Saturday, November 08, 2014

Chee Seng Garden: NO to 40 storeys here

On 6 November, TBRA volunteers put up two banners saying "NO to 40 storeys here". The main intent was to inform as many local residents as possible about the huge tower block intended for construction on the site of the former Hong Hong printers... next morning the banners were gone. 

So this TBRA support to Chee Seng was short-lived. It is believed the banners were removed by people still inside the factory although it has been closed for quite a while. The case should be investigated and if possible the banners retrieved. All TBRA tried to do was inform other residents and alert people to the traffic jams to follow if more hi-rises are allowed to follow in the region. 

Please discuss at the next TBRA meeting on 11 Nov at 8:30 pm at the Straits Regency meeting room.

see below for more details on the site.
Secr. TBRA

News article about "HH Residence" in Tanjong Bungah

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Position Paper by (TBRA on the Inclusion of Tanjong Bunga in the Primary Development Corridor


Review of the Penang Structure Plan 2020


Position Paper

by the
Tanjong Bunga Residents’ Association (TBRA)
on the Inclusion of
Tanjong Bunga in the Primary Development Corridor




Penang, April 2014



Executive Summary

I THE INCLUSION OF TANJONG BUNGA IN THE PRIMARY DEVELOPMENT CORRIDOR IN THE PENANG STRUCTURE PLAN (2020)
1. The Tanjong Bunga Residents’ Association (TBRA) and many other residents of Tanjong Bunga are of the opinion that, on planning grounds, the inclusion of Tanjong Bunga in the Primary Development Corridor in the current Penang Structure Plan 2020, is flawed.
Tanjong Bunga was clearly placed in the Secondary Development Corridor when the draft Penang Structure Plan was exhibited for public comment in 2006. TBRA and the residents who went for the public hearing raised no objections and accepted that draft. When the Penang Structure Plan was gazetted in 2007, a diagram showed that Tanjong Bunga had been incorrectly placed in the Primary Development Corridor while the text of the Structure Plan still stated that Tanjong Bunga is in the Secondary Corridor. This means that, at some point, the diagram in the Structure Plan was changed without any consultation with the public.

2. This placing of Tanjong Bunga in the Primary Development Corridor is wrong on three counts:
  1. Internal contradiction between text and diagram
There is an obvious internal contradiction in the Penang Structure Plan as the text and diagram say different things. In the diagram, Tanjong Bunga has actually disappeared; Tanjong Bunga became part of Tanjong Tokong under the Primary Development Corridor but the text, on the other hand, says that Tanjong Bunga is in the Secondary Development Corridor. The Town and Country Planning Act states when the text and diagram are in contradiction, the text takes precedence over a diagram, since the Structure Plan is a document of policy and guidelines while the diagram’s function is merely to illustrate the text.
  1. 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.
  1. Tanjong Bunga is marked as Tanjong Tokong in the amended diagram
The location of Tanjong Bunga in the changed diagram in the Structure Plan does not follow the gazetted boundary of Tanjong Bunga in the Survey Plan where it starts from Tanjong Bunga Park and extends to Mar Vista Resort. Similarly, the location of Tanjong Tokong also does not follow the gazetted boundary in the Survey Plan. The amended diagram erroneously placed and marked Tanjong Tokong in the location of Tanjong Bunga.
3. TBRA brought up the issue of the change in Corridors to the State government authorities and was told that if it did not agree, it should go to court to ask for an interpretation. TBRA proceeded forthwith to file a case in court for a declaration. It was a straightforward case of trying to set right what appeared to be an "administrative'' error or oversight. However, the case was dismissed because the court accepted the defendant’s (State) allegation that the case was filed too late. As a result, the court has not adjudicated the substantive issues of the case and the merits of the case were not considered and remain unresolved.

See full document in PDF: http://goo.gl/OrdlYg

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tanjong Bunga's SORE THUMB, revisited

From my window, I can monitor “ progress” on the Sore Thumb. While there were bulldozers at work three months ago, there has not been any discernible activity for at least the last month.  One wonders why? Out of concern for public objection? Certainly not.  Out of fear of reprisal from the State government? Impossible. Has a STOP WORK order finally been issued? Unlikely.

