The rapid development in Penang have caused growing concerns among state leaders such as Huan of Parti Cinta Malaysia and Teng of Barisan Nasional
KUALA LUMPUR : A newly-appointed Penang leader believes the DAP-led state government should stop telling the public that the state's rapid development is what they need because it is totally misleading.
Penang Barisan Nasional chief Teng Chang Yeow told The Mole that the state government must admit that there were some excessive and unjustified developments which were carried out in the island which dissatisfied many.
“There is no justification for many of the hillside development in Penang right now. Some of these projects will only increase the density of the population in the state and how do they justify that?” Teng said.
“If you ask the developers, some of them do not agree with some of the projects being carried out here. There is a lot of long term effect that should be taken into consideration,” he added.
Teng was commenting on the recent protest against hillside development organised by Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) an environmental group and Consumer Association of Penang (CAP) as reported by local Malay daily Utusan Malaysia last week.
“DAP should not only stop being hypocritical, they should also stop pretending that everyone agrees with their development plan,” he added.
“It’s funny that it was not too long ago, they were the ones who opposed almost every development plans suggested by Barisan Nasional in Penang, but now they seem to have forgotten that and is developing any land they want.”
Teng who is the Gerakan secretary general pointed out that during the previous BN-Gerakan led government, there were quite a lot of development plans which had been rejected due to the threat it imposed on the ecosystem and livelihood of Penangites.
“We have to strictly adhere to proper guidelines and structural plans. Housing projects such as in Seberang Jaya, Bayan Baru and Batu Kawan had to undergo a lot of stringent procedures.”
“Look at what the current state government is doing to Tanjung Bungah and Batu Ferringhi. It will lose its natural charm and everything will be covered with concrete soon.”
Another Penang leader Huan Cheng Guan of Parti Cinta Malaysia also expressed his disagreement on the current development in the state.
Huan said: “DAP once worked with CAP and SAM to preserve the environment and went all out to oppose the development plan then.”
“They went all out against the PGCC project (Penang Global City Centre) but now they are singing a different tune when handling protests by the same group of people whom they have supported before.”
Huan said, the recent protests by CAP and SAM should alert the Penangites on hillside development and also educate them and alert them about the highly debated Batu Kawan solar panel plant project.
“People in Penang need to know more about the solar panel plant. It endangers their lives. The hillside development is also as dangerous.”
Huan had previously stated that people in the Batu Kawan constituency are in the dark over the approved project and they do not know of its potential hazard.
Last week the MCA Penang Wanita chairman Tan Cheng Liang said in a statement since DAP took over Penang, there has been many protests by Penangites. The latest protest was done by residents of Mount Pleasure, Batu Feringghi who objected against approval given by MPPP (Penang Municipal Council) early this year for the construction of 21 four-storey villas and 80 two-storey bungalows there.
Meanwhile Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng in a statement last week condemned a news report in The Star relating to the hillside development, calling it "false reporting" and accused the newspaper for doing 'media lynching.'
Lim said: "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.
The Star Group Chief Editor Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai in his column on Sunday wrote as a Chief Minister, Lim should expect public scrutiny on any developments in the island.
Wong stated: "There’s no need for him to be defensive and claim that he is facing a “media lynching”, assuming there is always an agenda behind every criticism."
"He only located himself to Penang after the 2008 general election and it is understandable if he is unaware of the many issues that have been fought in the past between the Penang-based non-governmental organisations and the previous state government leaders.