Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Arguments about Penang Transport Master Plan

Roger Teoh, 2018-Jul-30
The projected ridership numbers for the Penang LRT are highly unrealistic and will likely be missed by a significant margin.
http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2018/07/30/is-the-srs-transport-master-plan-headed-for-financial-trouble/ (archive)

Urban Regeneration Architect, 2018-Aug-10
I welcome the series of opinions in FMT by Lim Mah Hui and Ahmad Hilmy, which are not only thought provoking but educational. Halcrow is a major global transport consulting firm with worldwide experience. ... Do we know what the LRT pricing is yet? Would it serve the general working class public? The state has made many statements about transport, even taking over the loss-making ferry service. But is it planning to do it now? After all, Prasarana is under the finance ministry. ... I ask that we be very careful about starting with the PTMP. Concepts like the Bus Rapid Transit system have been used in modern cities where commuters have actually benefited so much more in terms of cost and end-to-end timing compared to big boys’ toys like MRTs and LRTs.
https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2018/08/10/why-we-need-an-updated-independent-review-of-the-ptmp/

Lim Mah Hui & Ahmad Hilmy, 2018-Jul-24
On May 16, 2018, the vice-president of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT-M), Rosli Khan, called for a review of mega-projects such as the ECRL, the KL-Singapore High-Speed Rail and the Penang Undersea Tunnel, arguing that these do not reflect a high level of economic benefits. On the last project, Rosli said, “The Penang Tunnel will induce more car travel and will lead to massive traffic gridlocks in Penang Island, a very damaging environmental impact to such a liveable heritage city.”
https://www.malaymail.com/s/1655356/need-to-relook-at-the-penang-transport-master-plan-lim-mah-hui-and-ahmad-hi (archive) Link2 Link3

Ahmad Hilmy & Lim Mah Hui, 2018-Jul-27
Not many people realise how distorted the current version of the PTMP undertaken by a Gamuda-led corporate consortium is from the original PTMP adopted by the Penang state government in March 2013.
https://www.malaymail.com/s/1655795/how-srs-penang-transport-master-plan-deviates-from-the-original-ahmad-hilmy (archive) Link2 Link3

Ahmad Hilmy & Lim Mah Hui, 2018-Jul-30
Some state governments have awarded mega projects based on RFP and claimed that they are open tenders. We need to distinguish clearly between the two, as they are not the same or even equivalent. The two terms should not be used interchangeably. In open tenders, all parties bid based on the same specifications provided by a client. The award is given to the bidder with the lowest price, with everything else being equal. However, in an RFP, a client does not provide a standard detailed plan nor technical specifications for a project for parties to bid on. Often, the client only has an approximate idea of a project they desire. They then call for a tender in the form of an RFP, leaving bidders to submit different proposals for the client to select. No two proposals submitted under an RFP are similar. Hence, there is no standard yardstick to evaluate the different proposals.
https://www.malaymail.com/s/1657137/request-for-proposal-rfp-is-not-open-tender-ahmad-hilmy-and-lim-mah-hui (archive) Link2 Link3

Ahmad Hilmy & Lim Mah Hui, 2018-Aug-01
Why does Penang need to rush to have the 7.2km undersea tunnel project when the original Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) officially adopted by the state government clearly states that it is not an urgent priority? Why this haste when the survey of Penang’s traffic volume by UK-based engineering consultant Halcrow showed that cross-channel traffic in 2011 accounted for only 7 percent of total state traffic during peak hours? The first draft by Halcrow that was presented sometime at the end of 2012 to the Penang Transport Council (of which one of this article’s authors, Lim Mah Hui, was a member) showed the undersea tunnel may only be needed towards 2030. However for some reason, in the final draft in 2013, Halcrow brought the date forward to 2025.
https://www.malaymail.com/s/1658080/why-bulldoze-through-the-penang-tunnel-project-ahmad-hilmy-and-lim-mah-hui (archive) Link2 Link3

Ahmad Hilmy & Lim Mah Hui, 2018-Aug-03
What has not been aptly explained is why the state has chosen the LRT which is not only much more expensive to build but also costlier to operate and maintain, compared to alternatives such as a tram or BRT (bus rapid transit) system. Curiously enough, the state is insistent on pursuing the LRT project even though the tram and BRT were recommended in the original PTMP designed after a meticulous study by UK-based engineering consultant Halcrow.
https://www.malaymail.com/s/1658809/why-bulldoze-through-the-penang-tunnel-project-ahmad-hilmy-and-lim-mah (archive) Link2 Link3

