Tanjung Bunga Residents Association chairman George Aeria hands over the residents’ memo to the Penang state exco member for the environment, Phee Boon Poh – Photo by TBRA
At 3.15pm today, sirens blared and then two thunderous blasts followed by a smaller one unnerved residents of the Coastal Towers apartment blocks in Tanjong Bunga. At the nearby Straits Regency apartments, windows vibrated – even above the 10th floor
It is not surprising that residents groups from Tanjung Bunga, Penang, have joined forces to call for a ban on current and future projects on steep hill-slopes. Yesterday morning, representatives from these groups handed over a memorandum, signed by 1,558 residents, urging the Penang state government to do something.
They are not interested in stop-work orders; they want a permanent ban.
In their memo, the Chee Seng Gardens Action Committee against Dangerous Hill Slope Development and the Tanjung Bunga Residents Association also highlighted a string of abuses complete with supporting appendices and photos.
They pin-pointed the Bolton Surin project and the on-going land clearing, blasting and construction work there, which they allege is poorly supervised. The groups claim that the geotechnical report for the project was not comprehensive while the project work allegedly went beyond the scope of the report. They are especially upset over the land clearing, which they claim is being carried out even on Class IV hill slopes.
The residents groups are alarmed that the authorities have not adequately supervised the rock-blasting and the removal of rocks and soil from the construction site, and they worry that measures to prevent malaria and dengue outbreaks have been inadequate.
The two groups conclude their memorandum as follows:
Based on the above abuses by the above mentioned developer of the Bolton Surin Project development site, TBRA is in complete support of the Chee Seng Gardens Action Committee against Dangerous Hill Slope Development. TBRA fully supports their call to the State Government to review all approvals as provided to the developer for Bolton Surin in the light of the perceived abuses highlighted in this memorandum. Thereafter, TBRA joins with Chee Seng Gardens Action Committee and all other Action Committees in Tg. Bunga, such as the Solok Tan Jit Seng Action Committee against Dangerous Hill Slope Development to urge the State Government to undertake the same scrutiny for all other hill slope development projects for the entire state of Penang.
TBRA also calls upon the State Government to take all required action to determine if there has been any abuse of power to approve the land development works for lots 4204, 4165 & 4166 which is not covered under the Geotechnical Report for Lot 4189. Additionally if no permit was given, then to investigate why GLM Properties Sdn. Bhd. (the developer of Bolton Surin) was allowed for so long to undertake land development on these unapproved lots.
Additionally, as all Class III hill slopes are risky and Class IV are considered extremely dangerous to develop, we call upon the State Government to implement an immediate ban on all current & future hill slope development on Class III and Class IV hill Slopes. Banning land development on all Class III and Class IV hill slopes will be in the best interests of all residents of new property and other long time residents of existing properties in Penang. Such firm action will ensure the long term safety and wellbeing of residents are given paramount importance by this State Government.
We cannot afford to have a second Highlands Tower or a second Bukit Antarabangsa incident happen in Penang.
We believe that the measures mentioned above will be very popular measures by right thinking Penangites and it will go a long way towards proving that the DAP and Pakatan Rakyat Government of Penang is serious about making Penang a better and safer place for all in terms of land and housing development .
This memorandum calls upon the State Government to ban all current and future Class III & Class IV hill slope development projects. In support of our call to the State Government, this memorandum is accompanied and supported by 1,558 signatories of Tanjong Bunga residents, which we are handing over to the State Government simultaneously today.