Open letter to new Penang Island mayor


Penang Forum has written a congratulatory letter to the new mayor of Penang Island which also outlines the group’s grave concerns over recent developments and trends.

Dear Datuk Patahiyah Ismail

It is with great pleasure that the Penang Forum Steering Committee greets the news of your appointment as the new mayor of the Penang Island City Council (MBPP).

We wish to heartily congratulate you and we look forward to an open administration that will seek public feedback and consultation prior to the planning and approval of major projects affecting the daily lives of ordinary Penang islanders.

Penang Forum urges you to display, obtain feedback on, and gazette the much delayed Local Plans as an urgent priority. The City cannot be allowed to continue to grow in this current haphazard fashion where pressure groups, vested interests and politicking have drastically altered established housing patterns.

Our hills are being raped; land reclamation is altering our coastlines beyond recognition; there are proposals to eliminate critical sea grass beds; siltation is destroying our beaches; fishing grounds shrink by the day; and our waters are being polluted. There has been little regard for inadequate infrastructure and current residents’ needs and concerns.

Densities and plot ratios have been increased alarmingly, again with no regard whatsoever for the historicity of the area, the environmental concerns, or the ability of the area to support the new densities.

Penangites are growing more alarmed when every week brings a new high-rise block, and viable public transport remains a distant dream. We can no longer live with the traffic situation and the horrific demands on our daily lives brought about by this breakneck speed of unplanned development.

Penang Forum would like to urge a moratorium on new development densities and further land reclamation and hill-cutting until the Local Plan is in place, until the people of Penang have had a voice in the planning of our city.

We look forward to a ‘Brave New World’ from you, Datuk Mayor, and wish you well. You have the ability and the power to make a difference in our lives and to improve the status of our island to one that will be the envy of others.

With best wishes

Penang Forum Steering Committee

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Jimmy Hwang

It saddens me to see the so called development in Penang. Development does not mean just constructing tall buildings. In fact it is destroying the lustre of the Pearl of the Orient. The sea water is polluted, air quality being compromised, green lung being destroyed and inadequate infrastructure to cope with the ever increased traffic. There are many instances that the Planning department do not acknowledge objection letters to development. So one wonders whether objections raised are taken into consideration when deciding planning applications. EIA reports and traffic assessment reports are submitted by developers which are of course tilted in… Read more »

TL Man

The difference between a developer and an environmentalist. The environmentalist is one who has already developed his state yesterday. The developer is planning to develop the state tomorrow . Penang is still not developed to its full potential. I am also wondering who was behind all that UN Heritage status when the old building were still in the original state. Today they cannot even remove one plank from those buildings without UN approval. Before we go for all lofty goals clean up the state. Land reclamation is not going to destroy Penang. It is garbage on the streets that is… Read more »


Dear Madame Mayor Patahiyah Ismail. Taniah to your recent appointment as Penang Island first mayor. This is an opportunity to address some issues to your attention & we hope your trusted leadership & stewardship can bring about changes to the present state of over-development without a Local Plan. We don’t need no giant joss-sticks everywhere (towering high-end condos) We don’t need no earth suffocations (concrete pavements) We don’t need no Kojak haircuts (Botak hills) We don’t need no wildebeest stampedes (traffic jams) We don’t need no losing another Madame (heritage Madame Pykett mansion) We don’t need no prostitution of land… Read more »

gk ong

good list but not sure if they are the KPI of the Mayor, but I hope the Mayor could take the initiative.


The Mayor is human & woman. The accountant state executive is Money Face Arrogance. To say who holds the power to decide & sell the dreams of Penangites or ultra-fancies of developers is beyond academics of Komtar Tower of power. What we hope for is sanity of state development back to the drawing boards & not in the money board rooms of developers. The difference of state management for good or for hell lies in knowing what type of development to pursue with Penangites in mind foremost, & not development for the sake of development for the sake of development.… Read more »