Tg Bunga residents bang pots and pans in protest

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Noisy protest against Class 3 and 4 hillslope development projects

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They call it ‘cacerolazo‘ or ‘cacerolada‘  in Latin America – that’s a form of protest involving a group of  people creating a racket by banging pots, pans and other utensils to draw attention to their cause.

This afternoon, in Tanjung Bunga, residents used this form of protest to loud effect during a Valentine’s Day ‘tea party’ to protest at property development projects on steep hill-slopes. Some one hundred residents turned up in Chee Seng Garden in front of the Bolton Surin project, calling on the Chief Minister and the state government to stop the project for good.

They are also calling for an end to all Class 3 and 4 hill-slope projects, saying they do not want to see a repeat of the Highland Tower and Bukit Antarabangsa tragedies. Led by long-time Chee Seng Garden resident Andrew Aeria, the crowd observed a minute’s silence for the victims of the tragedies.

Andrew, using a loud hailer, said that residents were wondering whose interest the state government has at heart: the developers’ or the people’s. “We voted for change because we wanted the state government to make a difference,” he said. “If we don’t see any change, we know what we have to do.”

Not only was there a greater risk of landslides, water catchment areas too are affected.

Andrew said protests against such projects would continue at other locations and even in Komtar until the state government heeds the message. He said:

When Highland Towers and Bukit Antarabangsa collapsed, the DAP were very critical of the BN government for allowing a series of human errors and other abuses to occur that ultimately led to such horrible human disasters. And yet, when they now are in charge as the Penang Government, this DAP/PR government refuses to do anything to protect our lives and our property by shutting down these dangerous hill-slope condo projects. If the Selangor PR government can ban or freeze all dangerous hillslope developments – which they did last year – why can’t this PR government in Penang do the same?

Why is this DAP/PR government so afraid of beng sued by the developers? Shut down the projects and let them sue-lah! After all, if they sue you, then the DAP will become more popular with us here. And that would help the DAP/PR win the next general election. But if this chicken-hearted DAP/PR government does not shut down these projects, then we know what to do when the next election comes. And if the developer sues the DAP/PR government, you think the developers can win so easily? And if the DAP/PR shuts down these projects and gets sued and still loses the next general election, the problem of legal liability reverts to the BN. So, as we see it, the DAP/PR government has nothing to lose and everything to gain by shutting down these dangerous hillslope projects. Failing which, we shall shut down this DAP/PR government when the time comes.

When we the voters elected the DAP/PR government into power, we gave them their jobs. They are now where they are because of us. And yet they are more interested in listening to housing developers than to us today. Why is this? Did the DAP/PR get any special benefit from these housing developers? Why are developers more powerful and influential than us the voters? We voted for change, NOT for SAME.! If we wanted same, we would have voted for the BN-lah in March last year!

All of us Tg Bungah residents here, local or foreign, please tell everyone we know, via word of mouth or via the internet, “Don’t buy into these dangerous hill-slope projects.” Tell all your friends and acquaintances all over the world. Don’t buy into these projects here in Chee Seng! There is no guarantee that they will not fall down on us sometime in the future. After all, the slope is a Class III & Class IV slope. Even the Ministry of Environment in 2002 issued guidelines to all state governments telling them not to approve developments on these types of dangerous slopes. So, if the BN can say, “Don’t develop dangerous hill-slopes, why can’t this DAP/PR government, why can’t YAB CM Lim Guan Eng, stop these projects? What’s so difficult here?”

And there is no slope maintenance going to happen here in these projects. So, if perchance the projects do collapse, it will likely take us all down with it. Especially if you buy a condo here. So, don’t buy into these dangerous hill-slope projects if you want to live a long life since the risks are very high here.

We don’t want anymore temporary “stop work orders” from MPPP or the state government for these projects. We just want an order issued to the developers “to stop the projects”. Stop the Projects! Stop the Projects! Stop the Projects!” Anything else, we are not interested.

We came here to day because we fear for our safety of our families and our homes and property. Who is going to protect us when there is nothing – no government authority and no plan even by the developers – to protect and maintain the dangerous hill slope in the years to come? The state government by virtue of its constitutional rights over land issues thus has the responsibility to set up a slope maintenance agency in Penang to maintain all dangerous hill slopes. We want this state government to set up a slope maintenance agency in Penang immediately.

We want the state government to stop ALL current and approved (but not yet constructed) dangerous hill-slope projects in Tg Bungah and in Penang. Start here in Chee Seng. There are other dangerous projects likein Jln Tan Jit Seng, Diamond villa, etc. STOP all of them.

Each time the various speakers made a pertinent point, the protesters banged their pots and kettles with ladles in support.

The event was organised by the Tanjung Bunga Residents Association with the participation of residents groups and condominium management committees in the area.

Also present was Teh Yee Cheu, the DAP state assembly member for Tanjung Bunga, who promised residents he would bring their concerns and demands to the attention of the state government.

