Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Tanjong Bunga’s Residents’ Association pays tribute to ADUN Teh who followed his conscience and voted for a principle. This was taken by some as supporting the opposition and caused uproar in the Penang Assembly.
On 21 November 2015, a motion on land reclamation was debated by the Penang government’s State Assembly. Teh Yee Cheu (Tanjong Bunga), also known as the bicycle ADUN and long acknowledged as an environmental activist, was the only DAP ADUN who voted in favor of the motion. The 5 PKR ADUNs who abstained certainly conveyed a message that this issue is bigger than Party politics.
The motion asked that all projects or concessions involving reclamation be made public before they are finalised. It also wanted any new reclamation projects to be suspended until a complete and detailed environmental impact assessment was conducted. The motion had been filed by Muhammad Farid Saad (BN-Pulau Betong).
Short-term Party politics seem to have taken priority over major environmental concerns. Yet, environmental impact assessments (EIA) must be taken seriously. EIAs must be independent and studied in depth. We need to recall how angry many residents were just last year when the EIA for STP2 was hastily approved without considering public opposition and the impact of the project on fisherfolk?
The Penang Forum had been very disappointed with the Penang State government’s determined obsession to reclaim and develop land on the island with little or no vision on sustainability for the future. Later, in a letter to the new Mayor of Penang, Patahiyah Ismail, the Forum wrote eloquently: “Our hills are being raped; land reclamation is altering our coastlines beyond recognition; there are proposals to eliminate critical sea grass beds; siltation is destroying our beaches; fishing grounds shrink by the day; and our waters are being polluted. There has been little regard for inadequate infrastructure and current residents’ needs and concerns.”
YB Teh Yee Cheu has been consistent in alerting the media and the public about environmental disasters waiting to happen. TBRA remembers how he shaved his head over Botak Hill and how, more recently, he called on the State government to preserve the Penang seagrass bed at the Middle Bank, off the Penang Bridge, as a conservation and heritage area. Closer to home, he has consistently supported TBRA’s calls to turn the so-called “Sore Thumb” into a public park. Yet, this year, PDC, the State owned Development Corporation was allowed to call for tenders on a huge reclamation (up to 20 acres) off that very same site.
So how could Teh be expected to vote against a demand for independent EIAs, public hearings, for feedback, opinions and recommendations to be seriously considered before embarking on reclamation projects? Recently, the State government has been attacked over lack of planning, over its too friendly relations with developers.
TBRA believes that Teh Yee Cheu was not only right to follow his convictions but also expressed the Penang people’s opposition to reclamations.
Dato’ Renji Sathiah
Tanjung Bungah Residents’ Association
Postscript for information:
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had hoped for a unanimous vote to defeat the motion. He warned all his faithful: “if you stand with UMNO, you will pay the price!”
But the outcome was NOT unanimous. The motion was approved by 10, rejected by 22 while 5 abstained.
During the debate, Farid proposed that any projects which brought negative effects to Penang should be cancelled.
The state government was also urged to carry out a comprehensive and oceanic study, especially on the environmental and social impact caused by already-completed reclamation projects, and to stop all imminent reclamation project plans in the pipeline until this study had been completed.
YB Teh recalled a quote of his former party national chairman, the late Karpal Singh, that “there are no permanent friends or enemies, but there must be permanent principles.”
He later apologised for his “mistake” not to follow the party line. “After discussion, I felt that I have made a mistake to vote yes, in party interest, I hearby apologise to the party and want to return to continue the party’s struggle for the future,” he said.
“I understand there will be a punishment when someone makes mistake. As organising secretary, I will accept the decision by the secretary-general to carry out the punishment,” he added.
Lim said it is not easy for someone to admit making a mistake and apologise for it.
“We will definitely discuss the matter but I would like to state my appreciation to Teh for apologising to the party,” he added.
Asked if Teh was only apologising for his mistake but would withdraw his support from the motion, Lim said “it was already done in the House, you cannot withdraw your support”.
Asked why the party does not allow an assemblyperson to express his support in what he believes in, Lim said “he has already stated his views, we leave it at that”.
Sunday, August 16, 2015
Comment by Anil Netto:
This statement by a group of Seri Tanjung Pinang residents hammers home the point as to why land and property development-for-infrastructure swap deals are a bad idea.