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.
TBRA led a public outcry, when it appeared that this jetty might be privatized. The then Tanjong Country Club had submitted plans for a marina. TBRA objected to these plans and asked the government to make the Thumb into a public park.  The population of Tanjong Bunga has been increasing and space for recreation has been decreasing. Much of the access to the beach along Tanjong Bunga road has become inaccessible to the public. For a good walk or jog, residents have to drive to the Botanical Gardens which does not help the traffic congestion.
When the Cove was built, the 4 huge towers became known as Tanjong Bunga’s Four Sore Fingers and with the Sore Thumb that made a hand saying: STOP!
Coastal Public Park Proclaimed
In 2010, TBRA organized a very well attended “tea-party” where over a hundred residents claimed the Thumb as a public park. The huge gate that illegally blocked access to State land was opened and the residents proudly marched to the Thumb. Our Tanjong Bunga ADUN led the march. TBRA chairman proclaimed the Coastal Park.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Temple Construction at Chee Seng Gardens, Tg. Bunga, Penang


Preamble


Chee Seng Gardens was established since the mid-1960s. There were approximately 80 semi-detached houses. There was open access to the surrounding areas made up of low hills. This entire surrounding area has been subsequently built over with numerous high rise apartments. The open space(s) have thus been replaced with concrete and steel. Since grown with the addition of 2 and 3 storey houses.

To the best of our knowledge there is only one (1) open public area of land measuring approximately 8,000sf.



The Present Scenario


There was an unwelcome surprise recently to see an approved development for a Temple a on a portion to the small open space. Needless to say, the space will spill over beyond the temple boundary. The site is right at the entrance into the Chee Seng Garden area.This is located at the road junction of Jalan Chan SiewTeong and Jalan Chee Seng 10.



We raised the following issues:-

  1. Why was there no prior notice of the intended construction given to residents in and around the said area as per City Council guidelines?
  1. 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

MPPP dated 3 March 2014 (Aduan 02783/02/14) that the matter was being

investigated. (Appendix 2 )

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Petition To Take Down the Telco Tower at Sekolah Menengah Pendidikan Khas Persekutuan

We are rejecting the telco tower that was set up at Sekolah Menengah Pendidikan Khas Persekutuan last week on 600H Jalan Lembah Permai, 11200 Tanjung Bungah. The telecommunication operator did not apply for residential consent before setting up the tower. There is fear in us of being exposed to health hazards and electromagnetic radiation continuously for the next many years. Therefore, we insist that the tower to be taken down.

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.    
There is a robust and ongoing controversy over many aspects of RF health effects. No one disagrees that serious health hazards occur when living cells in the body are heated. This happens when high intensity RF exposure (just like in a microwave oven), scientists are currently still investigating the health hazards of low intensity exposure. Low intensity exposure is exposure which does not raise the temperature of the living cells in the body.

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.

There is a large body of internationally accepted scientific evidence which points to the existence of non thermal effects of microwave radiation. The issue at the present time is not whether such evidence exists, but rather what weight to give it.
 
Non-thermal effects are recognized by experts on RF to have potential health hazards. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of USA has rejected the current (ANSI/IEEE) safety standards because they are based on thermal effects alone. Many scientists and physicians question the safety of exposure to RF. The CSIRO study, for example, notes that there are no clear cutoff levels at which low intensity exposure has no effect, and that the results of ongoing studies will take years to analyze. "As long as it has not been scientifically proven that electromagnetic radiation is without danger, it should be considered that it is probably dangerous."

The BioInitiative Report which is the work of leading scientists who have reviewed over 2000 reports on Electro-Magnetic Fields (EMFs) and health, states that “The existing public safety standards limiting radiation levels in nearly every country of the world look to be thousands of times too lenient. Change is needed”. Report: available at www.bioinitiative.org. Title: BioInitiative: A Rationale for a Biologically-based Public Exposure Standard for Electromagnetic Fields (ELF and RF).

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.

