Alarming images of Botak Hill


This is a close-up view of what Botak Hill looks like these days. The video footage was taken by a concerned Penangite.

You can imagine the surface run-off from those badly eroded slopes and deep gullys during heavy rain.

The Penang Island City Council is supposed to be overseeing at least damage mitigation if not restoration of Botak Hill. But judging from these images, the condition looks dire.

Although hills in many other parts of the country have been scarred as well, the impact of such degradation is felt greater in Penang because of the high population density close to the hills.

A couple of nights ago, floods were reported in Sungai Ara, Bayan Baru, Relau, Bukit Jambul, Sungai Nibong, Jalan Sungai Dua and Brown Garden, among various affected places on the island and the mainland (including areas close to Bagan Specialist Centre).

Even the area around the large concrete Spice convention centre was hit.

Imagine how these repeated floods are going to affect property values of the affected homes – and insurance premiums for flood cover (if at all homes, apartment blocks, and vehicles are covered from flood damage), not to mention the mess and damage left behind.

The intensity of the rain, probably due to climate change, led to rising water levels in rivers and drains. But this was aggravated by haphazard and high-density over-development of buildings, considerable hill-slope development and the pouring of concrete and tar all over flat ground – without sufficient open spaces for ground-water absorption and adequate drainage infrastructure.

All this has been allowed to take place in the absence of the Penang Island Local Plan, which was approved by the City Council in 2008, but then never put up for public display or gazetted.

Since then, there has been a four-fold increase in maximum density allowed for new projects – from 30 homes per acre to the present 128 homes per acre. If that is not over-development, I don’t know what is.

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The problem with the guideline is that it remains a guideline with no legal implication if it is not followed. Malaysia is a nation where big breaches can be small through a process
of ‘kau-tim’ unheard in european countries. At the end of the day all the laws will be broken
and the breaches smoothened after the ‘kau-tim’ process.


More affordable housing for young Felda folks to desperately retain BN votes?

Fields has only virgin jungle to clear, no hill to cut?


The rise of the urban jungle (CNN)What do an avenue of grand oaks, a community park and a rooftop vegetable patch have in common? They can all form part of a city’s “urban forest”, which numerous studies over the past decade have concluded make people happier. And that’s not their only job: urban forests protect our cities from extreme weather, climate change and water scarcity. But with more than 70% of people expected to have squeezed into cities by 2050, this green infrastructure is under threat, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). “The cities of the… Read more »


Guidelines on urban and peri-urban forestry by FAO


Penang Forum apparently too preoccupied with botak hills that they forgot Jln Kuala Kangsar behind Chowrasta has also being Botak without permit now to trade business carried out for decades. Anil should try morning Wan Tan Mee there only RM3 but its vegetarian one.

SL Tay

Penang traders at Jln Kuala Kangsar in peaceful protest over eviction


iProperty is trying to soothe the nerve by saying that there will be no property bubble in Malaysia in the next five years. The developers are hoping that this will not scare people not to buy now.

But we all know that there is already over supply and glut.
Trust them at your peril.

The Head & The Heart

Gerakan seized the opportunity to hit Penang gomen over the flood matter caused by overdevelopment, and Lee Boon Ten shuld now contribute to to get Gerakan’s mission to discredit developers for not building environmental friendly yet cheap (RM72K per Yang) homes for penang-lang who are crying daily over this blog.

The Head & The Heart

Ferry transport matter takes a back seat to Botak matter in because Penang Forum folks don’t take ferries ?

MCA Penang boss Tan Teik Cheng being PPC Chairman needs to show his skills as his predecessors like Chua Soi Lek not able fulfill the needs of ferry users. MMC Corp with 51% stake appears not interest in ferry services, while Presarana the rest from Syed Mokhtar’s.


Tunglang you as well ask macc to investigate why hadi’s private huduf act355 is being delay again in the parliament? like Penang local plan, why you let bn .. you and put hudud act 355 behind?


Experts, consumer groups concur with minister’s ‘rent first, buy later’ Property experts and consumer associations have mostly agreed with Finance Minister II Johari Abdul Ghani’s recommendation for young Malaysians to rent houses instead of buying properties. “I recommend younger cohorts enter the rental market rather than going through the undue stress of owning a house,” Economics associate professor Poon Wai Ching told Malaysiakini. Last week, Johari recommended that young working Malaysians rent houses long-term “until they have money to make a long-term commitment (of buying houses)” because this would encourage them to focus on building their careers. In an… Read more »


Of developer’s associated party orso sell a lot of kopi tiam, mamAK shop and hawker licences. if they apply and meet all the conditions developers’ party must act like north Korea and say “no”? If no kopi tiam, tua pek Kong will starve of his happy drink

Ronald Ong

These Botak Hills could possibly be the sites of ‘My Happy Place’ projects….?

EcoWorld’s EWINT stock rose 11% (11 Sen) upon IPO on KLSE mainboard – makes many investors happy and richer overnight.