Such deals compromise the development regulatory process by presenting the land reclamation or property developments projects as done deals – because they are needed to finance the infrastructure projects.
City of Dreams is intricately linked to the land-for-tunnel/highways swap deal.
Better not to have swap deals and instead separate the land reclamation/property development and infrastructure projects. Assess the technical, financial and environmental feasiblity of each project separately.
The residents are claiming the City of Dreams project is going to be 156 units per acre. If true, how is this even possible?
Press release by STP residents – 26 May 2015
We are a group of residents of Seri Tanjung Pinang at Denai Endau 7, 9, 11, Lengok Endau and Jalan Bayu who are extremely concerned with the project dubbed as City of Dreams (CoD).
Planning Permission (PP) has been applied by Consortium Zenith BUCG Sdn Bhd (CZBUCG) and granted by MPPP on 17 February 2015 to build this 40-storey project comprising two blocks of serviced apartments both 32 storeys tall on top of a seven-storey car park and wellness facilities which in turn sit upon an underground level, housing electrical and mechanical facilities.
The project will be constructed primarily upon a piece of government reserve land known as Lot 702, Seksyen 1, Bandar Tanjung Pinang, DTL, Penang approximately measuring 3.67 acres which is part of the reclaimed land under Seri Tanjung Pinang (STP) Phase 1. The project as approved will have a total of 572 serviced apartments, which translates into a density of 156 units per acre.
We, the concerned residents who have our homes within a stone’s throw from CoD, strongly oppose this extremely high-density high-rise project immediately adjacent to our neighbourhood, which only comprises three-storey landed houses.
The site on which CoD is to be built is the one and only remaining open space within our neighbourhood – a green field on which we and our children have been playing football and flying kites.
Across the field is the green expanse of the one and only remaining mangrove forest on the northeast coast of the Penang Island. It is a few acres wide and has been formed naturally at the extended estuary of Sungai Balik Batu and is home to a complex ecosystem of flora and fauna and for the migratory birds. But soon we will lose both altogether to some hard cold concrete structures.
Close to a hundred objections were put in by us against the PP of this project. We are disappointed that only 10 of our residents were recognised by MPPP as the affected owners.
We are even more disappointed with what went through during the objection hearing held by MPPP on 10 February 2015 and the MPPP’s decision granting the PP as applied by ignoring totally our grounds of objection. The grant of PP on 17 February 2015 was only communicated by MPPP to us via its letter dated 5 March 2015.
We have filed appeal against the grant of PP on 6 April 2015 in the Appeals Board but until the date of this press conference have not received any notice of case management or hearing. On the other hand the developer, Zenith Ewein Sdn Bhd, has announced its plan to commence work on CoD in the second half of 2015 as reported in The Edge Financial Daily on 13 April 2015.
As at today, preliminary works of hoarding up the site and total clearing of the Penang Outer Ring Road (Porr) reserve land part of which to become access to the site have been carried out.
Through our lawyers, we have sent in our written request dated 9 April 2015 to the Building Department of MBPP to withhold approval of the Building Plan of COD and issuance of the Commencement of Work (CoW) order pending disposal of our appeal but we have not received any reply thus far.
To our surprise, we then discovered that the Building Plan had been put in on 9 March 2015 – before many of us even knew of the grant of PP and efficiently approved by the Building Department of MBPP within a month on 7 April 2015, i.e. the next day after we filed in our appeal and two days before our written request.
The turn of events has left us with no choice but to call for this press conference and pursue all necessary legal actions to preserve the status quo until disposal of our appeal. We urge the MBPP to accede to our request immediately so as not to issue the CoW order until disposal of our appeal in the Appeals Board.
