10 alarming images from Penang they don’t want you to see

Photograph: Daniel Lee

Ever since the fatal landslide and the floods in Penang, I have received or seen photos from about half a dozen concerned Penangites.

For some reason, many of our newspapers and media portals have not shown us most of these scenes in all their ‘glory’. I am posting these photos so we can think about the type of development we want for Penang and the type we don’t want.

Exposed cliff: The sand from the face of this sheer cliff in Tanjung Bungah appears to have been washed off, exposing the rock surface:

Photograph: A concerned resident of Penang

Collapsed river bank: The river bank at this housing project below appears to have collapsed. Look how close the house is to the edge of the river. This is one reason why developers shouldn’t build too close to the river banks or encroach into river reserves:

Photographer: Another concerned Penangite

The mainstream media have largely avoided showing the scarring of hill slopes. The following are photos somewhere at the top of the hill.

A naked spot in the distance: The photograph below was taken on 6 November 2017, after the storm had wreaked havoc in Penang.

Photograph: tunglang

A close-up of the same photo:

Photograph: tunglang

Oh no, what do we have here! A landslide somewhere around the hill top:

Landslides at Penang Hill – Photographer: Unknown

What a mess! This eyesore is the area around the ‘paired road’ in Paya Terubong:

Photograph: Glamorous Mesh

What’s going on? More hill cutting, this one also in Paya Terubong, I believe:

Photographer: Unknown

The lone tree: This photo was taken on 14 February 2016: A lone tree sits on a slope around the Chee Seng Garden area in Tanjung Bungah:

Photo taken by a concerned nearby resident

Said the photographer: “I clearly recall that tree in the centre sitting on a 10-metre high island; everything around it had be levelled down and carted off. Now that I study the details, it looks like the island wall is man-made with cut rocks… The other side of the island drops 10 metres down again. Splendid isolation; very weird.”

Another landslide: This is around the site of the ‘paired road’ in the Tanjung Bungah area – before any construction of the road has begun:

Photograph: Daniel Lee

Scary: How precarious is this?

Photograph: Daniel Lee

Flashback – A disaster waiting to happen: The area around the quarry site in Penang in November 2016, almost a year before the landslide:

Photograph: Daniel Lee

Thanks to those who sent me these photos and to the other photographers who are unknown.

So why haven’t the media shown you most of these images? Is this the kind of development we want for Penang?

(Before BN supporters start pointing fingers at Penang, take a good hard look at the kind of development going on in your own states as well.)

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William Shen

Such scary pictures will scare away investors, in the end Penang will also suffer. Wait and see.

Eric Kuek

Office space glut entirely a gov’t creation As Kuala Lumpur trundles headlong into a massive oversupply of commercial space, including offices and shops, one way to ameliorate the effects is to delay the projects by 1MDB and Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB), who will jointly add 25 million square feet in the coming years. This, plus the freeze on new developments ordered by the government may help to keep commercial development in check and avoid a major oversupply in future years, which could see as much as one-third of offices unoccupied and possible failure of some commercial developments. Read more at… Read more »


Moody’s Investors Service expects a material decline in property prices in Malaysia in the event of a protracted period of supply overhang as market valuation adjusts. In its credit outlook issued on Monday, it pointed out that in such a scenario, the quality of housing loans with high loan-to-value (LTV) ratios are most at risk. “We understand from our rated banks in Malaysia that 20%-30% of mortgages booked each year have LTV ratios of 90% or higher at the time of origination. “Furthermore, we believe that suspending new property development will not correct the oversupply situation over the next five… Read more »


Pg lost in direction. Blame on Hill cutting and ignore what they do everyday, slowly and surely has adverse impact on climate change. Pg lang forget record even ah pek has not seen over 300mm of rain fall and ferry thrown up.
This is what happen to pg with over 300mm rainfall. Pg lang thinks they can flush longkang with a spoonful of sugar


Certain people are reminiscing hoping to have Gerakan back to Penang? But Umno-BN could cause more damage. Already atheist are not allowed.


During Gilakan, they are lucky. Plenty of flat land and can give to parties under so call social and community work and sell low but cost high to consumers. When Ph took over, most of the flat ground are gone and remain those on Hill.

Abdul Jalil

Notice how the vegetations on the river bank beside the newly built bungalows in picture 2 had been stripped of all vegetations and the sole remaining tree poisoned.On the opposite side of the river the shrubs and trees are still luscious and thereby the bank is still intact.There is no supervision at all by the relevant authorities,the developer and the consultants of this project.


Don’t think it is a strip tease show. Cant you see a pipe on right hand side and discharge to a stagnant stream. Owners must be cheap skate. Can spend millions on bldg but not hundreds on planting grass? Apparently the house is still incomplete.

Wonder Woman

Why complain? Penang lang wanted Bersih and the rains cleaned the rivers and their homes.


Please do not make the disaster a laughing matter.


