Malay Mail: ‘Bukit Relau land rezoned’ – State government must clarify


The Malay Mail has carried a report saying that the State Planning Committee approved the conversion of the Bukit Relau project land from hill-land to low-density residential use last year.

See the Malay Mail report here.

Two other sources had told me to look at the zoning.

This is not looking good. The state government must immediately clarify whether this report is true and if so, how could it happen?

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Stephen Tan Ban Cheng

It has been more than three full weeks since I wrote on this flippant rape of our hills in Penang. If the decision has been made to re-zone the areas involved, can someone tell me whether an Environmental Impact Report has been made?

If we cannot get the local authorities to clarify and/or explain, it is time we set up a non-governmental organisation and take to the streets. Any takers?


According to my reporter friend, the lot that was rezoned was given a land grant in 2007 by the previous state government, with a ‘none’ usage, but at that time, the land for some reason was taxed at housing-use rate. Because of this, the current administration rezoned the land last year because it was taxed since 2007. Apparently, the current state government issued the above explanation in a press statement, but somehow, it was not carried by any of the media, because I can’t find any online, only on news about charging the company for clearing the land without a… Read more »


That’s what my reporter friend told me on those details. He has the press statement with him, just that it appears no newspaper/media carried the report for some reason.

billy cudk

While we pour scorn in this space and get more responses or grouses, it would be best to turn to CM’s facebook page or his tweeter account and paste these queries for his direct attention and redress. As a turn of natural disaster has hit Penang last night the CM’s seat is now a hot seat. Showing concern and be there at the scene shows compassion and care befitting a CM. Lets hope he does the same for the amount of earth and mudflow that had creamed and swept Paya Terubong & Bukit Relau/Gambir last night too. Now do remember… Read more »


Let’s see whether the state gomen sincerely walk (the extra mile) the talk: A Cleaner, Greener Penang. And not avoid the muddied trails of questionable special projects littering the vulnerable hills with ‘blood’ (mud flow) in their hands. Lives are more important than “Money (from development) Talks”.
Calamities, the result of unsustainable development greed have no preference for where to strike. But the ordinary guys in the streets or forest trails will face the rage of Nature. No a fair proposition but true, isn’t it?

Stephen Tan Ban Cheng

Wira, I agree with your observation about Penang being hot because of the warm sea around the island up to as point. As a born-and-bred Penangite, I feel that even after factoring the effect of the warm sea, Penang should not be as hot as it is these days. Could it be because of the changing weather pattern? But, surely reducing the area of land under forests will certainly not help matters!


bythesea in batuferringhi is in the tourism development zone but why is this residential project approved?…is it because sdb cleanup the river?
the state should have done the river cleanup project so that they are not oblige to developers like this who in turn build houses for the rich and turn beachfront into private properties…who’s next to get freehand in spoiling our beaches…




Chin Farm@Batu Ferringhi with multiple waterfalls & cool water rivers was among the first victims of ‘privatized’ public recreation access. The beach @ Jubilee Camp, Teluk Bahang almost suffered similar fate. Next could be Muka Head beach with an emerald cove. (Some developer) may want to turn it into an exclusive billionaires’ hideaway by the sea from prying eyes.o
Soon there will be no beaches, no hill tracks, no jungles, no clear water rivers, not even monkeys for Penangites to enjoy.
Trespasser Warning Sign: No Money, No Walk Here.


CAT is out of the bag – pun intended

Ahmad Sorry

Be grateful. Dap gomen is 200% better than UMNO gomen.



I want to reiterate the question. Is the prohibition to construct a building higher than 250 feet restricted to high rises or to all kinds of buildings? Why should the government not approve a land conversion for low density housing if it is legally allowed to and collect the conversion fees that come with it for the state coffer? The folly here lies on the applicant who obviously started work before the necessary documents were handed in to MPPP and did not include the necessary engineering work for slope stabilisation while clearing the area for housing as allowed. For this,… Read more »

Andrew Aeria

We voted for change in 2008 and also in 2013; NOT for same! But what did we get?

How2live in Penang?