We know that the Penang State Government through its various administrative arms has played a central role in this project as can be confirmed from YB Lim Hock Seng’s response to a written question by YB Yap Soo Huey in the State Assembly last week –
agreeing to give CZBUCG as payment in kind 110 acres of land in
Bandar Tanjung Pinang for the construction, feasibility study and
detailed design works of a RM6.3bn integrated road transport project
via an agreement signed on 6 October 2013
signing as the land proprietor of Lot 702 through the Penang
Registrar of Titles in the PP application submitted by CZBUCG in
approving the PP on 17 February 2015 in a rather extraordinarily
As revealed recently by one of the six parties bidding to be Project Delivery Partner (PDP) in another part of the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) as reported by The Edge Financial Daily on 31 March 2015, the PDP chosen will be awarded the reclamation rights to the 1,500-acre Middle Bank, similar to the land swap deal with CZBUCG, which had been tasked with building the undersea tunnel and the three roads.
It was also revealed that while waiting for the reclamation of Middle Bank to be completed, the PDP chosen is welcomed by the state government to “scout around” state land and acquire it to help kick-start financing the TMP packages.
That revelation makes us wonder if Lot 702 was also given as a kick-start financing tool for the projects involved and not as payment in kind due for the feasibility studies done (only 97 per cent) for the three proposed roads.
The people and voters of Penang have very high hope and expectation of its current state government. When it comes to performing its duties and exercise of powers under the Town and Country Planning Act 1976, the MBPP must uphold and ensure conformity to established principles and guidelines in order to achieve proper, structured and sustainable development of Penang.
The Selangor state government has recently demonstrated good governance in listening to its people – by saying no to or reducing the damaging portion of some mega projects that tend to only serve certain commercial interests but which would adversely affect the environment and quality of life of many; look at the cancellation of Kidex and the development of the PKNS Sports Complex in Selangor.
Not only that the Penang State Government shall emulate Selangor in listening to its people, it shall also live up to its own slogan of CAT.
We therefore urge the Penang state government, which holds the key to this project, to answer the following questions in a manner compatible with a competent, accountable and transparent state government:
Lot 702 specified to be part of the 110 acres as payment in kind in
the agreement dated 6 October 2013?
is/was the payment due for the feasibility studies of the three
proposed roads under the agreement?
Lot 702 has been alienated to CZBUCG, when was it done?
the state government willing and ready to provide us a copy of the
agreement to us if we are to apply under the Freedom of Information
the Draft Local Plans 2005-2020 of Penang Island, our neighbourhood
is zoned as Established Housing Area (“Kawasan Perumahan Tetap”)
whilst Lot 702 is zoned for “institution”. Has there been any
change to that? If so, when?
considerations did the State Planning Committee take in coming out
with the density of 156 units per acre for CoD? Did they know the
site is sandwiched between a neighbourhood of three-storey houses
and a plot of mangrove forest currently?
much green open space was originally provided for in the Master
Layout Plan of STP Phase 1? How much is left currently?
Lot 702 stated to be for low-density residential development in the
DEIA Report on STP Phase 2?
will be the permanent access for CoD? When will it come into
PP as granted provides that part of Lot 721 will be used as
temporary access (50 feet wide) to the building site. Does that not
infringe the zoning of Lot 721 as open/recreational space (“kawasan
lapang/rekreasi”) under the draft Local Plans thereby further
depriving us of the very limited green/recreational space we can
any part of Porr reserve land be used as the permanent access for
CoD? If so, will there be any conflict with the state government’s
duty to carry out the Porr project as specified under the Penang
Structure Plan 2020?
- Apart from stipulating in the PP that the conditions for approval (under “Kajian Penilaian Kesan Kepada Alam Sekitar (EIA) Ruj no AS(PP)E04(6)P-2/90(56) dated 7 June 1993) must be fulfilled for this project and stating generally that the project must preserve the quality of environment so that a sustainable development can be achieved, has any EIA study been conducted for this high-rise and high-density project (with an underground level as well) on a part of reclaimed and seaside land as required under the Penang Structure Plan 2020 gazetted on 28 June 2007?
Before everything is too late, we urge the Penang state government to look for an alternative plot of land to build CoD or review the PP granted. It must realise that the project will not be a sustainable development if built on Lot 702 and will not be fulfilling many of the Sectorial Bases (“Dasar-dasar Sektoral”) envisioned in the Penang Structure Plan 2020. It shall not ignore the ABC of planning laws.
The need for the state government to fulfil its contractual financial obligation for some other proposed public works shall not be taken as the paramount reason to have approved the project of CoD on Lot 702.