Ahmad Hilmy & Lim Mah Hui, 2018-Aug-06
Penang Forum is not opposed to a transport master plan. On the contrary, some members of Penang Forum had initiated and recommended to the newly-formed Pakatan Rakyat government in 2008 of the need for a comprehensive transport master plan for Penang; following which a Penang Transport Council was established by the state government. Several Penang Forum members were appointed to sit on the council.. Below is a summary of the major reasons Penang Forum has called for an independent review of the PTMP.
https://www.malaymail.com/s/1659553/why-penang-should-commission-an-independent-review-lim-mah-hui-and-ahmad-hi (archive) Link2 Link3

Ahmad Hilmy dan Lim Mah Hui, 2018-Aug-01
Kenapa Pulau Pinang perlu tergesa-gesa menjalankan projek terowong bawah laut 7.2km apabila Pelan Induk Pengangkutan Pulau Pinang (PTMP) yang diterima pakai kerajaan negeri secara rasmi dengan jelas menyatakan ia bukan keutamaan yang mendesak? Mengapa ada kekalutan ini, apabila tinjauan jumlah lalu lintas Pulau Pinang oleh Halcrow, perunding kejuruteraan dari United Kingdom menunjukkan lalu lintas rentas selat pada 2011 menyumbang hanya 7% daripada jumlah lalu lintas negeri pada waktu puncak?
https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2018/08/01/mengapa-gelojoh-laksana-projek-terowong-pulau-pinang/ (archive)

Predeep Nambiar, 2018-Aug-08
A PKR assemblyman today raised an objection to the state’s plans to build more roads and a proposed undersea tunnel and said the focus should instead be on improving public transport services.
http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2018/08/08/hold-referendum-on-undersea-tunnel-says-penang-pkr-rep/ (archive)

david tan, 2018-Jul-21
The proposed 19.5km Pan-Island Link I (PIL I) from Gurney Drive to the airport will stimulate interest in property investments once more in Penang and boost the value of properties in strategic locations. Zeon Properties chief executive officer Leon Lee said the proposed highway, a component of the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP), runs along Gurney Drive, Gottlieb Road, Penang City Park, Bukit Bendera, Paya Terubong, Sungai Ara, Bukit Gedung and Sungai Kluang.
https://www.thestar.com.my/metro/metro-news/2018/07/21/adding-value-to-property-prices-highway-project-from-gurney-drive-to-airport-a-boost-to-property-mar/ (archive)

arnold loh and n. trisha, 2018-Aug-11
“We are confused. In 2002, when Chow was in the Opposition, he stood with us against PORR. Now that he is Chief Minister, we are seeing PORR reborn as PIL 1 (Pan Island Link 1),” said Tanjung Bungah Residents’ Association chair­man and Sahabat Alam Malaysia secretary Meenakshi Raman.
https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/08/11/residents-why-the-uturn-on-highway-cm/ (archive)

Audrey Dermawan, 2018-Aug-10
Tanjung Bungah Residents Association (TBRA) chair Meenakshi Raman, who likened the PIL 1 as an extension of the PORR, said she and many other present today had opposed the PORR when it was first announced. “We have always been consistent with our stand. How could something not good back then, be good today?
https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2018/08/399985/penangites-slam-chow-backpedalling-traffic-management-stance (archive)

DAP Penang chairman and Member of Parliament for Tanjung Chow Kon Yeow, 2002-Jun-15
https://dapmalaysia.org/all-archive/English/2002/jun02/bul/bul1655.htm
http://archiving-news.blogspot.com/2018/08/mp-for-tanjung-submits-another.html


Zulfikar Ali bin Abdul Aziz, 2018-Aug-15
I am Zulfikar Ali, a resident in Tanjong Bungah. Like millions of Malaysians, I voted for Pakatan Harapan and to support a government that promises change and hope. But I am saddened to see that even in the early days of the Harapan government, some leaders have begun to adopt the attitude of BN, ignoring the voices of rakyat, and vilifying legitimate concerns raised by rakyat. On Aug 10, the Penang chief minister said he opposed PORR because it was proposed as a tolled road and that the NGOs were misleading the public So, I decided to Google to see what are the facts. In this age of the Internet, it is easy to check for facts.
https://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/439034 (archive) Link2

Predeep Nambiar, 2018-Aug-06
She also rapped the state government for only displaying the blueprint of the project during the Chinese New Year holidays, when many were not free to view it. Ideally, she said, it should be placed online for all to access. She said the Council of Eminent Persons had been notified about the issue, and that the leaders supported a review of the PTMP.
https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2018/08/06/ngos-want-drill-and-blast-highway-in-penang-scrapped (archive)

