Stop immediately all projects on hill slopes: Penang BN

GEORGE TOWN: Penang Barisan Nasional (BN) today called on the DAP-led state government to be more sensitive to the impact of development on hill slopes that could lead to disaster and death.

Penang Gerakan vice-chairman Oh Tong Keong (pix) said the landslide at a affordable housing project construction site near a hill slope in Tanjung Bungah today should be a lesson and the state government should immediately halt all development projects on hillsides in the state.

"Apart from stopping all hillside development projects, the state government should also set up a committee to review all existing hillside development projects as well as unapproved projects," he said in a statement here.

He said Gerakan also called for a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to be set up to investigate the landslide tragedy that caused 14 construction workers to be buried. So far, three bodies have been found.

He claimed that Tanjung Bungah State Assemblyman, Teh Yee Cheu had objected to the implementation of the project because of the security factor but the state government and the Penang City Council (MBPP) insisted on approving the project.

Hence, he hoped that the state government would comply with the existing guidelines not to approve the development of any hillside project which is more than 76 metres above sea level.

Meanwhile, Penang Barisan Nasional (BN) Youth chief Hng Chee Wey shared the same views and asked the state government to monitor housing development sites in other areas to avoid recurring tragedies.

He claimed that since the DAP began administering the state's affairs, they have granted approval to many housing developers although some projects on hillside areas have often been questioned and disputed by various parties.

Meanwhile, Penang UMNO Youth chief Rafizal Abdul Rahim said the unfortunate incident would not have taken place if the state government had listened to the criticism and advice from the people on clearing of the hills and slopes in the state.

In this regard, they urged Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to take full responsibility and resign following the incident. — Bernama