We would also like to seek information and clarification from MPPP the role played by SPC (if any) in the approval process and why the PP for CoD departed materially from the established guidelines and principles laid down and applicable to all planning approvals.
We sincerely believe the established guidelines which are within public knowledge are fundamental to a certain, predictable and transparent planning approval process to ensure Penang remains a highly liveable city and should be applied consistently throughout.
Finally, we wish to also record our gratitude to YB Yap Soo Huey, our State Assembly representative, YB Teh Yee Cheu and YB Zairil Khir Johari, who have voiced their concerns and stated their objections against CoD to the authorities concerned. We hope they will continue to do their best to support us in this cause.
List of Reference Materials
- Notice from MPPP dated 5 March 2015 and Borang B under Section 22(6) Town and Country Planning Act 1976
- Grounds of Appeal to the Appeals Board
- Plan contained in EIA Report of STP Phase 2 referring to Lot 702 as low density residential development
- The Edge Financial Daily, 31 March 2015 pg 4
- The Edge Financial Daily, 1 April 2015 pg 2
- The Edge Financial Daily, 13 April 2015 pg 4
- The Edge Financial Daily, 17 April 2015 pg 4
- Relevant portions of Draft Local Plans of Penang Island 2005-2020 (“Intensiti”, “Pengezonan” and “Peta Cadangan”)
- Google Maps satellite images of the area
- Letter of objection against CoD from YB Teh Yee Cheu to Penang Rural and Urban Planning Department (“Jabatan Perancang Bandar dan Desa Negeri Pulau Pinang”) (JPBD) dated 12 August 2014 and to MPPP One Stop Centre (OSC) dated 16 November 2014
- Letter of objection against CoD from YB Zairil Khir Johari to JPBD 26 November 2014
- Letter of objection against CoD from YB Yap Soo Huey to JPBD dated 14 January 2015
- Sin Chew mykampung online report, 12 May 2015
- The Malaysian Insider report, 13 May 2015
- The Star Online report, 16 May 2015
- Article by Goh Ban Lee, as a senior research fellow at the Penang Institute, in Penang Monthly dated 13 August 2011 – “Clarifying the role of politicians in development control”
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Sustainable Development for Penang and Preparation of a State Agenda 21
We propose that the Penang Green Council develop a meaningful green agenda for Penang based on Agenda 21. Agenda 21 is universally accepted as an agenda that would guide a state towards sustainable development. To have comprehensive Agenda 21 would make Penang the first state in Malaysia to have a sustainable development plan to make the transition to sustainability.
... Click for the full memo in PDF format: https://goo.gl/hHaaGL
|One of the old illustrations from Structure Plan 2005|
Wednesday, July 01, 2015
Thursday, May 28, 2015
"The residents are claiming the City of Dreams project is going to be 156 units per acre. If true, how is this even possible?"See AnilNetto.com for more...
|Residents showing their displeasure ... (Source: TheMalaysianInsider.com)|
Lim had said that Lot 702 (3.67 acres) worth RM135.08 million had already been given to Consortium Zenith BUCG as part of its said payment in kind for the feasibility studies for three proposed roads which were 97% completed.See TheMalaysianInsider.com for more
Local assemblyman for Tanjung Bungah, Teh Yee Cheu, who was present to support the residents, said he had objected to the project right from the beginning.
“I objected to the proposal to rezone Lot 702 on August 12, 2014. The Penang Structure Plan is due for a review,” said Teh.
He also noted that the Penang Local Plan was still at the draft stage and had yet to be gazetted by the state government.
“Under Section 25 of the Town and Country Planning Act, the state can withdraw the approved plan by paying compensation to the developer,” added Teh. – May 25, 2015.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Use this application form to join TBRA! https://goo.gl/3yz8A2 .
Life membership at TBRA costs RM100 - once and for all. This is the recommended option. It saves you and us the hassle of renewing membership every year. (Life membership has been approved in the AGM in 2009 and by the Registrar of Society in 2010).
But if you are applying for ordinary membership, the entrance fee is RM8 and yearly fee is RM12.
Please make check payable to (note the spelling and punctuation marks):
Tanjong Bunga Residents' Association Penang
Let's keep Tanjong Bunga lively but also lovely!
