Motion on hill slope development for Penang State Assembly

GEORGE TOWN: The issue of development of hill slopes in the state will be raised at the Penang State Assembly sitting next month in an effort to urge the DAP-led state government to promptly stop such projects.

Barisan Nasional's (BN) Pulau Betong State Assemblyman Datuk Muhamad Farid Saad said today, the development projects must be stopped to enable a detailed study to be conducted to ensure they would not cause landslides.

"I have sent the proposed motion to the State Assembly Speaker and hopes he will approve it to be tabled at the coming state assembly sitting in Nov," he told a media conference after visiting the site of the landslide in Lengkok Lembah Permai, Tanjung Bungah here, which buried 11 workers at an affordable housing project site.

Seven bodies were recovered while efforts to look for four more workers were still ongoing.

Muhamad Farid said it was not the first time the motion was brought to the state assembly as DAP's Tanjung Bungah State Assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu had raised it several times but the state government did not take any action.

"The state government has turned a deaf ear and in denial. It did not heed our protests (BN elected representatives) and those of non-government organisations (NGO) and residents who speak out against hillslope development.

"They regard it as not serious, but yesterday we witnessed nature's wrath," he said.

Muhamad Farid said all hill slope developments exceeding 75m should also be disallowed in whatever circumstances and any approval for development must be in compliance with the 2020 Penang Structure Plan.

Meanwhile, Penang BN Youth chief, Hng Chee Wey said the Penang state government should review the guideline for approval of hillslope projects.

Bukit Bendera MCA division chief Tang Heap Seng urged the state government to conduct a full-scale investigation of the landslide and wanted the search and rescue operation to be speeded up. — Bernama