Bernama, 2018-Aug-22
It is learnt that DOE had set 59 conditions to be met in the DEIA before, during and after construction, but did not specify what were the said conditions. CHANT advisor Yan Lee in a press conference here today requested that DEIA’s conditions be made public for all interested parties to scrutinise. He said only the DOE director-general, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (pictured) and CZC had knowledge regarding DEIA’s 59 conditions. He added that Tanjung Bungah Residents’ Association (TBRA) had been following up and had asked DOE and Chow on the conditions but to no avail.
https://www.edgeprop.my/content/1416724/chant-urges-penang-govt-zenith-make-deia-report-public (archive)

Predeep Nambiar, 2018-Aug-21
CHANT legal adviser Yan Lee said at a news conference today that repeated requests by a residents’ association in the affected area to find out the 59 conditions drew no response. He said the conditions placed by the DoE should be revealed in the spirit of freedom of information so that residents along the road alignment are fully informed over what is going to happen in their backyards. Lee said there are three people who could do so—the chief minister, DoE director-general and Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (CZC), the contractor. He said the best way to allay the people’s concern over the project is to hold an open forum or a townhall meeting for the contractor to explain what is going to happen.
https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2018/08/21/reveal-doe-terms-for-penang-roads-project-contractor-urges-ngo (archive)

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Protesters rally in Penang against exorbitant RM46bn transport proposal

About a hundred concerned Penangites gathered peacefully outside the Penang State Assembly this morning to call for an an independent review of SRS Consortium’s outlandish RM46bn transport proposal, which critics have derided as a ‘property play’.


Under the proposal, an RM8bn six-lane highway will eventually link high-end property development on reclaimed land opposite Gurney Plaza off Gurney Drive to more high-end development on three artificial islands in southern Penang Island. Under phase one of the highway, it ends not far from even more high-end property development on reclaimed land now under construction off the coast of southeastern Penang Island. ...

Independent filmmaker Andrew Ng, who produced the award-winning documentary The Hills and the Sea, led the crowd with chants of “No way, highway; we want public transport”, “Cancel PIL; review PTMP”, “SRS, go away; far, far away” and “We want BRT and modern trams”.


Many expressed dismay that SRS’ 20-volume proposal has not yet been put online for serious public scrutiny. The hard copies of the 20 volumes were only made public for a limited period around Chinese New Year at selected locations, with no photography allowed, thus handicapping those who wanted to study the thick volumes at length. Others wondered why a traffic impact assessment has not been made public.

... Read full article at: http://anilnetto.com/society/public-transport/another-protest-in-penang-against-exorbitant-rm46bn-transport-proposal/

Friday, July 27, 2018

CAP opposed to RM1b Federal Govt loan for Penang Transport Master Plan


GEORGE TOWN: The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) says the state government should not request for a RM1 billion soft loan from the Federal Government to expedite the implementation of the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).

"Yesterday, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the state government would consider requesting a RM1 billion soft loan from the Federal Government to allow the Pan Island Link (PIL) and light rail transit (LRT) projects to be implemented simultaneously to ensure that the people could enjoy the new facilities in five to six years.

CAP president S.M. Mohamed Idris said today that the group was shocked because Chow and his predecessor, Lim Guan Eng, had assured the public that the project would not involve public funds.

“Now a different story is being told. If this loan goes through, it may put at risk the state’s finances,” he said.

“There are large economic and environmental risks associated with PTMP and it is doubtful that some key projects linked to the plan can generate revenue to pay for themselves.” ..."

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Even Undisturbed Slopes Can be Dangerous ...


Disaster zone: An aerial view of the recent landslide in Tanjung Bungah, Penang.

GEORGE TOWN: Nobody knew a natural disaster was waiting to happen until Sungai Kelian in Tanjung Bungah turned brown and silty.
The sudden profusion of laterite mud flowing out to sea was caused by a landslide even bigger than the one that killed 11 people at a Tanjung Bungah construction site last year.

But it was so far uphill – 231m above sea level – that Penang Island City Council (MBPP) had to use a drone to find it.

As it was a natural landslide, residents are now worried about the fragility of slopes in the Tanjung Bungah hill range and want tighter scrutiny on the many development projects slated for their neighbourhood all the way to Batu Ferringhi. ...
 