Saturday, April 04, 2015
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
|Photo Credit: |
Why you should read and share this report: It is packed with important review and info in a few pages!
Contents - What's inside the Chairman's report?
1.0 Highlights of 2014/2015
1.1 Submission of TBRA brief to the review of the Penang Structure Plan2.0 Some issues and challenges ahead
1.2 The status of the “sore thumb” as a coastal zone public park
1.3 Status of Bukit Mutiara (Pearl Hill) public open space
1.4 Participation of TBRA on the 2014 Detailed EIA of the second phase of the Tanjung Tokong land reclamation
2.1 Development without planning3.0 Current situation for TBRA as an organization
2.1.1 Unresolved status of Tanjung Bungah as a secondary development corridor2.2 North coast development corridor
2.1.2 Development in north coast without a Local Plan and conflicting Structure Plan
2.1.3 High rise high density development in Jalan Permai and Jalan Sungai Kelian
2.1.4 Moving the Chinese temple to Chee Seng Garden without consultation
2.1.5 High rise high density development on Hong Hong paper factory site
2.1.6 High rise high density development in Straits Quay and Batu Ferringhi
2.2.1 Zoning and development in Batu Ferringhi2.3 The review of the Penang Structure Plan up to 2020
2.2.2 What is the carrying capacity of the North Coast of Penang Island?
2.2.3 Appropriate and inappropriate building approvals
2.3.1 What is the status and did it follow proper procedures of public participation and consultation?
2.3.2 The status of the Local Plan after the review of the Structure Plan
3.1 Membership and participation of members4.0 The way ahead, from TBRA to North coast’s residents association?
3.1.1 One common feature of residents’ associations is that they are active when there is a pressing issue, such as high crime rate or high rise building in low rise area. There is little interest apart of issues that directly affect them.3.2 SWOT analysis and strategic plan?
3.1.2 In TBRA, the number of active members are small and getting a quorum for meetings is a problem.
3.2.1 There have been 2 attempts to develop a strategic plan on how to proceed. Both ended in failure due to the lack of participation of members. There is still a need to build up a shared consensus as to how we want the north coast to be. What should be the strategy that the residents can adopt to make this happen. With no clear and accepted strategy, there will be only ad hoc responses to developers like what is happening now of one neighborhood after another protesting against development proposals. In the end, the neighborhood groups loses.
Click one of these links to read the full report:
Saturday, November 08, 2014
Sunday, November 02, 2014
- Internal contradiction between text and diagram
- Lack of due process for changes to the Draft Structure PlanThe proper process for changing the Structure Plan was not followed, as required by the Town and Country Planning Act. Due process under the Act requires any major change has to be exhibited again. The change would be invalid if this were not done.
- Tanjong Bunga is marked as Tanjong Tokong in the amended diagram
See full document in PDF: http://goo.gl/OrdlYg
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
To backtrack a little. The area dubbed the Sore Thumb is located on the beach in Tanjong Bunga. It started a long time ago, as of 2002 when hundreds of truckloads of rocks, soil and discarded building materials were dumped into the sea, creating a humpbacked jetty. In fact it was an ILLEGAL reclamation of the sea in front of the Copthorne Hotel and just next to Penang Swimming Club. By law, all reclamations belong to the government.
Friday, August 08, 2014
- Why was there no prior notice of the intended construction given to residents in and around the said area as per City Council guidelines?
- FYI there was an enquiry by the residents dated 26 February 2014 when there appeared to be some construction works to come. ( Appendix 1 ) The response from
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Many well established international studies have shown the health hazard of the electromagnetic radiation from the Mobile Phone Telco Towers. The tower should not be located at or near the residential areas, schools and hospitals. Certain scientist even suggested that the towers should not be less than 300 meters from schools or residential area.
We are extremely concerned about the health effects and risk of Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Radiation (RF) from the antennas. Majority of the residents around this area objected to the radiation exposure and the nearness of this tower.
The telecommunications industry claims cellular antennas are safe because the radiation they produce is too weak to cause heating, a "thermal effect." They point to "safety standards" from groups such as ANSI/IEEE or ICNIRP to support their claims. But these groups have explicitly stated that their claim of “safe levels of exposure” is only based on thermal levels.