First, it was Tanjung Bungah hill erosion, then Relau, then Batu Maung, then Farlim/Paya Terubong, then Gambir Hills. All these hill raping and destruction of Nature, look unending. What next will be the other side of the island. Watch out, Balik Pulau and Sungai Pinang folks. Going on (hill raping) and on like nobody business except the rich and famous with connections to Komtar tower. If still not enough square foot to build some more, Pantai Keracut and Muka Head beach will be the next victims. Tunglang, you better put up a permanent green protest tent there just in case!… Read more »


You vote for change and you did get the change but not the change that you or many wanted I presume.

Ahmad Sobri

Stop Lim Guan Eng, Penangnites must rally to prevent its highlands from being butchered!

Without those hills, Penang will be hit by strong typhoons, massive floodings.

Stop Lim Guan Eng, let us rally Penangnites!


You was so kaisu, so afraid to vote against LGE, refused to look into the issues affecting the people. Now you want to fight after the election was over. 5 years still a long time for you to wait.


As if Barisan Nasional can do a better job protecting Penang. As if Barisan Nasional have not done enough damage since 1990 to Penang on all fronts. You guys want to vote a worse devil, go ahead. I rather vote for a lesser evil.


If one care to examine the way old bungalows were built by the colonialist British on Penang Hill, there were no main tarred roads serving individual bungalows. Beside one main hill road, the access are foot paths no wider than 5 feet & no frenzied tree clearing (which the botanist British knew were good natural sun shield). Which made Penang Hill cool, misty & beckoning millions of tourists searching for hill sanctuary. Now with greed in the play, the irresponsibles are killing 3 birds with one hill land rezone – cut trees for sale, removed top soil for sale, million… Read more »

Stephen Tan Ban Cheng

And then, besides drinking water from bottles to show this as a sign of progress, the average Penangite will complain about why the island is so hot these days, ending up by air-conditioning his or her room and thereby spending more money to keep himself or herself cool. So the so-called elites make their money but at the long term expense of the average Penangite whose quality of life takes a dip. Is that progress? I call this the Dracula syndrome. The modern day Draculas make money so that we have to spend more of our money, just like Dracula… Read more »


In the 90s, car park lots @ condos could be bought for about Rm4K for an extra lot per unit. Now, at a condo in Minden Heights, a developer smilingly charges Rm45K for a parking lot. This is one example of Dracula syndrome fleecing helpless Penangites every which way as long as it’s legit on the line of Cosmopolitan Penang lifestyle of the richie & aspiring-rich-but-going-broke-young. How true/realistic it is that the poor & middle-class-turn-nowhere-class Penangites (Anak Pulau Pinang) are economically forced to relocate to the mainland for the Ostentacious Reality Show of the Cosmopolitan Rich & Famous from SingLand,… Read more »


Stephen. Penang is not just hot these days. It was warmer than those inland areas like KL or Seremban even way back in 1973 when I first moved here to work and called this place my new home. I noticed that because I couldn’t afford airconditioning to my rented place during those early days and was often uncomfortably “roasted” in a dry spell.

The reason could be and I believe still is because of the effect of the warm sea around us. Our coastal sea has a bigger effect on the temperature here than any cluster of trees.

Stephen Tan Ban Cheng

If I am right, many areas are designated as “water catchment” zones in the Relau (and the adjoining Bayan Lepas and even Balik Pulau) which has its own natural system of subterranean water deposits. It is now up to the Penang State Government to tell us the truth about whether or not the areas have been re-zoned and, if so, the rationale for doing so, besides the quantum leap in the price of the land. Notwithstanding the price inflation of the land if the land has indeed been rezoned, the explanation must also justify the destruction of the water catchment… Read more »


Do you know why Penang street hawker food / cuisine tastes so heavenly?
One unspoken fact is the water from the island.
Some ex-Penangites bottled the precious commodity (its free mah) & took it back to bland distilled-watered Singland for their Penang memory lane home cook meals!

Now what price are Penangites paying badly for going blindly the way of ‘Cosmopolitan Penang’?


Hey tungland, now Mukkrix wanted to charge Penang for the water from Kedah just like his father m kutty wanted to do it to Singapore but failed.


They BeeEnd cannot get Penang, want to punish Penangites?
Where is 1Malaysia spirit? Unless they see Penang as another SingKahPoh!
Don’t play, play ApaNama-Kutty politics, just remember that.
This obsolete legacy of racist scourge is no more relevant in post-Mahathirsm.