The organisers had informed the police ahead of the event. Just before the event began, a dark blue landrover with half a dozen uniformed police, bearing perspex shields, arrived but parked discreetly some distance away. About half a dozen uniformed police and other plainclothes police observed proceedings a short distance away but allowed the event to proceed without a hitch.

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Shintora

If you truly love your life and family, you should move out immediately before you become a hamburger! Stop whining because most Penangites don’t give a crap about your problem!

Donat Anthony Theseira

When you are done banging on your pots and pans bang the MPPP twice as hard. They had full knowledge all along of all the goings on and did nothing. Makes you wonder why!!!!

snow

You have valid concerns and I agree that hillside developements are dangerous. However, I am also concern that “threats” to vote for BN is not ideal. These problems will still exists whether DAP or BN is the government of the day. Parents with children have to fight for PPSMI and you think Muyuddin is going to make a good PM. At the end of the day we have to look at a bigger picture. I hope LGE will have a session with TBRA to iron out the problems.

George Aeria

Dear All,

we will be having another Party this Saturday (21/3/09). Look out for the venue and time via Anil’s blog. It’s a Coffee party this time around.

Those of you who believe in this cause, pls come and give us your support. And to those who do not, well you have the right to your own opinion, and of course we will listen to it via Anil’s blog on Sunday onwards.

Let’s just hope you do not suffer the same fate as those who have in Bukit Antarabangsa and Highland Towers.

Warm regards

George
Chee Seng Gardens
Tanjong Bunga

tbrapenang

For the information of everyone, the reason why TBRA was formed was to provide a channel for residents in Tanjong Bunga to voice their concerns and objections to the destruction of our forests, hill-cutting, adhoc foreshore land reclamation and loss of the natural coastline. TBRA had made representations in the Structure Plan, to MPPP and to the State government since 2006. TBRA had also supported residents in the objection hearings of planning applications under the Town and Country Planning Act. Following disappointing response we had planned for a mass protest, but were overtaken by events, in particular the General Election… Read more »

Peter Liew

thanks i have uploaded in our blog too. great write up !

http://tanjongbunga.blogspot.com/2009/02/this-afternoon-in-tanjung-bunga.html

Monique Abdullah

In my opinion, it is already too late to stop the projects. If we stop it now, the developers (knowing them) would not perform any remedial work on the slopes. That means the slopes are left exposed to the elements. That means erosion and collapse would occur. Looking at the pictures and the physical site, it only makes sense to continue the development and finish it. That is just too bad. Just imagine the situation where the developers pack up now and leave the slopes in the current condition. It would be really scary then. Let’s be smarter now onwards.… Read more »

approving authorities

Of course, we, Penangites, are deeply concerned about the wanton destruction of our hills and the indiscriminate developments of our hillside. Each time we drive along the Batu Ferringhi coastal road, especially when it is raining heavily, we put our lives and that of our loved ones at risk. However, for these protestors to blatantly threaten to kick out the present state government is totally uncalled for. After all, where were you people when KTK approved these projects? He was your assemblyman and neighbour for upteen years and you people voted to keep him there until 8 March 2008. Have… Read more »

Act Now or Regret Later !

To all whom like to condemned and do nothing to support and encourage what the protestors are doing, I hope you or your family & future generation would not die when a land slide happened either at your door step or when you’re driving through Batu Ferringi area or through other hill slopes properties. During BN time people did protest and make complaint but BN just don’t care(they just close all their ears,eyes & mouth) and they cover up all the stories & news.Guess tht the press is under their mercies too.Problem is tht our Malaysian authories & adminstrations are… Read more »

tan, tanjong bungah

Hi everyone, I emphathise with George Aeria having to live within the shadows of Class III or IV project. I’m fortunate that I’m not living under such dire circumstances! As for “… asking that the Penang Govt emulate the Selangor Govt. Do not build on such dangerous hill slopes that potentially put residents in danger.”, the problem lies with those projects that have been approved by the previous govt. The current govt should do the necessary to ensure the safety and welfare of existing residents. For future projects, the current Pg State Govt should emulate the Selangor Govt and categorically… Read more »

saw es

Anil,
it would be good if you include a picture showing the ongoing dangerous hill cutting just behind the scene of the gathering. perhaps that can explain a lot better to those who have not seen the…

J.Nathan

I live in Tg. Bungah too. And although I am against, the rape of the green hilsides for development, I do think that some of the protestors are being a bit hypocritical. How many of these people live in Chee Seng, or Leader Gardens, or Coastal Towers and the other one opposite the mosque (name escapes me). Aren’t these also hilside developments? What about the one near the TAR College. Isn’t that hillside development too? And lets not get talking about Pearl Hill now.. My question is, what is the main objective..to stop all hilside developments, or just to stop… Read more »

George Aeria

Yes, nearly of us who were in the Tea Party DID vote for the DAP in March 2008. We too know that the problem was caused by the old Gerakan and that is why they lost and they lost so terribly. (Meaning we did not vote BN anymore-lah because they NEVER listened) Tanjong Bunga which was won by the DAP in 2008 has never taken the Tg Bunga state seat until 2008 although they have tried since 1969 AND they finally won it in 2008 with such a great majority. And yes, we did complain to the OLD Gerakan CM… Read more »

approving authorities

Koh Tsu Koon is still a politician – go get some accountability from him. Don’t just rely on LGE to clear up KTK’s mess when you lot didn’t hold any such protest when the approvals were given.