The potential long term health effects are much more worrying especially when we consider that our children are especially vulnerable due to the fact that they have thinner skulls, immature immune systems and soft bones allowing stem cells in the bone marrow to absorb microwaves (Cherry 1998).
We demand to remove the mentioned telco tower. Enclosed are the lists of signatures taken around the area, wanting the tower to be taken down. Your immediate response and action are very much needed and appreciated.
Friday, November 30, 2012
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
Sadly, there are many squatters and illegal construction on the beach front next to the park. Yes these people can enjoy their seafront villas free on state land!
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
(Realistically, we are not out of the woods yet because the developers are lobbying members of the state govt to pressurize MPPP to reverse this decision. We members of the public must step up the pressure because MPPP's recommendation to SPC is pending a final decision.)
On the complaints to MPPP of the rivers in Lembah Permai and the one next to 1 tanjung/Penang Swimming Club being filled up by developers, Dato YDP promised to call for a meeting with JPS and JKR and DO and PForum reps to resolve these issues. She also asked her engineering dept head to monitor the situations at those 2 places.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Monday, July 02, 2012
THE rugged-looking Teh Yee Cheu, assemblyman for Tanjung Bungah, used to be dubbed the “bicycle YB” because he had once cycled to a Penang Legislative Assembly sitting. His DAP bosses did not quite approve of it but he received a lot of publicity from the media and went from an unknown to being noticed.
But these days, Teh’s name is more synonymous with the “dying hills” in his constituency. The hills of Tanjung Bungah have become a prickly issue in Penang politics and Teh is feeling the heat.
The DAP politician has been under immense pressure from his constituents to act on their complaints about the string of development projects coming up in Tanjung Bungah’s hilly terrain. Hillslope development and its environmental costs have become the No. 1 issue in this upmarket coastal strip.
Sunday, July 01, 2012
By SHARANJIT SINGH AND LOOI SUE CHERN
SHOCKING: DAP assemblyman takes reporters to see construction site above the 75m safety zone
Gone are the trees and the highest point has been levelled. The hilltop is littered with granite rock which was blasted and dug out of the ground in preparation for the construction of posh apartments and villas.
The project was abandoned in the early 1990s but was revived two years ago with work now in full swing. Tanjung Bungah assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu took the New Straits Times to see how the hill "was being killed" with little or no monitoring of what was going on.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
TBRA wishes all its members and friends Gong Xi Fa Cai !
TBRA Car Sticker
Many events have taken place over the past few months, particularly in December. Before we brief you, PLEASE note 2 important dates !
- You are invited to the Official Launch of the 'Pearl Hill View Point Park' on Tuesday 31st January from 5.30pm to 6.30pm (top of the hill)
- Come and learn how to assess a Local Plan on Saturday, 11 Febr. 4-6pm (Straits Regency meeting room, Chee Seng Gardens)
Now chronologically, here is a summary of what your Association did in December:
- On 3 December, Lemba Permai residents took to the street in protest against two 32 storey blocks planned for their quiet low-rise residential neighbourhood. (see TBRA blogsite for pictures and story)
- Several TBRA Committee members attended the full day Penang Forum on 18 December.
- On that same Sunday another “gotong royong” took place on Pearl Hill.
- Earlier in the month, the Dalat School students (and parents) contributed to the improvement and development of the Park with clearing, making paths, carrying & laying bricks for more permanent concrete paths, planting trees, etc. TBRA is grateful to them.
- We have printed a TBRA car sticker – If you promise to stick it in your car, pick one up at the Esso station, from Andrew at Straits Mini Market or from any Committee member you know. (See picture above)
“Pearl Hill View Point Park”
On 27 December 2011 there was a Dialogue with MPPP on this park. TBRA and ADUN YB Teh have long been advocating for this state land to be gazetted as public. The State government agrees now that the 20 acre hilltop is a Public Park. This was confirmed on 16 Jan. 2012 when a Committee was appointed to see to the park’s development and maintenance. The Morning Walkers, JKKK, the Tua Pek Kong Temple, Dalat School and TBRA are on the Committee. MPPP- Pengarah Akbar (Jabatan Rekreasi, Pelancongan & Perhubungan Antarabangsa) is advisor and counterpart. Two councillors (YB Yee Cheu Teh and YB Liew Chin Tong) are also advisors. The Committee is set up in accordance with the LA21 (Local Agenda 21)
Official Launch of the PHVPP. A Greener, Cleaner, Safer Park
Tuesday, 31st January 2012 from 5-30pm-6-30pm at the landing area at the base of the Pearl Hill View Point Park, near the Temple. There will be banners, food and drinks. Please come so MPPP can see Tanjong Bunga really needs and welcomes this Park. All are invited.
