The Malaysian Insight did a series of articles on Penang recently, and as part of their journalistic work, they asked me what I thought about the civil society response to what is happening here. This is what I told them:
In the 2018 general election, the opposition parties in Penang received a drubbing and are either demoralised or ineffective now.
Penang civil society activists and concerned individuals including young people have stepped up to fill this vacuum by highlighting issues close to their hearts especially over-development and hillside development.
Part of this is motivated by the concern about [and even fear of] floods and landslides created by over-development, the lack of sensible planning, the mega projects under the RM46bn transport proposal for Penang and massive land reclamation.
I see this activism so soon after the general election as sign of the blossoming of a green movement. In a sense, this environmental concern has been there for a long time eg the Save Penang Hill Campaign around 1990 and the Stop the Penang Outer Ring Road project in the early noughties.
At that time, the opposition political parties in the state were around to pick up on these issues, so ordinary people had some back-up. Now the political opposition in the state has all but been wiped out, and many ordinary people have no choice but to speak up for themselves – and they are doing just that – filling the political vacuum in the state.
[It is not just NGOs making noise now; more and more ordinary people are stepping up to the plate, among them the 17,000-plus individuals who have signed an online petition opposing the controversial Pan Island Link. This dwarfs another petition in support of the mega transport proposal that has received just over 12,000 signatures.]
As environmental issues grow in importance in the face of over-development and with climate change manifesting itself, I expect the green movement in Penang (and the rest of Malaysia) to grow and become even more vocal to fill up the vacuum left behind by opposition political parties.
[Gazing into my crystal ball, I predict the green movement will eventually converge with grassroots groups championing the struggles of ordinary workers in Malaysia – for what we have now is largely an economic system that exploits both the ecology and ordinary workers in the quest for ever-increasing corporate profits for a few.]
|Please help to support this blog if you can.
Read the commenting guidlelines for this blog.
I hope Penang can have a wetland reserves like Sungai Buloh reserves of Singapore:
Directly opposite this Singapore’s wetland reserve is Johor’s Fanta Bay and Lido Beach, the coastlines are being actively reclaimed for expensive condominium projects, not affordable for locals. What a contrast across the Straits of Johor. Can we which country is serious in protecting its nature reserves.
Sorry, it should be Danga Bay, not Fanta Bay due to auto spelling of Google.
Pg wetland is in seberang. Of course seberang is like in perak state. Can have one in reclaimed land
The Malaysian nature Society, Birdlife international, and local authorities have been campaigning for the Teluk Air tawar to Kuala muda mangroves as a wetland reserve.
Ocean Shock: Big aquaculture bulldozes Borneo
Malaysian businessman known as “King Wong,” has bulldozed swaths of mangroves in the Tombonuo’s homeland in northern Borneo to make space for plastic-lined ponds filled with millions of king prawns.
The adjacent Mandai mangrove and mudflats, a rich feeding ground for migratory birds and home to the vulnerable Mangrove Horseshoe Crab, will become Singapore’s newest nature park in mid-2022.
Meanwhile the opposite end at Johor Bahru coastline will see more high end condominiums to be built as Iskandar Waterfront living – much bigger scale than The Light in Penang.
Reformasi movement started in 1998 and bore fruits in 2018, 20 years later.
Don’t be disheartened as Penang Green movement to bear results 20 years, and future Penanglang will remember Anil as one of the pioneer influencer. cheers kopi o.
Penang Literacy Month in November. Good moment for “Green Movement” to publish “green” documents for public accompanied by “green” concert at Esplanade Speakers Corner.
Long time no speaking moments under the trees at Padang Esplanade.
Anil and Francis can have book signings there for your book “Regime Change in Malaysia” updated with extra chapter on “Regime Change in PH with M reverse takeover of UMNO”.
To draw the crowds, include free acoustic unplugged performances by Penang artists like Dasha Logan with Nicol David.
Also please find sponsor to provide free kopi kaw kaw!
Plus don’t expect incentives like Dr M has said. Need to work for it and don’t expect kopi o falls down from sky.
Reformasi movement may have finally achieved the ouster of BN but after that, reformasi of what? I don’t see much of it or any serious moves towards to make life better for citizens, in terms of protecting and advancing the interests or workers and in protecting and conserving the environment, despite Penang and Selangor having Pakatan state governments since 2008. Looks like business as usual. BTW. I bought the book “Regime Change in Malaysia” at MPH about two weeks back but first read through Billion Dollar Whale and am now about two-thirds through Prof. Dr. Edmund Terence Gomez book –… Read more »
U dont see umno frogs are jumping? Jib call for teh tarik. PH gomen going sign un anti discriminates. Of with you voting umno for 60 years changes take time. First how about you? U change too?
Do not forget the RED factor: Parti Bunga Raya is wooing Umno kataks, in a bid to increase its presence in PH, in view of the ongoing infighting within PKR.
M reverse takeover UMNO to increase stakes in PH, a new order to make PKR and DAP think twice about the emerging UMNO 3.0 government?
Penang Green movement still green and its young members take time to mature to understand the dominance of Nusantara World.
“… its young members take time to mature to understand the dominance of Nusantara World.”
Yes, what you see, is NOT what you get in Malaysian politics – a point often missed by many Malaysians, schooled in western democratic ideals, models and practices.
Others such as Raggie Jessy (The Third Force) have predicted even more convoluted reverse takeover and realignments of alliances and political manouvers ahead, including the possibility that Anwar may not become the next PM.