 

Friday, May 18, 2018

TBRA CALLS ON NEW CHIEF MINISTER TO MAKE PUBLIC STATE ACTION PLAN ON PAIRED ROAD PROJECTS


TBRA Press Release issued today

Press Release         18 May 2018

TBRA CALLS ON NEW CHIEF MINISTER
TO MAKE PUBLIC STATE ACTION PLAN ON PAIRED ROAD PROJECTS

The Tanjung Bungah Residents Association (TBRA) calls on the newly elected Chief Minister of Penang, Chow Kon Yeow and the State Government to be fully transparent on the need for the North Coastal Paired Road (NCPR) project, the implications of this to the residents affected by the road, what alternatives were considered and deemed not feasible and how the State Action Plan addresses all the concerns of the public.

This must urgently be done prior to the commencement of any works for the NCPR.

TBRA has learnt that the State Action Plan (SAP) for the paired roads, including the NCPR, was a requirement imposed by the Department of Environment (DOE) so that the issues raised by the public would be addressed prior to the approval of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

TBRA urges the Chief Minister to make the SAP public so that we can assess if our concerns have been addressed effectively.
We also want to know if the SAP has addressed concerns arising from the most recent floods and landslides that occurred on Nov. 5 following heavy rains, which involved parts of the areas along the proposed NCPR road alignment in Tanjung Bungah.

TBRA has been raising our concerns regarding the NCPR both to the DOE and the Penang State Government previously. We had pointed out serious environmental and social impacts of the NCPR especially for thousands of residents living along the road alignment.

The EIA had revealed that about 46% of the proposed road will be on terrain with a higher than 25 degree slope, and are well known to be ‘sensitive hill lands.’

How and whether the Penang State Government and the DOE have addressed this concern is a mystery to us, that requires further clarification. 

Since the Penang State Government has provided an Action Plan to the DOE, it is vital for this to be made public urgently and to seek public feedback, as this will be in line with the spirit of the State Government and the new Pakatan Manifesto for being transparent and accountable to the rakyat.
TBRA also pointed out and continues to maintain that the ‘saving’ of 14 minutes of time travelled between Tanjung Bungah and Teluk Bahang at a cost of RM 1 billion for the NCPR will soon vanish once more traffic demand is generated by the new road in the coming years.

What has also not been made clear is how the State is going to disperse the traffic from the NCPR that ends in Lembah Permai in Tanjung Bungah to Straits Quay.

Hence, no construction on the NCPR should commence, until our concerns have been addressed urgently and adequately.

Meenakshi Raman
Chairperson,
Tanjung Bungah Residents Association

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Montage of Issues Facing Tanjung Bungah

Some of the issues facing Tanjung Bungah. Come to the AGM on Sunday, 3pm, at Tanjung Bungah Market, 1st Floor.

Saturday, March 03, 2018


TANJONG BUNGA RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION

Notification of Annual General Meeting

Dear Members and friends of TBRA,
Our Association will hold its 2018 Annual General Meeting on:

Date: Sunday 11 March at 3pm.
Image credit: http://www.penang-traveltips.com

Venue: Meeting Room Tanjong Bunga Market, 11200 Penang, 1st floor.

Time: 2:30 pm to pay annual membership fees (RM20) join as new member !

3:00 pm start AGM as soon as quorum is reached


Agenda:
The business of the Annual General Meeting shall consist of:
    1. To receive the Chair’s address;
    1. To confirm the minutes of the previous General Meeting;
    1. To receive and adopt the Annual Report by the Secretary;
    1. To receive and adopt the Audited Statement of Accounts by the Treasurer;
    1. Fill openings on the TBRA Committee. Please let us know if you are willing to serve on the Committee;
    1. To consider any resolution of which written notice should be given to the Secretary at least seven (7) clear days prior to the meeting;
    1. To discuss matters of general interest;

      Refreshments

Please keep the date and do attend !


Yours sincerely,

Annelies Allain
for Secretary
Tanjong Bunga Residents’ Association 21 February 2018