Training on how to read and understand a Local Plan
Remember the Structure Plan, the Primary and Secondary Corridor issues?
If we want to have a say in what our town will look like 10 years from now, we need to be ready to comment on the Local Plan as soon as it becomes available for viewing. Most likely the time for giving comments will be limited so we had better start preparing now. (For instance right now the draft Special Area Plan (SAP) for the Penang Botanic Gardens - with 3 more concrete structures…- is only available for less than a month.)
A well-known architect and town planner (with a soft spot for Tg Bunga) is willing to donate his time to teach TBRA how to read a sample Local Plan and we are jumping on the occasion.
- Date: 11 February, Saturday afternoon, TBRA invites its members to be trained, 4 to 6 pm.
- Venue: Straits Regency Condo meeting room (1st floor) top of Chee Seng Gardens.
Hope to see many of you then.
Friday, December 23, 2011
They were angry about new plans by Sri Setia developer (Boon Siew) who now proposes building two apartment blocks 32 stories high & one apartment block 9 stories high at ‘Permai Village’, in Tanjong Bunga (directly behind Lorong Lembah Permai 4) and adjacent to Nineteen, Permai Village and 2Permai new houses. Total additional apartment units would be over 500.
The new plans have not yet been approved and quite a number of residents went to express their opposition to the plans at a Council meeting.
They have the following concerns:
- The developers proposed additional units are way too excessive in number.
- The proposed apartment blocks are far too high for an area that was originally zoned for single storey houses.
- The addition of thousands of vehicles will add to local traffic jams & density – already at bursting point.
- The infrastructure cannot support these additional numbers. Parking will definitely spill over into neighboring streets.
- A dead-end road in a residential area of LLP4 has been opened-up to traffic in readiness to accommodate anticipated high volumes of construction & apartment traffic.
- The flow of Sungai Kelian on the proposed site has been altered; sections of the river have been filled-in, creating stagnant pools, a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
- Despite requests to MPPP President for a dialogue regarding the objections, no response has been received sofar.
Some of the residents were not notified of the Objection Hearing although it is a legal requirement.
This proposed change of plans by Boon Siew will affect residents every day; it will also affect those who bought houses in Permai Village under original plans (false promises). So, find out more about this development, share our concerns & join our protest. With support from TBRA and our local ADUN there was an excellent turn-out on 3 December 2011.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
On Saturday, 27 Aug., YB Teh Yee Cheu gave a press conference at Solok Tan Jit Seng, Tanjung Bunga. As always and despite the rain, many reporters had gathered to hear him. Contrary to other State officials, Assemblyman Teh is known to speak his mind and stand up for our environment and object to the over-development in Tanjung Bungah and Batu Ferringhi.
This time he chose a place with dangerous erosion to tell the press about new studies that show how Penang is one of 3 States considered to be at high risk for landslides. He emphasized that MPPP does not have the geo-technical knowledge to judge the hazards of construction on steep hill slopes; that therefore MPPP should be accountable for any future disaster that might strike in locations where it had approved projects.
Another speaker, Professor Dr Jimmy Lim, a well-known KL architect, pointed at the concrete pillars designed to protect the dug-out hillside below and said that modern technology would never choose concrete pilings in a place like this where solid granite bedrock can be used. The Pearl Hill Townhouses just 100 meters directly above the excavated cliff looked dangerously exposed.
TBRA has protested against the Solok Tan Jit Seng development (23 three-storey linkhouses) long before it was approved. After protracted debate, the Penang Planning Appeals Board judged a geo-tech study sufficient and a new developer was allowed to begin construction. So, since this project has been approved, one can only hope for the best. Meanwhile, MPPP as the endorser, must take full responsibility for possible mishaps.
