GEORGE TOWN, Feb 16 – About 20 Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) members held a peace demonstration to urged City Council of Penang Island (MBPP) for stop removing the trees to widening the road in Jalan Masjid Negeri, Penang, here, today. The peace demonstration began at about 11:15am while ended at around 12:00pm.
The President of the Consumers’ Association of Penang, S.M. Mohamed Idris, 89, said he hoped that the MBPP and Penang State Government to stop and cancel the 1.8km road widening project along Jalan Masjid Negeri to spare the more than 150 years trees on the busy road.
He cited an announcement by MBPP that the number of trees affected along the Jalan Scotland-bound stretch, starting from Lorong Batu Lanchang – Jalan Masjid Negeri junction to Jalan Air Itam – Jalan Masjid Negeri junction has been reduced to 18 from the initial 33 and it will be reduced further.
“Whatever the figure given from MBPP on next week, we will not disagreed on it. Our space, our trees are being sacrificed for the Car Gods. We are upset that consideration is being given to vehicle movement, at the expense of the trees. The Penang government should stay true to their word. A Green Penang should be naturally Green, not to destroy the trees to move cars faster,” said Idris.
“Penang is the most beautiful place in Malaysia due to its natural geographical setting while it will be soon to become ‘an unliveable habitat’. Hence, there is dire need to preserve the character of our tree-lined suburbs and city,” he said, adding that Penang used to be a pioneer in tree-planting during the days when he was a councillor in 1963 and was held as an example by Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.
“The roadside trees provide many benefits to us, including providing oxygen, much needed cooling, cleaner air, shade, sound barrier, stormwater absorption and greenery that gives the road a distinctive charm and character,” he said in a press conference during a protest against the uprooting of the trees in Jalan Masjid Negeri,” he added.
Meanwhile, Penang Island City councillor Dr Lim Mah Hui also attend to the demonstration said the expansion of the road will not solve the problem while it may create more problem for Penangites. He said why not State Government to build more bicycle lane rather than widen the road.