Annual Report for TBRA 2017


Annual Report 2017

The following activities were carried out during the year:
  1. TBRA Committee Meetings - The TBRA Committee met 8 times .
  1. Meeting with the State Assemblyman – On 16 May, the TBRA Committee met up with Y.B Teh to introduce the new committee members to him and to discuss some of the issues facing residents in Tg. Bungah.
  1. Residents’ Associations of Penang (RAP) – On 17 June 2017, the Chair of TBRA, Meenakshi Raman, was selected as Coordinator of the RAP. The RAP was initiated by the Penang Forum, of which TBRA is an active member,.
  1. Meetings with government officials – In the course of the year, the TBRA Chair, along with other members of the Penang Forum, has been meeting with Y.B. Chow Kon Yeow to discuss various issues, including projects on hill lands and the floods. We also met with the former Mayor, Datuk Maimunah before she took up the post at UN-Habitat.
  1. Issues taken upThe following issues were taken up by TBRA during 2017:
  1. Support for the Sungei Ara Residents: On 9 July 2017, TBRA took the lead in organising a press conference jointly with 16 other residents’ associations, management corporations and committees, in support of the Sungei Ara residents in their legal case against the Sunway Hills project. The project comprises 600 units of apartments and bungalows on 80 acres of land and is on hillslopes above 250 ft/ 43% of which exceeds 25 degrees.
Apart from the press conference, follow-up letters were sent to the Chief Minister of Penang and the Mayor of the Penang City Council, on behalf of the 17 associations under the RAP on the issue. However, no response was received.
The Sg. Ara residents filed a case in the Court of Appeal, in order to overturn the High Court decision and affirm the Appeals Board decision. The case will be heard on Feb. 26, 2018 and TBRA will be present to support the residents’ cause. The case will have a major implication not only for Penang but Malaysia as a whole, as it relates to the development on hill-lands and the guidelines on ‘special projects.’
  1. Landslide in Paya Terubong, Lebuh Rambai 13: On 16 July, TBRA along with representatives from several residential areas in Penang (RAP), issued a press statement expressing our grave concerns over the landslide at a hillslope near Lebuh Rambai 13 in Paya Terubong, Penang, that took place in the morning of 14 July. We once again reiterated our call to the Penang State Government to prohibit development on hill-lands and to take measures to protect and stabilise hill-slopes.
  1. Aspen development, Chee Seng Gardens: In July, a few residents of houses along Jln. Chan Siew Teong sought the assistance of TBRA about a project by Aspen involving 44 storeys of high-rise apartments. TBRA met with the residents and helped them get in touch with a lawyer to assist the residents in their case with the Appeals Board. A sample letter was also drafted by TBRA for those residents who did not receive notice from the MBPP so that they can seek further clarification from the Council. TBRA alerted the lawyer and the residents about the status of Tanjung Bungah which is designated as being in the secondary corridor in the text of the Structure Plan, which states that only 15 units per acre can be allowed. TBRA has been informed that Aspen has now submitted a new (lower) plan for development and the residents have again filed their objections.
  1. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the North-Coastal Paired Road (NCPR): In July, several TBRA Committee members studied the detailed EIA for the NCPR project and submitted written comments and feedback (on 31 July) to the Department of Environment (DOE), along with 400 signatures to a petition from residents in the Tg. Bungah area who were against the road.
A press conference was held on 3 September, which was very well covered in the media, including a front-page and lead story in the Star newspaper. A sensitization and membership drive took place on the same day. Letters were also written to the Chief Minister and the State Exco for Public Works, YB Lim Hock Seng.
Unfortunately, the DOE approved the EIA for the paired roads on 10 November. TBRA learnt that the Penang State Government was required by the DOE to submit an ‘Action Plan’ based on all the issues raised by the public, prior to the EIA approval. TBRA issued a press statement on 29 December calling for the Action Plan to be made public but there was not much coverage of this in the mainstream media. TBRA sent follow-up letters on 9 Jan 2018 to the Penang Chief Minister and the State Exco for Public Works to make public the Action Plan. There has, however, been no response to our letters.
  1. Response to Sept 15 floods: Following the massive impact of the 15 September floods that hit Penang, TBRA together with several residents’ associations and community representatives of RAP, got together on 30 September, along with members of the Penang Forum and other NGOs, including the Consumers Association of Penang, to assess how best to draw attention of the Penang authorities, the State Assembly members and the public on the need to take urgent action to solve the flood problems in the State.
A press conference was held on 15 Oct, where TBRA representing the RAPs issued a call to the State Government of Penang, and the elected representatives to take the situation of rainfall, floods and hill erosion very seriously. The press statement contained a list of demands on action to be taken. The press conference was well covered.

Following this, individual letters containing those demands were sent to all elected representatives of the Penang State Assembly, including the Chief Minister.

