPPP when all technical requirements are met, even though it was above 250 feet, as it was already approved as a special project on 13.9.1996. As I told the affected residents at a dialogue yesterday, this project has already been referred to the Special Planning Committee chaired by me. The present state government has also given a commitment that so long as there is no change in government, the project will not be allowed to proceed.

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anak penang

hi all,

not sure if LGE’s words are true enough. i’m staying right in front of the controversy development. my family and i love the hill and been viewing the hill everyday and we are able to see the trees become lesser and lesser. so, can LGE check if somebody chopped off the trees ‘secretly’?


If the CM claimed that the project cannot be stopped since it was approved way back in 1996 and before his time, what are the chances that it can be cancelled by the State Planning Committee chaired by him.

CM, you need to be careful though as otherwise it may be construed as abusing of power since you explained that it cannot be stopped as it was approved way back.


Let this be a choice to solve this sticky problem, better than nothing at all.
At least LGE is strong enough to make a stand on this issue – to find a solution to hill development which is risky, legally challenging & financially expensive to counter.
Hope there will be practical solutions leading to other hill development issues, on going & in the pipe line.

ong eu soon

Now your CN said that it can be stopped! Dreaming ah?


Melayu kena halau dari Penang….hill project or no hill project, PAS telah serahkan Penang kepada Cina sebagaimana UMNO serah Singapore kepada Cina…Melayu kena halau…pergi duduk Kedah…Lepas ni PAS bagi pula Perak kepada Cina…maka dosa PAS lebih dari UMNO….Haprak PAS…

ong eu soon

We now reach a situation that our CM seen to be having problem defining what is a hill. We also reach a situation where the exco in charge of housing is puzzling why the medium cost home at Puncak Erskine still unable to sell out 2 years after completion. The price of properties have been skyrocketing in the past 4 years. When no one is interested in the Puncak Erskine, our politicians seen to have no clue that the so called property boom is merely the result of speculative buying.


Cannot sell 2 years after completion.
Prices have been skyrocketing.

Something is not right between the 2 statements if they are linked.I remember in the late 1990s, the lower levels of Gurney Park were going for RM320k+. However, in the aftermath of that 1997 Asian financial crisis, the upper floors went for RM240k-. That crisis killed many speculators.

So if you want cheaper houses, hope for another global or regional financial crisis. Provided you still have the dough for them.


Ask rainy-greened horns property gurus.
They are always positive of rain-all-day good news for Developers’ Surreal Penang Property market.

ong eu soon

Price didn’t go up. Don’t simply jump into conclusion. Stupid to those who only know how to bodek!

orang tanjung

The wrongdoings of the previous state government are coming to fore and we have all the confidence in the CM and his Team to make things right. All BN supporters need not nitpick but accept the fact that BN is solely responsible for all the problems and current state of affairs.
Bravo LGE and Team, keep up the good work and expose all the shenanigans and the BN goons for who they really are.
Kami sokong penuh LGE dan Team untuk menjadikan Pulau Pinang Bersih, Hijau, Selamat dan Sihat


It would also be very good if the state government could set guidelines on the maximum number of storeys or the height of new high-rise building projects.


ong eu soon

The Hillside development and design guidelines of city of Carsbad is a good example that we should adopt to control all the hillslope developments. The guidelines required that slopes of 25% grade and over shall be preserved in their natural state, unless the application of it’s policy would preclude any reasonable use of the property, in which case an encroachment not to exceed 10% of the steep slope area over 25% grade may be permitted. For existing legal parcels, with all or nearly all of their area in slope area over 25% grade, encroachment may be permitted; however, any such… Read more »

Gerakan K

Ada apa nak GEMBIRA ???

LGE hanya mampu selesaikan 1 masalah ??? Itupun hanya janji di mulut. Lihat semula apa yang telah berlaku pada janji Kg Buah Pala. Habis musnah jawabnya.

Tetapi terdapat berpuluh-puluh masalah kritikal masih belum diatasi. Ini ibarat seperti menutup 10 periuk dengan 1 penutup. Goyang goyang, semua meletup !!!


Siapa kata janji mulut.Jangan bohong di sini.
Harapan penduduk Kg Buah Pala di musnahkan oleh KTK Gerakan selepas KTK Gerakan jual tanah itu kepada koperasi. Selepas itu mahkamah mengisytiharkan pemaju sebagai pemilik yang sah.

Selepas semua harapan penduduk telah hilang, kerajaan PR LGE datang membantu and menyelamatan penduduk KB Pala.
Kerajaan PR LGE berunding dengan pemaju untuk membina sebuah rumah dua tingkat bernilai 750 ribu untuk mereka. LGE PR juga berunding se buah dewan komuniti dan tanah untuk kuil kepada penduduk KBPala.