Thank you

Yours sincerely,
Residents of Lembah Permai and Concord Garden

Friday, November 30, 2012

Gotong Royong to clean up public beach at Copthorne Hotel Tanjung Bungah


URGENT  exercise - discover- come !
Saturday morning, 1 December 2012 at 8 am
Please come and support a Gotong Royong on the beach below the Copthorne Hotel and the Cove (public access via stairs in between these two buildings) to assert the public nature of the beach as well as the 'Sore Thumb' which will remain “SORE” until it is gazetted as:
Tanjong Bunga Coastal Park.
MPPP & TBRA organise this clean-up on Saturday morning,
1 December 2012 at 8 am
Refreshments will be provided - courtesy Copthorne Hotel
Pressure on State Government and MPPP must continue in order to safeguard the Tanjong Bunga Coastal Park. This reclaimed land has still not been gazetted to ensure it is reserved for public use. There are rumours galore that Tanjong 1 (that huge new towerblock right on the sea) is still eyeing the reclamation to develop it for private use.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

New Recreational Parks

A number of new recreational parks for the public have been created recently by developers in the Seri Tanjung Pinang and Lembah Permai area. These parks are designed by professional landscape designers. However we hope that the public who use these parks do not litter the grounds or vandalise the play equipment.

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!


Ideal for Picnics


This is an extract from Star Metro North of November 1, 2012.

There is a new 1.76ha park in Tanjung Tokong just right for families. UNKNOWN to many people, there is a new recreational spot in Penang where families can spend quality time outdoors.
Fun playground: Children can have watery fun with water spraying out from these buckets at the Seri Tanjung Pinang public recreational park in Penang.
The 1.76ha Seri Tanjung Pinang public recreational park in Tanjung Tokong on the island’s north coast was completed a few months ago but had not been attracting big crowds yet as it is still largely unknown.
Its facilities include a jogging and cycling track, a children’s playground and toilets. The sprawling grounds are also ideal for picnics.
The park, which is developed by Eastern & Oriental (E&O) Bhd as a corporate social responsibility project, is located within the Seri Tanjung Pinang housing and commercial area which is developed by the company. It is behind the Tesco Hypermarket there.
E&O general manager for construction management Zawawi Yusop said the park is open to group activities but organisations and schools have to first seek permission from the company by calling 04-8913311.
“There are no rental charges but they are refrained from holding any political or religious activities there,” he said after accompanying Penang Local Government andd Traffic Management Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow on a visit to the park recently.
The park, which is open from 7am to 7pm daily, is also the starting point of the 1.8km promenade which connects it to the Straits Quay commercial retail outlet.
Chow said the opening of the new park would encourage more people to come outdoors to enjoy nature.
“With a huge recreational park like this, nearby kindergartens and schools can organise outdoor activities here for their students.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Higher Density only for Transit Oriented Developments(TODs)?

Penang Forum had a meeting with the MPPP President(YDP) recently on 18 October 2012. This update is from former Municipal Councillor Lim Kah Cheng. On the issue of the density of 87 units per acre, the YDP confirmed that MPPP has put on hold applications for density of 87 units which have not yet been approved. Rationale: the draft local plan  had recommended that the 87 units be only for those (developments) along transit nodes and since there is uncertainty as to where  the transit nodes are and that the recommended monorail and PORR in the draft local plan are not happening, the higher density of 87 units should be put on hold. Density should be considered together with the transport master plan. 

(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

Take the polluters to task !



Press conference: Wed. 10 Oct. 11 am Copthorne Beach

by YB Teh and TBRA (Tanjong Bunga Residents’ Association)

The Tanjung Bunga Residents’ Association together with YB Teh, ADUN for Tanjong Bunga called for a Press conference to highlight the pollution at the Tanjung 1 project, a huge high rise condominium development between the Cove and the Penang Swimming Club.

