Monday, December 19, 2016

Penang, Government of Competency, Accountability and Transparency: Deceit, Lies and Typically Hypocrite, Part 2

With massive and constant development of luxurious projects becoming priority, Penangites are left neglected. Where are the much needed local medium cost housing to accommodate the majority medium to low income population? Environmental issues too, particularly on the island takes a back seat with the Penang state administration led by DAP. 

Reclaimed lands are opened and grabbed like hot cakes by developers as they are converted to freehold land, thus projecting higher returns, despite the National Land Code proviso under Section 76 amended by the Parliament in 1985. 

“Any subsequent conversion to the status from leasehold to freehold by the State, notwithstanding that the foreshore or sea-bed have now been reclaimed, would be tantamount to an attempt to circumvent the restriction of Section 76 and hence be ultra vires the National Land Code.” 

Penang had seen better days of the monsoon seasons. However, these days, heavy downpour had caused flashfloods with traffic in several areas come to a standstill. Outward and inward bound flights are interrupted with boarding passengers missing their flights. Productivity in the Asia Silicon Valley, is grossly affected, with investors pondering to ship out. 

The current state leadership has been instrumental and vocally oppose to the development that may destruct the flora and fauna in the hills, hence the massive Penang Global City Centre (PGCC) project prior to GE 2008, send BN packing in Penang. 

Yet, today, the voice that orchestrated to protect the fragility of the eco-system has made a ‘U’ turn. The campaign “Healthier, Greener, Greener and Safer Penang” is not translated in protecting the pristine landscape and land for generations to come. 

The Special Area Plan (SAP) was gazetted in August 2016 by the state government allowing “low density development” on Penang Hill. Hill tops and slopes are left to fend by itself? The focus is on the luxury project that has jeopardized the environmental aspects and the economic livelihood at shorelines. 

Several parts of the island and mainland of Penang became victim of rampant illegal activities. Bukit Relau dubbed the Bukit Botak with road scaled to the top is noticeable from the mainland. Massive illegal hill slopes clearing for agriculture at Bukit Kukus of Paya Terubong and at Level 45 station at Penang Hill. The water catchment at Bukit Laksamana, Telok Bahang will soon house mixed development project. 

Certainly, the interpretation “the end justifies the means” sits well with the state government. Or should we say, when there is calamity or hardship, the Federal Government must bear the brunt of the state’s doing?

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