About RM35.5b in unsold, unutilised properties in Malaysia Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/11/23/about-rm35pt5b-in-unsold-unutilised-properties-in-malaysia/#AHldeobci8AfFcXk.99 Malaysia has unsold and unutilised properties with an estimated value of RM35.5bil and every effort must be made to absorb this, said the Association of Valuers, Property Managers, Estate Agents and Property Consultants in the Private Sector Malaysia (PEPS). The government’s freeze on housing, mall and office space is “a wake-up call to the developers not to overbuild” and to buyers, to be “more discerning and selective” in their choice of purchase, PEPS said in response to Bank Negara’s statement last week that the country has a decade-high… Read more »


Ah pek, when is the lelong? Buy one get one free? That will be very laku. Btw, singland has very impressive growth. You must be worried. More will buy heritage houses. Better to shift airport to kedah. Otherwise they can come to pg less than a footy match


Still in denial! But who cares what’s your opinion, full of shrieks!!! And incomprehensible noise!
Shriek aka Zoro! Ha, ha, ha!


Ah pek, try harder. You have nothing to say.


Tengku Adnan had confirmed that the 1MDB-linked Bandar Malaysia and Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) would not be affected by the freeze on property approvals for condominiums, serviced apartments, offices and shopping complexes priced above RM1 million.

Tengku Adnan said that the two projects had already received approval ‘in principle’ and could not be stopped from developing.

I suppose the same exception also applies to Forest City?


Most Malaysians cannot afford property costing above RM250K due to low purchasing power of Ringgit.


The large number of unsold properties is due to the mismatch between the prices of new launches and households’ affordability. Over the period 2016 to 1Q 2017, only 21% of new launches were for houses priced below RM250,000. This is insufficient to match the income affordability profile of about 35% of households in Malaysia.



A certain influential person in Johor is worried his development with PRC could be derailed by new Umno-BN policy?


This is one effect if “inequality” – a polite way of referring to poverty. The noveau riche believe their high status requires a higher physical level for their homes, clubs and even graves. In return for political and other finance, legislators produce toothless laws. Since Independence, how many real-estate developers have been jailed for workmen’s deaths, collapses or hundreds of fraudulent schemes? Finger-pointing and shrill politics continues to obfuscate the crime of very little housing that is genuinely affordable for the majority. Federal govt. announced “PR1MA” scheme of 50,000 so-called affordable homes in 2013 Budget, 80,000 in 2014 Budget, 80,000… Read more »

PolitiScheiss (a.k.a. IT.Scheiss)

So true. Malaysian politics is all about race, religion, 1MDB, Altantuya, MRT including MRT3 now, Scorpene submarines, littoral combat ships, AirAsia versus MAS, etc., etc. etc but not matters which directkly affect the ordinary people.

Soon we will have tent cities like the developed CAPITALIST nations which have practiced NEO-LIBERAL policies, especially since Thatcher and Reagan.


Talk so easy. You can start the ball rolling and talk about local and cost of living issues. Easy for you since you have experience in getting signed petition to Ph gomen. Try signed petition to central gomen?

Ho Hia Tee

Anil may want to publish James Fitzpatrick’s Traveltalks on George Town Pride of Penang video which show colonial times Penang Island when the hills were intact and the transport modes then should be very appealing to those who wish to be back in time (tram).

I received the video clip in my whatsapps and believe many have seen it too


Those property speculators and kiasu herd mentality buyers are as responsible as the developers of hilly housing projects. No willing buyers no willing sellers no approving authorities.

PolitiScheiss (a.k.a. IT.Scheiss)

Let the prices of their properties crash.


People on the street wish for the crashing of Barang Naik so as to sustain live with ease less pressure.

Janet Saw

More Alena Lau more thanks

Alena Lau

cannot post photo here

Alena Lau

You want more photos?

Christina Doss

When the buying stops, the building will too.

Khun Pana

Extremely true to that. No Demand equates to No Supply. Buyers of such properties are considered to be educated. They drives, they uses the internet, play with smartphones but lacking in common sense. By going to school getting an education does not translate to anything . Maybe it serves them right. When incident do and does happens. Landslides and floods could be artificial induce by human and can be acts of nature. Or a combination of both incurring at the same time. They make great loud demands and noises blaming everybody else and the sky above. Similar to buying a… Read more »


Cosmopolitan Penang (Frenzied) has gone wrong somewhere starting from the PTMP Funding. The zealousness of cosmo-building via PTMP funding + unsavoury swap deals, & Speedy-Gonzales approvals of property development were not thoroughly examined but rushed thro’ which resulted in what we see today – botak hills, landslides, mudslides, collapsed hill roads, muddy-floodings, deaths, dying seas, hotter atmospheric temperature, & unprecedented cutting of hill slopes in Penang. Without the Penang Local Plan, it seemed the making hay while the sun shines by greedy developers was too good to miss out from as far as SingLand. But who cares??? It may take… Read more »


Yes if there is the pg local plan, the sky will not open up over 300mm of rainfall. The pg local plan can control the amount of rainfall like kitchen tap?


People had stopped buying in Islander JB now has surplus housing. But Penang may still be attractive to investors since land is limited on the island?


The property market in Penang is still attractive and not as portrayed by the Federal Government, said state Housing, Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo. Responding to Finance Minister II Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani’s announcement that luxury property developments priced above RM1mil will be frozen due to high number of overhang, he said it should not be generalised as Penang still recorded the highest sales among four urban states in the country. “We do not deny that the property market has slowed. Penang currently records 41% in sales performance followed by Johor (36%), Selangor (26%) and… Read more »