GEORGE TOWN, May 2 – The Penang Barisan Nasional (BN) has slammed the DAP-ruled state government for neglecting the interests and welfare of Penangites, as it had failed to protect the environment. State BN chairman Teng Chang Yeow said development on steep slopes required detailed engineering studies and possibly, an environment impact assessment (EIA) approval.
He said over-development on the north coast and development on hillslopes, hillsides and hilly terrain had become the norm in Penang, particularly at Tanjong Bunga, Paya Terubong and Sungai Ara.
“Over the past 10 years under the DAP-led state government, the people’s safety and livelihood in the surrounding areas have been compromised and ignored,” he said in a statement, here today.
Teng said landslides and landslips had taken place, “botak hills” appeared, and residents in the neighbourhood lodged endless complaints with the state authorities, adding that there was no solution in sight.
However, the BN candidate for the Tanjong Bunga state seat said in Tanjong Bunga itself, between 2008 and 2016, the state government had approved 39 high-rise projects – statistics which he had obtained from the state government in the State Assembly.
He said during the landslide in October last year, 11 workers comprising a local resident, five Bangladeshis, two Indonesians, two Myanmar nationals and a Pakistani were buried alive at the hill slope project in Tanjong Bunga.
“This is the DAP-led state government’s ‘lack of supervision and monitoring’ on the ill-fated project in Tanjong Bunga despite Department of Environment (DOE) objection from the beginning,” he said, adding that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) manifesto for the next five years did not address the problems of over-development and hillslope development in Penang in general, and in particular in Tanjong Bunga.
Teng, who is also Penang Gerakan chairman, faces a four-cornered fight for the Tanjong Bunga state seat in the 14th General Election (GE14) on May 9. The other contestants are DAP candidate Zairil Khir Johari, Parti Rakyat Malaysia candidate Chua Cheong Wee and Parti Bersama Malaysia’s Lee Zheng Yong. — Bernama