  1. Dialogue with State Assembly representatives on Oct 29 on Penang’s Floods: Call for Action: With the support of TBRA and other members of RAP, the Penang Forum organised the above dialogue. It focused on the causes of the floods, the severity of the impacts and the laws and the actions that need to be taken. TBRA presented the demands made to the State Assembly representatives. The dialogue was very well attended and saw a lot of publicity in the media. A video of the full session is available.
  1. Granito landslide tragedy on 21 Oct: TBRA was at the landslide tragedy on the morning of the incident and spoke to members of the press and called upon the State to set up a Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the tragedy. We also issued a press release on 23 October, along with CAP and Sahabat Alam Malaysia, asking how the project had been approved when the DOE had objected to it.
The TBRA Chair was interviewed widely by the media, including TV stations in relation to the tragedy.
On 27 October, we also issued a press statement responding to the State government’s decision to set up the COI, calling for it to be made public and for the terms of reference to also include a review of the relevant laws, guidelines and approvals as well as the monitoring and enforcement aspects with a view to making improvements. Since February 2018, TBRA has taken active part in the COI, including through asking questions and raising issues related to workers’ safety, hillslope development and planning approvals.
On 11-11-17, members of TBRA held a tree planting event at the Granito site, in honour of the 11 workers who died at the site. Some 50 members helped to dig holes and plant 30 trees. The media were also invited. The initiative was part of the City Council’s tree-planting programme.
  1. Response to 4 November floods: The TBRA once again called on the State to halt all short-sighted and patchy urban planning that continued to cause more adverse impacts on the people of Penang, following intense rains on 4 Nov. We called for the development of holistic flood prevention and mitigation.
  1. Sore Thumb’ project: The TBRA Committee is still monitoring the proposal to convert the ‘Sore Thumb’ into a coastal park. Datuk Renji, former TBRA Chair and member of the Green Council keeps the committee informed.

Friday, December 29, 2017

MAKE PUBLIC STATE ACTION PLAN ON PAIRED ROAD PROJECTS

Press Release                                                                29 December 2017

MAKE PUBLIC STATE ACTION PLAN ON PAIRED ROAD PROJECTS

The Tanjung Bungah Residents Association (TBRA) deeply regrets the approval by the Department of Environment (DOE) of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the three paired road projects on 10 November this year.

TBRA has learnt about this from the Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) who were informed about the EIA approval by the DOE.We also have learnt that the Penang State Government was required by the DOE to submit an ‘Action Plan’ based on all the issues raised by the public, prior to the EIA approval and this was complied with by the State.

TBRA therefore calls on the Penang State Government to make public the Action Plan so that we can assess if our concerns have been addressed effectively.
We also want to know if the Action Plan has addressed concerns arising from the most recent floods and landslides that occurred on November 5 this year and whether and how this has been taken into account in the construction of the roads.

TBRA had raised our concerns regarding the North Coastal Paired Road (NCPR) from Teluk Bahang to Tanjung Bungah both to the DOE and the Penang State Government. 
TBRA had pointed out serious environmental and social impacts of the NCPR especially for thousands of residents living along the road alignment.

What is even more disturbing is the fact that the heavy rains that resulted in the Nov 5 landslides and floods involve parts of the areas along the proposed NCPR road alignment in TanjungBungah.

The EIA had revealed that about 46% of the proposed road will be on terrain with a higher than 25 degree slope, are well known to be ‘sensitive hill lands.’
How and whether the Penang State Government and the DOE have addressed this concern remains a mystery to us.

TBRA had appealed to the DOE to reject the EIA and had called on the Penang Government to have a dialogue session with all residents along the road alignment of the to explain the full details of the road and seek their feedback.

We deeply regret that our calls and concerns have thus far not been met by either the DOE or the State Government.

Now that the State has provided an Action Plan to the DOE, it is vital for this to be made public urgently and to seek public feedback, as this will be in line with the spirit of the State Government being transparent and accountable to the people of Penang.

TBRA also pointed out and continues to maintain that the ‘saving’ of 14 minutes of time travelled between Tanjung Bungah and Teluk Bahang at a cost of RM 1 billion for the NCPR will soon vanish once more traffic demand is generated by the new road in the coming years.

What has also not been made clear how the State is going to disperse the traffic from the NCPR that ends in Lembah Permai inTanjung Bungah to Straits Quay.

It therefore incumbent on and imperative for the State Government to be fully transparent on the need for the NCPR, the implications of this to the residents affected by the road, what alternatives were considered and deemed not feasible and how the Action Plan addresses all the concerns of the public.