………and please don’t threaten to throw out the present state government. It was the political eunuchs of the previous administration that got you lot where you are now.

Monique Abdullah

Koh Tsu Koon already ran away. He is no longer staying in Jalan Marie Pitchay. (Many of) the neighbours were cursing him.

Kevin

I don’t think the Selangor PR government ban or freeze all hill slope project as I can see that the condo project situated at the cliff of the bukit at Bukit Permai, Ampang is still on going.

approving authorities

Why did the lot of you not protest when Koh Tsu Koon approved all these projects?

Did you lot ask him why he approved all this?

He was your assemblyman and is still a fellow resident in your neighbour.

Go ask him.

ivan ho

Maybe the protesters should collect among themselves a few billion ringgit to pay compensation to the developers. Why should other residents of Penang pay for them. It is easy to say, “Let the the developer sue the Penang Gov” and this 100 odd people will vote for you. I would prefer the PR Gov do nothing and all of us in Penang will continue to support the PR Gov. The money saved from all the lawsuits can be put to better use to enhance the quality of life in Penang. To be fair, what you can ask for is that… Read more »

Rocketman

Andrew, since TBRA is so ‘united’ and having a common goal, i suggest you start collecting funds from all your members as well as residents so that if the present state govt decide to withdraw the project and got sued, the fund you collected might just help. But mind you, do not collect peanuts as the present govt do not have a monkey on it’s back buy a gorilla (left behind by BN) There are a lot of your members living in condos persently, namely Straits Regency and what not. Do you think these condos were built on flat land… Read more »

TANJONG BUNGA RESIDENT

ANDREW AND GANG. WHEN YOU SIGN A BANK OVERDRAFT FACILITY AND THE CURRENT INTEREST RATE IS 9%. YOU BORROWED RM100,000. DONT TELL ME YOU CAN JUST CANCELL THE FACILITY AND STOP PAYING THE INTEREST AND PRINCIPAL WHEN THE INTEREST RATE JUMP TO 27%. YOU HAVE TO SETTLE ALL OUTSTANDING BEFORE THE OD CAN BE CANCELLED. THAT IS THE CASE WITH CURRENT PG STATE GOVE WITH THE DEVELOPER. IF THEY WANT TO CANCELL THE PROJECT, THEY HAVE TO PAY THE DEVELOPER AS PER THE CONTRACT. YOU THINK THE STATE GOVE GOT SO MUCH NOMEY. EVEN IF YOU VOTED FOR BN OR… Read more »

frankie

What so special about people in Tanjung Bungah? They can always move. The problem did not arise from PR government, it was there all the time under BN. I am being blunt and being heartless but I think this is just selfish act. Your assemblyman can’t do much, your ex assemblyman was the Chief Minister, and he did not do anything at all…for like more than 15 years because the people of Tanjung Bungah were busy kissing up his behind. Tanjung Bungah is prime area, a property there can buy 3 properties on the mainland. What stopping the residents, other… Read more »

Lynn

Way to go, Andrew. Regardless of which political party is the sitting government of the day, the duty of the government is to look after the people’s interest, and safety, and livelihood. If Class 3, Class 4 hillside development have been shown to have caused landslide tragedies, then the government of the day must ban it, be they the BN or Pakatan government.

If they don’t, then people like you and me and Andrew must band together and tell them so.

Chooi

I think the protestors is just too much by saying that they vote DAP/PR for change and not for same. Did the protestors organised such protest when the previous government approved the many hill development around the area ??? I am sure all these does not happen after 03March2008 and all these happen maybe 10 years ago…under their eyes…. and just because of Bukit Antarabangsa…they wake up and why now blame the present government ??????? Someone must be behind all these again…. There are a lot more than just to protest for a stop to all these project…it is easy… Read more »

mut

Wah, now pots and pans becoming a weapon of choice? You think banging pots and pans outside the court will win the case for the state government? … You think the court will call the government of 2002/3 to answer the case? No lah, idiot, it will call the current state government to hold the bag! And YES, I think they will EASILY in court. I thought this mob would be the more intelligent with Andrew at its head. But barking up the wrong tree is more its forte. You think … there will be anything but a BN (the… Read more »

Ken

I think the residents a bit wiseless, do u think Penang Gov can easily stop a project that was approved by ex-Gov led by Dr Koh? Lawsuit will only bring Penang Gov finance to be worsen, don’t forget our generous ex Gov already used out the saving.

Why don’t they protest in front of Koh Tsu Koon house, this man just stay at Tanjung Bungah, too.