Komtar tree-hacking: More than meets the eye


From what I hear, the project work going on outside Komtar, in which trees were hacked, has been undertaken without the approval of the council.

This is part of a priority project to upgrade Komtar which, I gather, will probably see the area near the large outdoor staircase being turned into F & B outlets.

The upgrading work is to be undertaken by a private firm, believed to be a hypermarket.

An application for the upgrading work was submitted to the one-stop centre (OSC) last November.

But, from what I understand, the only approval given was for some retiling work. If that is what the ongoing work is all about, surely they could have left the trees alone.  A related question is, will the upgrading work reduce public space?

How could trees be chopped at the door-step of the state government and the council?

Could the state authorities clarify if approval has been given for the upgrading work now going on. Even though the state government may view the Komtar upgrading as a priority project, they shouldn’t be chopping trees just like that, especially if the approval was only for retiling.

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Development is for the people benefits. It create opportunities and jobs for the people. Sometime you need to have some sacrifices… You cannot forever lived in the jungle. In the 70s, NGO, CAP and many other decries the chopping and clearing of trees and padi field in the Bayan Lepas areas. If the government have not done so, Penangites would be eating crumbs and living in slums just like Burma now… The Penang government i already enviromental friendly by discouraging the use of plastic bags every Monday in supermarket. This is the first and many steps taken….

rebuilding or upgrading?

Chong, I would think that this article is being cool in asking the relevant questions in response..not being cool would be to condemn and provoke to high heaven without first trying to understand. Is this rebuilding? What is rebuilding? A clear case of rebuilding is when a place is damaged from tsunami and you need to demolish the rubble before rebuilding. Cutting trees us hardly falls under that reasoning. And if you really need to cut the trees, perhaps ask why in the first place such a design or planning was approved. Progressive architects/developers aim at working with the environment… Read more »


or they want to bonsai those trees…


Don’t anti development for the sake of anti. get the whole picture first. the trees were not naturally there at the first place. they might plant more trees with the Komtar revival scheme.

my point is… to rebuild, you must first demolish.

be cool.


No wonder we can’t improve, Western and European countries are trying to preserve the environments, but we chop those trees like its nobody’s business, I wonder these companies know the importance of trees? Don’t think they do, in their mind its only $$$ and more $$$..

heng Neoh

This is a serious crime.Those responsible should be hunted down & put in jail.
14th December 2008


well why doesnt anyone write to MPPP n Chow Kon Yeow, MP for Tanjung area n Ng Wei Aik, ADUN for KOMTAR n have them answer those allegations……

samson wong

Has Ganesh and Han2 ever taken a walk at the mall outside Komtar. I dont think so. The place is so quiet and infested with undesirable elements and no one wants to wonder out there. Now MPPP and the PDC management are doing some improvement to brighten up and perhaps plant more decorative trees. Give them some space to complete the project before critising. Incidentally trees along Scotland Road and Jalan Masjid Negeri has killed more people in road accidents.

Ong Eu Soon

If they want to re-tile the place, they should always keep this in mind; reduce impervious surface with permeable and porous pavements, create bio-retention with nice landscape. Make the developer a good corporate citizen! All this can help reduce storm water runoff and contribute to solving flash flood problem in the long run. Not simply chop off the trees, waste money and make the public angry! This state government still has a long way to learn. Wasted opportunity!


I passed by the area this afternoon… I am very, very, very angry when I saw the trees…. I believe the way they have been hacked (not pruned) are getting them ready to be pulled out / uprooted using the bulldozers soon, I think the state government has a lot to answer for this! This is the most stupid thing to happen and its happening right in front of the doorstep of the state government!


Me must value trees as it gives us oxygen. Me must emulate Singapore, where each tree, is cherished and have a certificate.

Now you know why Mahathir says we are unlikely to achieve Vision 2020.