News: Terminate All Hillside Developments. Too Many Lives and Damages at Stake

Nov 9, 2017

After the recent Tanjung Bungah landslide that claimed the lives of 11 workers, more people are urging the Penang state government to stop all ongoing hillslope developments and disallow new ones.

In fact, around 40 Batu Ferringhi residents held a protest in front of the Miami Green Resort Condominium on Sunday (5 November) to persuade Chief Minister Lim Guan En to ban such projects.

This is because there is zero assurance that hillslope projects in Penang are fully safe and would not endanger the lives of nearby residents during construction and after completion, said protest organiser, J.A. Leng.

“The recent Tanjung Bungah landslide and flash floods happening all over Penang are a wake-up call that something must be done.”

In particular, the protestors are worried about a high-rise mixed-use project that will be constructed on the lush hillslope behind 10 Island Resort and Miami Green Resort Condominium.

Leng, who has been residing in the area since 2005, noted that the high-density development was approved even though half of the site is located on a slope with an angle of 25 degrees or more. Hence, they are urging the authorities to reconsider their approval.

The group is also concerned that the retaining walls separating both properties from the upcoming development could give way in the future, as the buffer zone between the retaining walls in Malim Jaya and those in Miami Green is very small, or less than 70 metres.

“Miami Green Resort Condominium residents have over the years spent a lot of money maintaining the retention walls on the slope to ensure stability. Who will ensure this will be done after the new project is completed?” asked Leng.

Meanwhile, Penang MCA is worried that the denuded hill behind the Majestic Heights flats in Tingkat Paya Terubong 4 could trigger a landslide and topple the housing project.

“There are 12 blocks of 23-storey flats in Majestic Heights. I understand that many residents have already moved out, leaving only a few more, and we’re worried for their safety,” said Penang MCA Bukit Gelugor Deputy Secretary Marvyy Choong.

“The surrounding hills are going bald due to ongoing earthwork and the 12 blocks may all collapse during a landslide,” he told the media on Monday (6 November).

As a matter of fact, 68-year-old housewife Aishah Che Wan, who resides in another apartment close to the same hill revealed that muddy water has started trickling down the hillslope on Saturday and Sunday.

“Some small stones damaged a few cars parked by the side of the road,” she said, adding that she is now concerned about her family’s safety.

“I hope that whoever is clearing the hill will take necessary safety measures to prevent any mishap,” she added.


Image sourced from The Star.


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