GEORGETOWN — Oct. 26, 2017: The Penang government has given the developer of the housing scheme in Tanjung Bungah one week to meet with buyers to explain what happened and the current situation, failing which the government will intervene.
A landslide last Saturday killed 11 workers including a local, four Bangladeshis, two Indonesians, three Myanmar and one Pakistani.
At a press conference today, amongst other thins Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the Penang City Council (MBPP) has lodged a police report.
“We leave it to the police as well as any other parties including the Department of Occupational Safety and Health to conduct an investigation,” he said.
MBPP mayor Datuk Maimunah Mohd. Sharif, who was present at the press conference, said the Department of Urban and Rural Planning had no objection to project development in the area.
She quoted a letter dated December 11, 2014, in which the department said that in principle it had no objections to any application for a permit to build a 53-storey block there.
The Mineral and Geoscience Department also had no objection regarding the location.
However she left out the part about the non-approval by the Department of Environment.
Following the incident, residents have been reminiscing about the old Tanjung Bungah which had a beautiful natural environment, hilly green terrains, picturesque fishing village and rich sea resources.
That scene prevailed until some 40 years ago, as recounted by residents who have seen the morphing of the area from a fishing village into an area of choice for expatriates.
Trader Azlan Zakaria, 56, who has a stall at the Medan Selera near Masjid Terapung, expressed his fear over the rapid transformation of the area which goes unabated.
Azlan is worried that the ongoing hillside developments could see a repeat of Saturday’s tragedy.
Nasir Bindot, a resident of an apartment near Masjid Terapung, said hillside development must be stopped.
Nasir, who has lived in the area since birth, claimed that a natural waterfall, which was a favourite spot for residents, has disappeared due to development on the hill slopes.
A Bernama check showed that intense development was taking place at several hillside areas such as off Jalan Persiaran Bunga, Lorong Lembah Permai and Jalan Chan Siew Teong.