So much has happened after PRU14, the acceptance towards Tun M is starting to waver after he is opening his party for Umno frogs. Also very strange that he is reviving the crooked bridge plan and 3rd national car project when the country is in hugh debt as claimed. Meanwhile DSAI still show no sign of uniting the two factions in his party. PH is not maturing into a good government, but displaying signs of weaknesses and rake at is losing confidence when Ringgit is weakening and the KLSE index has plunged. Hope to see more political analysis in his… Read more »
If Bersatu indiscriminately let UMNO people to crossover (hop over, I mean, like frogs) to them, Bersatu is in danger of becoming the next corrupted UMNO party. That will betray the people’s trust. Many of the UMNO people are opportunists who just want to follow the money source. Malaysians didn’t vote for this. Bersatu needs to discard its racist party image. Malaysians want multi-racial parties to represent them. It’s ok if Bersatu is majority Malay, but it needs to open its doors to non-Malays too. We don’t want another UMNO racist party filled with ex-UMNO people.
It surprise me that many Pakatan supporters and anti-BN people could have believed that Mahathir would be different now, than during his first 22 years as PM. Well, now that they have let the fox into their chicken coop, they will have to face the consequences. After Anwar was sacked in 1998, anti-BN people denounced Mahathir for practising crony capitalism, well what is happening now is the purging of one set of crony capitalists and their replacement with another set aligned with the taikor. That said, I must admit that I cannot help admire Mahathir’s mastery of strategy and tactics… Read more »
The fox is in umno coop now full of frogs.
U don’t know he is almost 100 years old. APA lagi mahu?
Green movement may be mistaken as PAS gelombang hijau. So better choose alternate wording, just a suggestion.
actually think about it,it is not a bad idea at all, lim mahhui and hadiah wang can be a fresh and potent combination. both are green and want to be clean…
Enjoy Penang Memories now, as in future the sweet memories can be marred by uncontrollable number of private motor vehicles jamming the road and choking the environment with carbon.
I don’t trust this Greener, Cleaner, Safer Penang CAT slogan for all its bluffs, pretension & at-odds-with-itself arrogance + publicity. This greener, cleaner insincere copycat after Lee Kuan Yew’s genuine push for Singland in the 60s will never ever see the trees grow back on Botak Hill, neither save the deteriorating hillsides of insane ravages in the holy CAT name of development nor resurrect the already extinct Gurney Drive beach of public recreational accessibility. Never in the long history of Penang was there so much environmental carnage like what we witness today of daylight rapes of pristine hillsides ignored (even… Read more »
CM Chow can give good incentives for Hollywood to make Fantasy Island reboot in Penang Island.
Can show the world Penang can match any other tropical islands with Green tag.
How about having tree planting day in Penang?
Unfortunately most landed homes prefer to concretise their front porch and also the front of their homes for car park space. Water cannot flow properly to drain causing flash flood.
Yes that is really sad.
Sad because Penang Forum cannot encourage tree planting?
If you have the time, go to Bangkok Lane to see the numerous secret gardens of many private homes, which with limited space managed to have some delightful gardens not fenced up so anybody can enjoy unlike the fenced up Padang Dato Keramat after some expensive installation of an underground piping drainage system that doesn’t seem to work wonders.
Bangkok Lane is famous not just the overpriced mee goreng. Domestic and foreign tourist after savouring meeting goreng now may flood the private homes to witness the plants and eventually the locals may not have access to enjoy the plants, can only smell the aroma of flowers and mee goreng gravy.
Penang Forum can gain good publicity and support if it could organise tree planting and re-turfing of botak hills.
Only to be ripped up and bulldosed by some developer later.
Every time you return home sweet home, you blind to see built by developer??
No choice because each landed household typically has 2-3 cars.
It looks like the problem begins with Penang lang themselves.
Don’t trust, then you do it. But I don’t trust you do it. All can do is blow water..
Lynas Corp has been granted an extension to a temporary permit to store residue at its Malaysian site, pushing its shares up more than 8%.
How green can PH be?
Leow now smiling “he he he” as PH grants Lynas operation.
The future of Pulau Kukup in Johor as a Ramsar Convention ‘Wetland of International Importance’ site is now in question after the Johor government cancelled its status as a national park.
Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) vice-president Vincent Chow said he was upset about the decision as it would also affect its international status as a Ramsar Site.
You still think fish farming is good to the environment, economical to make greater profits & justifiably supply more to global demand?
You’d better think again, again & again.
Read: Ocean Shock: Big aquaculture bulldozes Borneo
Green movement or car movement? They drive cars or use bicycle walk or use public buses?
Green movement champions should refrain from driving if possible, and switch to Rapid or Cycling.
If Anil, Salma and Lim May Hui more visible to public eyes doing so, then they walk the talk and easier to gain public acceptance of their green ideas.
We need safe cycle lanes to encourage more people to cycle.
What an excuse!
Pg forum wants to band highways but in western green movements compel highway authority to include cycle lanes because there are enough space. But try to have cycle lanes in build up areas, who is willing to surrender his front or back of his house?
You mean pg bicycle lanes has accidents and serious casualties?
Green movement outside Pilau Mutiara not able to save cricket development?
Developer still on top?
Mr Green Teh Yee Cheu garnered 223 votes out of an electorate of 27k in the last election. he think he is hero where obviously most view him as zero…hehe..is that the “RISE” you are talking about??
The is a good person, but he joined the wrong party at GE14.
What’s the right party then when both BN and Pakatan parties have shown themselves to be more or less the same.
Then you go and form another party or join the socialist left.
No he should extract concessions and implement strict controls in hillslopes development.
ya right, when lost blame the party, when win never thank the party instead back stab them…so much about this good person..
He dared to cross the line, not to toe the line of DAP arrogance.
With conscience for what should be right, not bodek for self-preservation at the expense of the people who voted with expectations in their TB constituency.
Who dared to stand up to Niao Kong???
Small … can shout and scream and no need to take responsibility as compare to one managing. Even anil goes not want to be part of political party.