The Penang state government has responded to a front-page ‘media lynching’ by The Star over property development on hills/hill-slopes in Penang.
The state government says no projects have been approved since GE 2008 at heights more than 250 feet above sea level. If that’s true, then well done.
In the interest of transparency, the Penang government should also provide the list of the 38 hill-slope projects (along with their maximum gradients) it says were approved over the last two years. (What about the last four years?) In particular, were all such projects since 2008 in compliance with the guideline prohibiting property development on slopes steeper than 25 degrees in gradient?
Here is the statement from Guan Eng in full:
31 Development Projects Approved By the Previous BN State Government On Hill Land Above 250 Feet Compared To None By The PR State Government.
The media lynching of Penang PR State Government continues unabated
with another front-page story by The Star highlighting the rising property prices in Penang. Whilst no one disputes the rising property prices in Penang, why is it that a similar rise in property prices in BN-controlled states such as Johor and the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur have gone unnoticed and not given front-page treatment by the Star.
The Penang state government wishes to unreservedly condemn the Star for false reporting against Penang yesterday with its sensational headline of “The Dying Hills”. The hills in Penang are not dying because the present Penang PR state government has not approved a single project above 250 feet. Penang has the most stringent guidelines for hillslope safety development in the country crafted by Oxford-trained geotechnical engineer Prof Dr Gue See Sew, a former international chairman of the coordinating committee of Apec Engineers and president of the Institute of Engineers Malaysia.
Further Penang is the only state in Malaysia which bars any development on hills above 250 ft. Why then did the Star not highlight that other BN states allows development on hills above the height of 250 feet? Why did The Star refuse to publish that the present PR state government had not approved a single development order for hills above the height of 250 feet?
31 development projects were approved by the previous BN state government on hill land above 250 feet as compard to none by the present PR state government. According to Yang di Pertua MPPP Architect Patahiyah binti Ismail, there were 8 projects approved on hill land above 250 feet between 1985-2004, whilst 3 were approved in 2005, 10 in 2006, 8 in 2007 and 2 between January to March 2008.
The present PR state government did not approve a single development project above 250 ft. Even the 38 hill-slope projects approved the last 2 years for heights below 250 ft, half of of them are for open space and green areas without any building structures.
The Penang state government regrets that this stringent adherence to hillslope safety guidelines has been manipulated into a political attack against PR when other states with a clearly worse record are left off the hook. Hopefully those who are interested in fairplay would listen with an open mind and not allow themselves to be used by the BN agenda in view of the coming general elections.
LIM GUAN ENG