It is becoming increasingly difficult for the fisherfolk of Tanjung Tokong to go out fishing, thanks to the 760-acre land reclamation and property development project off Tanjung Tokong and the 130-acre reclamation project along Gurney Drive for another property development project and an eight-lane highway, with Gurney Wharf thrown in.
So, much of our fish has to be imported – and this in a state that is almost surrounded by the sea.
Please ‘like’ the Tanjung Tokong fisherfolk’s Facebook page.
And this is what’s left of the Runnymede property, the area where Stamford Raffles once lived:
The photo below is from a Teluk Bahang hill-top, taken from a Star report:
And what’s happening to the trees here along Lebuhraya Thean Teik (near the Caltex and MacDonald’s, parallel to the police quarters)?
The photo below shows a hill-slope near Jalan Chan Siew Teong in Tanjung Bungah, where almost half the road appears to have given way. What do you think is the gradient of that slope? I thought they are not supposed to mess with slopes with a gradient of more than 25 degrees?
And check out this botak hill on the mainland, somewhere not far from Juru. What’s going on there?
I am just showcasing a smattering of what is happening with our natural and built heritage. (I haven’t included in this post the original Botak Hill, the Paya Terubong hill-cutting, all the other hill-clearings you can see and the impending massive land reclamation off southern Penang Island.)
As you can see, what is happening affects the land, the sea, the hills. It is not as if the population of Penang is increasing rapidly and there is a great demand for more land to be cleared. So what is driving all this?
I am highlighting what’s going on in Penang because this is where I am, but you can see the same thing happening in many other parts of Malaysia, including the BN-ruled states.
Perhaps there is a philosophical or metaphysical angle to all this. Where do we see ourselves in the larger scheme of things? Are we called to subjugate Nature or live in harmony with it? Have we lost our balance?
This is not being anti-development. The question is, what sort of development do we want? And development for whom? Who profits financially and who bears the social and environmental costs?
Is the solution political change or does the change first begin with how we view ‘development’ and what kind of development model we want?
Do we want a development model that is in harmony with the environment and tries to keep the ecological balance or do we want a model that allows corporations and others to trample all over it?