KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 22 – The DAP-led Penang government should stop being ignorant and start to re-evaluate all the hillside projects on the island in order to identify the potential risks, said Gerakan president Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong after attending a Deepavali Open House organised by Gerakan, here today.
He said the landslide in Tanjung Bungah yesterday, which left seven people dead and four believed to be still trapped under the rubble, could have been prevented had the state government listened to the objections by a few quarters (on hillside development), including Tanjung Bungah assemblyman from DAP itself, Teh Yee Cheu.
“Teh is from DAP, and he is the assemblyman for Tanjung Bungah, and he has been calling so many times, against these hillside projects. He’s been fighting against this for a long time. Maybe if the state government had listened to him more, the tragedy could have been prevented.
“We just call upon that Penang Govt to re-evaluate all the other hillside projects… because lives of people are most important. So they should by now re-evaluate the ongoing projects to prevent more catastrophes,” he told reporters. The landslide occurred about 8.50am yesterday. So far six bodies have been retrieved while the SAR team is facing difficulty retrieving the seventh. The four other victims have yet to be detected because of the massive landslide where about 10 metres of a hill collapsed.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who is also the DAP secretary-general, has promised to put up a proposal for formal inquiry to the state executive council for consideration next week. On another issue, Mah, who was also Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, lauded Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s remarks yesterday that the Barisan Nasional-led Federal Government would be open to more Chinese National Type Schools (SJKCs) if there are demands from society.
Mah said, Najib had always been concerned about Chinese education, and that the Prime Minister always sought for opinions from Mah himself as well as MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai pertaining to the issue. Najib, during a TN50 Dialogue in conjunction with the Malaysian Chinese Youth Summit 2017 yesterday, said that the government would build more SJKCs if there are requests and appropriate capacity, both in the urban and rural areas.
“But we also encourage them to take up and promote Bahasa Melayu as that is our language. Bahasa Melayu is important because you can promote good unity. I would like to emphasise on that. When we build more Chinese schools, please give attention to Bahasa Melayu as well,” Najib said. TN50 is Malaysia’s vision for the 2021-2050 time frame. — Bernama