Today’s entry is from a guest writer in Penang, someone concerned about the unchecked property development in the state and its devastating impact on the environment:
Heartening news today from Selangor where the new state government has announced a ban on development of hillslopes of 26 degrees gradient or more. When will Penang follow Selangor’s lead?
Those who have not driven out to Batu Ferringhi recently will be in for a shock when they see what is happening to the hill slopes above Moonlight Bay, which now perhaps deserves the name Moonscape Bay! For months bulldozers and earth-movers have denuded the hills of tree cover up to the crest line to reveal acres of bare red lateritic soil on slopes which must well exceed 26 degrees.
Approaching this scene from town the driver is welcomed by a large billboard with the words “A short drive up to paradise”(Someone sure has a warped sense of humour! — Anil). Today, when I visited the site to show a friend, the whole hillside had been draped in blue plastic sheeting, surely an acknowledgment by the developer that the work has created a massive environmental and safety problem.
And further along the Batu Ferringhi road as you approach the Fort Auchry army camp on the right, dark green construction fencing has been erected along the left-hand side of the road for a project bearing the name “Plenitude”, evidently another scheme to build on fragile hillslopes still covered with jungle.
Let’s hope the new state government takes note and puts a stop to such rapacious property development projects.