Gerakan BN MUSNAH Kampong Buah Pala. DAP PR LGE menyelamat

Ahmad Sobri

I feel safer with LGE!

The UMNO/MIC/MCA/GELAKAN folks can tell you what they want, but, LGE is someone who honours his words, unlike many fork tongued politicians, when pressured by their big boss, will turn around and dishonour their commitments!

Well done and we look forward to better coordination between a caring Government and the Rakyat!

Selamatkan Malaysia!

Boo Soon Yew

WELL SAID Ahmad Sobri !!
We trust Pakatan more than we trust BN.. it’s as simple as that !!

Andrew I

Yes, Gherkin, remember the 99 + 1 rule. Way to go, Guan Eng. It shows DAP hasn’t sold out the people of Penang after winning the state, unlike some other party.

ong eu soon

After we get our guidelines adopted only can we tell those politicians to stop all development on hillslope with gradient more than 25 degree, otherwise you end up arguing what bis a hill!

ong eu soon

First we need to teach all the politicians what is a hillslope especially when election is at the corner. Tell them is no uncertain term that steep slopes are defined as lands in their natural state that have a slope angle of 20% or greater for a minimum horizontal distance of 10 metres. You must tell them in no uncertain term that they can’t cut and flatten all the hill below 250ft sea level and call it a flat land. They should learn to support development in appropriate hillside locations which respects and protects the natural topography and characteristics of… Read more »

ong eu soon

One more thing that I really can’t understand is why the NGOs are calling for the revise of hill slope guidelines? Is there any guideline exist? When a politician doesn’t know what is a hill, there must be no guideline to guide him! So what are you guys want to revise?


Affected people want solutions. Lives are threatened. Safety is of paramount concern. People are hoping for solutions from beloved* LGE. *quoted. What is the price to pay? Financial compensation – For stopping any pre-308 approved hill project. Or possible future disasters – For doing nothing now. There is still no outright answer. One glimmer of hope is to use this Sg. Ara case as precedence for other disputable but approved hill projects, ongoing or in the pipe line. Not an easy option, financially or legally speaking. The other hope: Unless there is a change of government – A catch-22. Depending… Read more »


To add on the truth of the matter: 1) If you are affected / threatened by disputable hill development, you have a right to take action, with or without gomen help. This will shape people’s perception of the present authorities & gomen. 2) If you are not of the above, it is easier to just comment (anything) or shrug it off your shoulders: Boh wa eh su! (why should I care). 3) If you are a concerned Penangite, you have a responsibility if not for today, think of your children & their children. All things are inter-related in this universe.… Read more »

ong eu soon

According to lgE, a total 31 hillslope projects above 250ft sea level was classified as “projek istimewa” and approved in 1996. What does this ‘projek istimewa” mean? Does it mean that all those projects enjoy a special privilege that allows them to be exempted from all the restrictions and scrutiny?Does it mean MPPP has no right but just approve those projects without questioning? What happened to the stringent guidelines governing hillslope development? Is there any guideline exist? When did lgE realize that the State Planning Committee chaired by him has the power to review and revoke the approval? Is it… Read more »

king kong

Ah Soon Khor – Time to stand for the election. We will vote you to be the CM of Penang so that you can do what is right and be accountable. Remember, if we vote you to be our representative, who is the real boss, towkay?

Boo Soon Yew

The TRUTH is OUT !!!
Bravo Pg Pakatan Govt for sticking to their word and championing the Rakyat !!!!


Good move but the state shouldn’t stop there. I am sure you are aware of the nadayu development on the hillslope of bukit gambir just along the main road. Approval given by current gov. It is definitely very steep and should also be scrapped.

Ong Goo Kang

Most of us know that the hillslope developments in the state were the unfortunate legacy of the previous BN government.

Yet Teng Gerakan choose to ignore the fact and shoot his own foot!


He mentioned that there will be a price to pay. Whatever that is LGE is on the right track.


Yes they are on the right track. There may be a price to pay if the developers sues the state but that to me is a small price to pay as compared to the safety of humans and the environment. In any case, any sane judge would apply common sense when interpreting the by-laws. If something is not safe, it is not safe period. No laws created can change that fact.


Commonsense should rule before dollar & cents.
What price more, a human life or a richie exclusive, private bungalow of millionaire lifestyle?

Ho Ho Ho

Ho πŸ˜† Ho πŸ˜† Ho πŸ˜†

πŸ˜† YEE HAAAA…. keep it up πŸ’‘ PAKATAN RAKYAT πŸ’‘ yang BERJIWA RAKYAT …. πŸ˜† n 😳 SHAME ON U GILAkan K…. 😳

Ho πŸ˜† Ho πŸ˜† Ho πŸ˜†


Contrary to what Geelakin say, LGE and PR did listen to the people.


Gerakan K could join the 18,000 to hijrah out of Penang island.