Hillside development issue was raised before

GEORGE TOWN: Tanjong Bungah Residents' Association (TBRA) today urged the Penang DAP-led state government to give attention to the development at the hillside in the area which was certainly objected to by the association.

Its chairman, R.Meenakshi said the association had raised the issue last week and asked the state government to stop the development project as they feared it could lead to landslide incidents.

"All these projects should not be allowed in this area. We objected the development projects at the hillside area but the state government had never listened to us. Instead, we were considered as irrational," she said, here today.

In the 8.57 am incident, three construction workers were killed, 11 others are feared still buried in the landslide which near the construction project of a 50-storey affordable house block at Lengkok Lembah Permai, Tanjung Bungah, here.

Search and rescue operations are still underway and police believed the victims were buried up to the depth of 10 metres.

Meenakshi said the development project at the hillside should never be approved although it was considered as a special project, as it would bring negative impacts including flash flood which occurred on Sept 15.

"We don't want the same thing to happen again … the development at the hillside has to be stopped. Today's incident should be a lesson," she said.

She said the association also urged for a royal commission of inquiry to be established to examine the incident's cause.

Meanwhile, a former member of Penang Island City Council, Dr Lim Mah Hui said all projects in the hillside areas including the special project had to be stopped since most of them were violating the structure plan.

"Do not use the name of 'special' project just to allow the government to give approval … everything should be coordinated without using the special project name," he said. — Bernama