Ong Eu Soon

you have yourself to be blamed. You went all out to defeat me and thrown wild accusation against me for speaking out for the people. People like you are hopeless, brainless and good for nothing. Now please enjoy the government you chose and keep your mouth shut up. Stupid!


Frankly speaking anyway which way we vote, the land in Bukit Relau and many areas in Balik Pulau will be rezoned and developed. Like it or not we need development. As for those like Tunglang who live in the town area and whose need for an affordable houses is done with his retirement, there are many young workforce coming out every year. The govt need to cater jobs and affordable housing for these people. As land prices in the town are already at their highest the only areas now is to go further inland. Yes we need development and I… Read more »

How2live in Penang?

Are you still sleeping ah?
Prices of houses going up. Muddy rivers and waterfalls. Less and less tree covers. Land rezoning up to the hill limits yet build for those with deep pockets. And in this case of Gambir Hill, it is for the few super rich at the expense of others and environment. You call this good sustainable development?
Tunglang has given up to go to Belum knowing the way Cosmopolitan dream is eating away our once liveable Penang Island.


Yang, if you go to Sg often like I do you would know that the urban renewal in Sg is like heaven compared to our ‘urban renewal in Pg’. It is totally incomparable. Just take a walk anywhere in Sg and you can tell the difference. Even now we cannot achieve the same standards in terms of urban renewal that Sg achieved in the 70s. Secondly, you are right about the need for cheaper housing, but the houses that are built on these ‘inland’ areas or hills are not cheap. If fact they are more expensive than houses on existing… Read more »


Yang, you mean urban development at all costs? Urbanise every inch of the island including beyond 250 ft above sea level? Call these special projects which are way above well spelt hill land law of 250ft limit & within water catchment areas? Rezoning for development for the richie few who bought up hill lands but whose lifestyle can create untold damages to the environment & forfeit safety of Penangites who have no where to stay but at the bottom of the foothills? Is housing industry the big job provider so as to call it legit to free-for-all frenzy develop every… Read more »


I think it is previous BN government dirty works. It has nothing to do with PR government. I consider this is Kampung Buah Pala scandal #2. The thief crying out loud and the honest people like LGE took the blame.

Ravi Vijaya

The ‘previous BN government dirty works?’ Stop deluding yourself. The illegally-cleared land on Bukit Relau, allegedly belonging to General Accomplishment Sdn Bhd, was rezoned from hill land to low-density housing land by the State Planning Committee (SPC) last year. The SPC, headed by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and consisting of members who include state executive councillors government and MPPP department heads, processed conversion applications from the town and country planning department. About two acres of the land located at the top of hill on Bukit Relau were illegally cleared between February and March but expedited before and during the… Read more »

Anak Penang

why is there still no update from LGE? what is going on? really dissapointed lar… after we have voted for him in GE13.
LGE, you must gain back our trust on you.

billy cudk

Recent rezoning of hill land at Bukit Relau and Paya Terubong vicinity (Lone Pine-Taman Lau Geok Swee- recent mudslide) were made under the perview of the State Planning Committee (SPC) headed by the Chief Minister and his full EXCO members as well as head of Technical Departments. These applications were given approval under the category of “Special Projects”. What is the definition of Special Project as governed under the Structure Plan? Now we want the State Government administrators to tell Penangites what is so special of the Bukit Relau, Multimillion Ringgit Mansions known as Beverly Heights? How is this project… Read more »


Serving the environment interest of many or serving the selfish private pursuit of a few? Does it feel right that many trees are sacrificed & hills & rivers muddied just b’cos the few richie fellas want a Chey Shua, Khua Hai privatised view from the private bedrooms? What environmental returns on mindless destruction does this translate into? With limit of green lungs in a tiny island like Penang, why has the authorities allowed thro’ land rezone such wanton misuse of our forest even though it could be privately owned. What is so special about this hill land as a converted… Read more »

Ahmad Sobri

… Hate power abusers! Betrayers!

Ahmad Sobri

We hope God helps Penangnites!

We pray for landslides in the affected area and make it too dangerous for developments!

To think how Penangnites supported Lim Guan Eng, and if the above report is true, how he betrayed their trusts.

We are Allah/God fearing people, are you Lim Guan Eng? If the above report is true, I bet you cannot sleep for the rest of your life … ? Is it worth it?