GEORGE TOWN, Oct 21 – Rescuers are still combing the scene of a deadly landslide which buried over a dozen workers at a construction site at Lorong Lembah Permai 3, Tanjung Bungah here this morning.
According to reports, Tanjung Bungah Residents Association (TBRA) chairman Meenakshi Raman said to prevent the repeat of such fatal tragedies, she demanded the state government set up a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) to investigate the cause of the landslide.
Prior to this, the TBRA had repeatedly petitioned the state government to end said developments as they caused flash floods in the state. Along with other residents’ associations during the flash floods in September, they had collectively appealed to the state government to end all excess developments and hill clearing in the state.
Meenakshi said today’s incident, which has claimed innocent lives, should be the last of its kind. She said whenever civil liberties groups comment on the state’s hillslope developments, the Penang government would brush them aside, calling them “irrational.”
“We were called ‘irrational’ by the Penang government when we appealed for hill slope developments to stop. But look at what has happened! Who’s irrational now?” she was quoted as saying.
According to SAM president S. M Mohamed Idris, the NGO had written to the Penang powers-that-be “several times” to urge them to stop hillside developments. They also issued warnings that hill slopes are fragile ecosystems that shouldn’t be interfered with. — PN