Professor Lim also commented on the incredible ‘development’ allowed on the North Coast. While TBRA and the Batu Ferringhi Residents’ Association (BFRA) have long protested and are fully aware of the many hazards associated with the dozen or more projects along the road to Batu Ferringhi, it was interesting to hear the views of an outsider. Professor Lim said the coastal road had been built by the British for minimal traffic at the time; it was never meant to accommodate the thousands of cars and busses plying that road now.
“Basically”, he said, “it is a cul de sac, a dead-end road, meaning all who go down, use the same road to come back. (Yes, technically, they can return via Balik Pulau, but who would come back that way after a dinner in Batu Ferringhi? No-one, right ? ) So, as a cul de sac, one has to apply the simple density rules that apply in such cases. By adding on 100 townhouses here and five high-rise buildings there, the colonial-built road now is way over capacity. It is irresponsible and beyond belief that still more construction is allowed.”
George Aeria, the TBRA chairman, applauded YB Teh’s initiative to highlight the new studies showing the dangers of landslides in Penang and two other States. He reminded the reporters of TBRA’s calls to the State government to put an immediate stop to all projects on Class III and IV hill slope gradients and end any further approvals of development projects on steep slopes. He also recalled how TBRA had pleaded with successive authorities to disapprove the Tan Jit Seng construction and how residents had held a peaceful but massive protest on the very place of this press conference (see coffee party video part 1 and part 2). Despite all this, it had been approved and construction is underway– MPPP now must ensure intensive slope maintenance and monitoring and take full responsibility for any disaster that might strike.
Elky for TBRA blogsite
The Penang public just wants its hills preserved, guarded and cared for; we look to our state government to ensure that self-serving, profit-driven entrepreneurs take their ill-conceived plans elsewhere. Our future and the future of our children cannot be left in the hands of developers.Also see NST article "Nod based on flawed methods," 29-8-2011 with picture
Penang Forum Steering Committee
27 August 2011
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Higher densities despite the Penang Structure Plan 2020
The Steering Committee of the Penang Forum is deeply disappointed and concerned that the Penang State Government has recently obtained an order from the High Court to strike out a court application made by the Tanjung Bungah Residents Association (TBRA) for legal clarification on whether Tanjung Bungah falls within the secondary or primary corridor in the Penang Structure Plan.
We are of the view that the State Government should have done the honourable thing to allow the Court to decide on the substantive issue of the case.
The State Government is fully aware of the fears and grievances of the residents of Tanjung Bungah over the controversial modification of the sketch map in the Structure Plan as it had relocated Tanjung Bungah from the secondary development corridor (with a density limit of 15 units per acre) to the primary corridor (which allows a much higher density limit of 30 units per acre).
The amendment was only made to the sketch map and it was not re-publicised and re-exhibited before it was gazetted in 2007. The public did not have the opportunity to object to the amended sketch map. The amendment and inconsistencies with the written texts and the rationale in the Structure Plan was only discovered by TBRA in 2009.
After a protracted debate between the State and TBRA over the questionable amendment, TBRA was eventually told by the State to take the matter to court for a judicial decision.
We are therefore extremely disappointed that the State Government had thereafter applied to strike out the application by TBRA for a court declaration on a purely technical point.
We urge the State Government to act in good faith, by reviewing the Penang Structure Plan 2020 immediately, and to rectify the discrepancy in the sketch map in accordance with the entire text of the Structure Plan.
We also urge the State Government to stop allowing higher densities in development projects as they contradict those in the existing Structure Plan.
We have been informed that a more detailed draft Local Plan for Penang Island has been completed since 2008 and we call upon the State to publish and circulate the draft Local Plan for public feedback as soon as possible.
We fully support the State Government’s efforts to legislate the Freedom of Information Act and laud its recent exhibition of the Special Area Plan for George Town to obtain public feedback.
We hope that the State Government would give the residents of Penang an opportunity to engage with the State and to offer their views and opinions on planning and development proposals which would no doubt affect every resident living in Penang.
Ms Lim Kah Cheng & Dr Francis Loh
(on behalf of the Penang Forum Steering Committee)