Meenakshi Raman
Chairperson,
Tanjung Bungah Residents Association

Sunday, December 17, 2017

From a Young Heart Planting Trees on 11/11 Remembering 11 Landslide Victims


Maverick DAP rep asks why party impatient to get rid of him

Susan Loone, 16 Dec 2017


Maverick DAP Tanjung Bungah assemblyperson Teh Yee Cheu broke his silence and questioned why his party was apparently impatient to get rid of him by barring him from being involved in flood aid in his state constituency.
Teh said he has not joined another political party and is still a DAP member and assemblyperson.
"Why can't you (DAP leaders) be patient? You are showing your impatience to get rid of me. It really shows the kind of mindset they have," Teh told Malaysiakini when met at his service centre in Tanjung Bungah.
Teh expressed disappointment that a senior DAP leader ran him down in the state newsletter Buletin Mutiara.
"Now you condemn me and say bad things about me. Aren't you just playing politics?" he asked.
"You say I might be a risk. What kind of risk do I pose? You mean I can sabotage the whole thing? How can I do that?
"If I want to sabotage (DAP), I do not need to announce in advance that I want to leave the party."
‘We don’t take risk’
On Dec 14, DAP Bukit Bendera MP Zairil Khir Johari revealed that Teh was barred from approving the registration of flood victims which will entitle them to receive the state's RM700 in financial aid.
The aid is part of Penang's Bangkit Programme which was launched by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng following the devastating floods from a freak storm last month.


On why the two-term elected representative was barred, Zairil (photo) said this was due to Teh issuing a few negative statements to the press.
"He had publicly announced that he’s leaving DAP and that also means he's leaving the Pakatan Harapan state government. So, when there's uncertainty, do you take the risk?" Zairil was quoted as saying in Buletin Mutiara.
He said the e-mail on the Penang government’s decision was sent to Teh by state secretary Farizan Darus on Nov 20.
Zairil is currently handling the task of approving flood aid to victims in Tanjung Bungah.
According to Teh, the party was merely seeking publicity in handing out vouchers to victims of the Nov 4 and 5 floods, which displaced thousands and killed seven.
"Why not credit the money into the people's bank accounts? Why the need to give vouchers, take photograph and get publicity? Isn't this playing politics with the flood disaster?" he asked.
Teh is the second assemblyperson barred from handling the flood registration after a similar fate befell PKR Kebun Bunga representative Cheah Kah Peng (photo).


The task is currently being handled by Pulau Tikus assemblywoman Yap Soo Huey.
Cheah and Teh have often irked their party comrades by questioning the state's environmental policies, especially hillslope development, sea reclamation projects and recently, the corporatisation of the Penang Botanical Gardens.
'Narrow-minded'
Meanwhile, Teh denied that he was planning to contest against the Harapan government in the coming 14th national polls, which must be held by August next year.
Speculation is rife that Teh may jump ship and join the newly minted Penang Front Party, now a major critic of DAP and Lim's administration.
It is also rumoured that Teh may run as an independent candidate in the next polls.
"This is not true. Whether it is a multiple-cornered or straight fight, it is all up to the voters' decision. How can you say that I want to fight the Harapan government?
"During the polls, Penang is no longer under any particular party, the mandate of the state government is over," Teh explained. "To think that I am going to contest against Harapan is being narrow-minded."
However, Teh confirmed he would be leaving DAP - a decision he announced after a major landslide in Tanjung Bungah killed 11 people on Oct 21.
Teh said he will decide which platform he would use to continue his political struggle when the parliament and state assembly are dissolved.
"Be fair to me, give me some room to move, (and) to continue my work," he said.
On which platform he would be seeking, Teh replied, "I do not have much choice. But this is not for me to decide now."
"Certain quarters may say I have been approached by some rival parties and that I have betrayed the DAP, but these arguments are merely used to run me down," he said.
"I may retire or join NGOs, I do not know at this point in time."

Paya Terubong's Hillside Development Complaints Sound Strikingly Familiar ...

Paya Terubong residents have been struggling for years against complaints that today sound familiar to Tanjung Bungah residents.

See this 15-minute video from August 2016. It lists a litany of problems related to the poor governance of hillside developments: Hill cutting, unstable slope and potential collapse, highrise next to slope, lack of consultation with nearby residents, ineffective stop-work orders, muddy run off on streets and houses, filling up flood mitigation ponds, flash flood, water retention and mosquitoes, noise and dust pollution, illegal and dangerous rock blasting, report to MACC, "upgrade" of low-density to high-density project by the present state government, MBPP approval without giving reasons, illegal worker settlement, burglaries and robberies, effective 10-feet setbacks for 330-ft buildings, falling construction debris, ...

More at: NO to Paya Terubong HILL Development https://www.facebook.com/hillrape/

7-minute, drone video of Berverly Hills project, Tanjung Bungah, from Nov 6


Here is a very clear, 7-minute, drone video of Berverly Hills project, Tanjung Bungah, from Nov 6, the day after the collapse of the retaining wall. This is behind Surin and Straits Regency. The views include the back area and the hill behind the houses.


Know the river basins of Penang Island. Know that these have to be protected

Is it coincidence to see upstream hillside development and downstream flooding with "teh-tarik" yellow muddy water?


