How did Jalan Paya Terubong get flooded after ’30 minutes’ rain?


Look at the terrain in the satellite image above of the surrounding hills and you will not be surprised that Paya Terubong was flooded after just half an hour of rain yesterday.

The image is of Paya Terubong facing the south of Penang Island. On the left, you can see Botak Hill and on the right are more degraded hills. Look at those degraded patches on the hills; most of them are above 250 feet above sea level, the threshold beyond which development is not allowed. (The thin white line is the 250-feet contour.)

Perhaps now you can see why flood waters rose so fast. It was the worst flooding in years.

Paya Terubong floods September 2015c

Paya Terubong floods September 2015b

Paya Terubong floods September 2015a

Even near USM, on the east of Botak Hill, water levels rise much faster these days whenever there is a downpoor, flooding a couple of basement-level car parks.

These flash floods are another reason why it is so important to protect the hills of Penang from being degraded.

Elsewhere, Balik Pulau and Bayan Lepas (see below) too were were hit by flash floods.

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Gopal Raj Kumar

It is hypocritical for those of you ho subscribe to this blog forum to ask such questions as why. Why? because of the climate change propaganda you advocate with the opposition and those NGO’s who support you. Why does it flood like this. Well if you are an engineer you may have learned about the Q5 level of rainfall. There is also the unbridled environmental degradation by developers, the majority o who are DAP cronies who get their licenses and their special status as being Chinese in DAP Chinese dominated Penang. In short this is a pathetic attempt at finding… Read more »


racist tone again. sime darby golden hope has palm oil plantations in indon. who approve drainage plans? state jps and who works there?

Gopal Raj Kumar

So what if they do have plantations in Indonesia. How does that morally justify anything. Whats racist about it? If tomorrow it was decided that because of oil palm plantations and the fires Malaria and dengu has been cured you would not call the reference to Chinese racist would you. You do not know the meaning of the word racist. You would not know the meaning of racist if it were shoved down your throat. Go widen your vocabulary and get a life.


You utter racial to tone. What you know about engineering? Pmp , ari. You sleep when rawang town in selangor suddenly flood. You do not know why?


Business man can be any race. I remind you what did union carbide the yankees did to bhopa in india and what kind of compensation the next of kins received? What had indian gomen done to help? You dont need to show off your english with hitting below the belt. If you are a politician, you will carry on with hitting abd snipping the character


You do that in Petaling Street, you better watch out what you said!


Why must Gopal talk like Jamal Yunos?
Stop seeing things with your racial bias.


That’s always the problem with Penang hillside development. Developers at the bottom of the hill will build storm water drain only sufficient for his own development. Years later, the developers higher up will face with difficulties expanding the downstream storm water drain as there’s insufficient land clearance etc. So what do they do? Just connect it to the existing downstream storm water drain without any expansion!

OM Saigal

I studied ‘Soil Erosion’ under Jasin Secondary Geography Teacher Tara Singh in 1971 and still understand that the project managers do not care about basic landcare!! No floods
if all was well done with terraced/contoured drainage……


In australia they prefer let rain seeps into the grd to recharge groundwater than thow and waste in the pacific ocean and raise the sea level.
It is a matter of regulation and enforcement on soil erosion. The new (actually old) drainage guideline allows certain depth maybe 6 inches for dentention on roads and more in playing fields to prevent flooding in diwnstream


Bukit Gambier area no report of flash flood?
Many high rise concrete on the slope, and I may skip taking RapidPenang 302 to avoid potential flood hazard now monsoon is gearing up!


Eco friendly world condo from RM888k up there now a risky investment? Developers do they stay on to maintain the area after s&p agreements????
Mainland houses my choice for retirement [email protected]


Did jps request the engr to implement mesra guideline. Discharge in pre development = post development. There will no extra discharge. How much to build a holding tank. Chip chip


The ‘Discharge’ is now a new tourist attraction to be known as ‘Teh Tarik Waterfall’?


Some engineers are not very smart. Some holding tanks are designed in such a way that the inlet and outlet are at the same level at the top of the tank. The tank will hold water permanently as the discharge point is at the top.. defeat the function of holding tank, and it will become a mosquito breeding tank instead.


10-15 years back penang Island was livable state. i decided to stay and live after my studies. Now know one knows whats going to happen in this forsaken island.Developers is to blame for their action, worst case they might get off with some petty fine which is a pinch from what they are making. It’s all about license approval and project approval, not forgetting enforcement. I’ve called to MPPP multiple times to raise the matters and report taken but rectification, only GOD knows about it. I’ve only received text message saying report taken and warning letter will be sent to… Read more »


Surrounded by hills on the left & right, high gradient slopes, botak patches & no monsoon drains (like in George Town) to channel rain water – we have an environment ready for unprecedented flash floods now & in the future. Had it rained continuously for another few more hours, even Farlim township & Ayer Itam market would have been flooded with cats & dogs & catfishes! Even the 2 retention ponds in Paya Terubong couldn’t handle the fast run off of excess flood water like Kopi + Susu. The furiousity of the ‘instantly created’ rivers of water & mud reminded… Read more »


The problem is the developers … on the hill top did not develop proper drainage system after they alter the landscape for their high-priced housing project?

james k

Yes…2 high-rise projects in the vicinity causing poor drainage…more enforcement needed against them.

gk ong

Can you please name the projects?


Yes, the developers are always after the profits only. After each development, sweet bye and bye, you mati your business!!!

Cat, cat, cat, please stop all hillside developments immediately, before the whole penang is flooded, in that case humans and strays go hand in hand !!!


Farlim township was better planned in terms of traffic flow & drainage than Paya Terubong. The present haphazard housing development in Paya Terubong shows what the state town planning is doing or not doing right compared to Ah Koon’s time. Maybe they should lawat sambil belajar from the Farlim Group. If you drive thro’ Farlim main traffic junction, you will see a sizeable green patch dotted with willowy & shady tall trees which provides an open space for relaxation as well as a ‘sponge’ to absorb all the carbon monoxide of the daily traffic. Where else can you find such… Read more »