MACC turns green warrior to save environment Graft-busters form information-sharing network with experts and activists to prevent environmental degradation facilitated by graft and power abuse. PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has linked up with environmental experts and activists to fight environmental degradation caused as a result of corruption and abuse of power. They have formed the Environmental Protection and Anti-Corruption Caucus (Epacc), an information-sharing network, to curb corruption and strengthen law enforcement. “It is believed that integrated and continuous cooperation can eradicate illegal logging, pollution and illegal land-clearing. “This in turn can prevent untoward incidents such as… Read more »


Anil, ‘Submit photos’ user interface doesn’t have an upload button!


I will vote DAP in the next GE because I want to see Gurney Drive banjir. I also hope to see banjir in the tunnel.


otherwise you get more million ringgit roads after the speaker

Will Barclay

This is clearly NOT the time to quadruple the population density for any of a number of reasons including the lack of infrastructure and climate change. Denuding the hills will inevitably lead to problems with runoff and soil erosion, as it has in many other places. This is not rocket science.


the Rocket symbol of Developers’ Associated Party speaks volume for this developers’ surreal proposition of an increase in population in Penang! Anything, they can sell under the Andaman sky including Happy Homes south of the Andaman Sea.
Clearly, it’s a development science best understood & sold by political traders to willing, gullible folks!

Penang Lang

Well… Penangites still treat LGE like a deity despite several hills became botak, and reclamation rights (allegedly) given to less established players.


Of course he is deity as compare you and gilakan treat dumno like thy kingdom come. You must be very quietly happy as they have given more than 10EOTs to developers.


A simple answer – incessant over development. Anyone who passes by there will give the same comment !


They are telling there will be no flood if there is no development. So China never experience flood from yellow and Yangtze River in China’s history. Of I am always wrong and those disagree with me is always right.

Lim Kah Cheng

Time for a new govt


Time for a new chairman of State Planning Committee (SPC).
As for a new CM, let’s see this coming GE.
This is a problem when we honestly voted for a saviour politician who trumpeted the holy “Cleaner Greener Penang” but along the way turned out to be a political trader (after a bin-chui taste of MercS300Lansi) with a misleading CAT mantra-slogan.

Another choice here, call the RSPCA: 04-281 6559
This is to avoid knee-jerk reactions claiming mistreatment of a highly-worshipped CAT.


SPC is yes man for Deity.Once i told one Malay blogger the next PM should be the Deity.He save $$$ by flying AirAsia and he will save Malaysia from greedy Political Traders. I thought he is the right person.(year 2008)

How wrong am i now.

rajraman.$$$ and power change alots of peoples.A good example the Deity himself.Iron fist grip like Mahathir and MO1.
Wondering which goverment need to change.At Federal level all buaya and at State level Tiger in form of Cat.


fly airasia too cheap, ride mercs too expensive. there are always those want to win and others to lose


Yes for new Gomen and welcome more EOTs granted to developers.


Warning of ‘homeless generation’, HBA wants Rent-To-Own’ for middle-class too KUALA LUMPUR, April 3 — Putrajaya should expand “Rent-to-Own” housing schemes to cover the middle-class who are also struggling to buy homes and prevent the country from ending with a “homeless generation”, the National House Buyers Association (HBA) said. HBA honorary secretary-general Chang Kim Loong said that while there are merits to the second finance minister’s remarks last Thursday, that those seeking to buy houses should not enter into long-term financial commitment until they are ready, this should also be weighed against other factors. “However, whether such prospective house… Read more »

Ronald Ong

Just a ploy by many home owners to get rental $ for their otherwise unoccupied homes (that cannot find buyers) in order to pay off the housing loans?


stupid comment. you want to build more houses. where? in the sea or in heritage area.

SL Tay

Are we moving towards feudalistic society where the rich own homes and rent to the homeless poor?


There is a global paradigm shift from home ownership > renting where freehold title ownership is not the end of it. People want quality of life with sufficient purchasing power to enjoy decent lifestyles rather than to be a lifelong slaves to the banks of home loans.

Cheng Beng is an appropriate time to ponder on what is the meaning of life.


The video of Botak Hill looks like it’s taken from Bukit Kukus @ Paya Terubong. There is an on-going parallel hill-road construction linking to Bukit Jambul. This senseless hill slope cutting (some at more than 45 degree) warrants an ‘investigation’ (to borrow from Lim Kit Siang’s famous word) into CAT’s approval for such dangerous hill-cutting. Where is MBPP monitoring? What is the purpose of a state safety guideline as illustrated below: A safety guideline for hillsite developments of a state government has been developed with the aim of mitigating landslides and saving lives. Landslides often occur in areas with steep… Read more »


I was there just a few months ago, but could not proceed further than a No Entry Sign. But this video is showing more hill cutting? which I didn’t see then. What is the meaning of Cleaner Greener Penang? Quietly botak-ing the hills? My Observation: The present slap-on-the-wrist fine by state law is nothing for such recitrant hill cuttings to proceed by those who can easily pay such a fine. MBPP, Jabatan Perhilitan & environment agency should work together to come up with a deterrent, a law which can send any offender (i.e. the CEO of the company, not the… Read more »


what the big fuss and hue? can you understand when slope more than 25 deg get geo engineer? are you a engineer?