From Penang Forum
https://www.facebook.com/penangforum/
https://penangforum.net/

Monday, November 20, 2017

Tanjong Bunga remembers the landslide victims

On 11 November around 50 volunteers answered TBRA’s call to remember the 11 landslide victims by planting trees at the site where they lost their lives.
Old and young residents came with hoes and spades to plant 30 trees on
Lorong Lemba Permai roadside. 
Quiet thanks to migrant workers whose families will miss them most. Also a reminder to their employers and to the Penang government that Tanjong Bungah residents expect them to compensate the families promptly and adequately.

The volunteers worked so well and so fast that all was done by 10 am. When the press arrived only few remained on the site. An official picture was sent to MBPP to show TBRA did its part in the Tree Planting event that took place all over the State.






Tanjong Bunga remembers the landslide victims

On 11 November, the Tanjong Bunga Residents’ Association (TBRA) will be planting trees at the site of the fateful landslide, which cost the lives of 11 men, all except one, migrant workers. “We have heard painfully little about plans to compensate the families in Bangladesh and Indonesia who lost sons, fathers, brothers as well as their source of income”, says Agnes James, Deputy Chair of TBRA.

Since the landslide happened in Tanjong Bunga, the residents want to commemorate the preventable deaths of these victims. Foreign workers, who build our houses, keep our streets and homes clean, are people, not just numbers, not dispensable statistics, now here and gone tomorrow. #

Our town wants to thank and remember them, wants to ensure their families far away are not forgotten and be given adequate information, recognition and compensation.

# The Star of 22 October listed 14 victims by name: 1 Malaysian, 1 Pakistani, 1
from Myanmar, 2 Indonesians, 7 Bangladeshis and 2 others, Jamal and Rahman of “unknown” nationality. 11 bodies were found. There were rumors that more workers were swept to their deaths by the sudden mudflow but no confirmation
A week later, a picture in The Sun, shows SOCSO handing a cheque for funeral expenses to the Malaysian victim’s mother. It also says his parents will receive a monthly pension of RM1062 for the rest of their lives. It says nothing, however, about the funerals of the foreign workers, nor of any compensation for their families. Don’t companies need to pay SOCSO for all workers they employ? AND surely, the company must pay its own compensation; SOCSO is just a small part ?







TBRA chose this site to plant the 30 trees to commemorate the 11 innocent lives lost in the October 21st tragedy


Penang: 11-11-2017
Press Release TBRA
The Tanjung Bunga Residents’ Association (TBRA) is pleased to be part of the Penang Island City Council’s “Most Amenity Trees Planted in 24 Hours” initiative today.

This project is certainly in line with TBRA’s objective to retain the green image that Tanjung Bunga is famous for. We believe that planting trees will not only deliver health benefits by encouraging more people to walk and cycle in more pleasant surroundings, but also help to reduce air pollution and provide much-needed shade.
TBRA has chosen this site to plant the 30 trees provided by the MBPP, to commemorate the 11 innocent lives lost in the October 21st tragedy.
We have been concerned with over-development of our town over the past few decades and have been urging the State to temper development, and ensure that any new projects are in tandem with retaining a safe and healthy quality of life before approving them.
The recent spate of landslides and sinkholes, particularly in Tanjung Bunga, shows how wanton disregard and disrespect for the environment has dire consequences.
The unprecedented and unsustainable number of construction projects have resulted in deadly environmental degradation. Cutting into hill slopes to make “flat land” for tall buildings, ignoring unstable water tables and flimsy covering up of erosion sites have been criticized by TBRA and landed the association into often contentious and difficult situations.  
We are fearful that the future of our environment and natural resources seems to depend more on economic and political gains rather than on independent and scientific understanding of the value of protecting nature.
TBRA hopes to work closely with the Penang State in the future so that we can have clear guidelines to support both quality development and sound preservation to sustain Tanjung Bunga’s character. We want development for people, not for cars. We want parks, not parking lots. Pedestrian-friendly patterns exist which support healthy lifestyles and do not destroy but enhance neighborhoods.
Perhaps with the planting of all these trees, more residents in Penang will be spurred to understand the value of trees and welcome more of them, instead of cementing up their surroundings. This would certainly help flood mitigation even in a small way. The more trees we plant, the more there will be a regular drainage of rainwater into streams and rivers, the less erosion. Roots and vegetation beneath the trees will help prevent floods and landslides.
We the residents and the State government have a responsibility to future generations to go even greener than GREEN, by respecting our natural resources.


Agnes James

Vice-chair TBRA

(019 4735980)