Erosion from Tanjong 1 construction site muddies the sea

Monday, July 02, 2012

Update for TBRA – 1 July 2012

Things are happening in Penang. Change is in the air. One of our members recently suggested a rate-payers strike to show discontent with the way MPPP listens more to developers than to local residents. And there is more, much more!
Housing.  A report by the Consumers’ Association of Penang: “CAP: Only the rich can afford Penang homes” (Star, 6 June) led to many other articles debating whether there was shortage of housing or not? There are so many un-occupied units. Do foreigners buy condo’s to live or speculate? Do developers have no choice but to build on hillsides because there is a shortage of land and housing on Penang Island or are they only building there to sell to speculators?

Uphill battle for residents

Penang politicians say that the hills are alive with the sound of music but angry residents in Tanjung Bungah think the hills are dying and their once serene suburb has become unlivable.

By Joceline Tan  Sunday July 1, 2012 http://thestar.com.my/columnists/story.asp?file=/2012/7/1/columnists/joceline/11553488&sec=joceline
(Also see a quick, same-day, reply from the Penang Chief Minister  http://limguaneng.com/index.php/2012/07/01/hill-development-projects-putting-the-record-straight-from-stars-dishonest-efforts-to-rewrite-history-encn/)

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.
Stolen charm: The once scenic coastline of Tanjung Bungah now resembles a concrete fortress and the fear is that things will get worse because there are more projects in the pipeline.
 
Tanjung Bungah, for those who are not from Penang, is an affluent residential belt on the island’s northeast. It occupies a narrow stretch of land with the hills on one side and the sea on the other. It is a much sought-after location and as land grew more scarce, the trend has been towards building high-rise and high-end apartments on hill slopes.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Hill 'killed' by development


By SHARANJIT SINGH AND LOOI SUE CHERN
http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/hill-killed-by-development-1.96192

SHOCKING: DAP assemblyman takes reporters to see construction site above the 75m safety zone

.

GEORGE TOWN: THE sight at the top of a hill just behind the wet market at Mount Erskine is shocking to say the least.

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

Gong Xi Fa Cai ! Past and Upcoming Events


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.

TBRA Secretary

Friday, December 23, 2011

Lemba Permai Residents took to the street on 3 December


Lorong Lembah Permai Empat 'Street Dialogue' of 03.12.2011



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.

  • Some of the residents were not notified of the Objection Hearing although it is a legal requirement.
  • Despite requests to MPPP President for a dialogue regarding the objections, no response has been received sofar.

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.

Rubbish has been used as back-fill at the site



Proposed change of plan by Sri Setia







Sungai Kelian back-fill & water seepage

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Danger of landslides in Tanjong Bunga

Despite the rain, YB Teh Yee Cheu  always attracts reporters
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.

Will this hold?  During the press conference, workers quickly spread more covers against further erosion by the rain.

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 pointing to outdated construction methods

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.

Penang Forum Steering Committee
27 August 2011
Also see NST article "Nod based on flawed methods," 29-8-2011 with picture

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Higher densities despite the Penang Structure Plan 2020

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)

Monday, April 04, 2011

For a Greener Tanjong Bunga





On 2 April, 50 Tacoma trees were planted by YB Yee Cheu Teh, ADUN for Tg Bunga, NGO Pantai (Permatang Pasir Pulau Pinang) and TBRA.

It was a symbolic gesture to return some more greenery to our township which has lost so many trees due to savage cutting on hillsides and to make space for highrises. It was also a move to safeguard public access to the beaches.

The first 20 trees were plated in front of Coastal Towers with residents and their children chipping in and TBRA talking to the press about the hundreds of trees chopped by Surin Bolton for their two tower buildings rising nextdoor. A sudden burst of rain ensured that the trees got their first welcome on the site.

The rain did not deter the planters from moving on to the next site: the river bank next to Infinity. There is a long public path leading to the sea between the river and the towering Infinity complex. Just today, workers had started building steps down to the beach. The trees were planted along the path. People recalled how the river bank was quite gentle and pleasant with at least 4 huge raintrees. All were cut down and Infinity raised the bank to a level path with a very steep drop on the river edge. The steepness now is the excuse for a 5 foot fence with three ugly strands of barbed wire on top; the excuse is "safety". Interesting, isn't it, when they first created the danger.

The last 10 Tacoma trees were planted across the river, close to the sea in front of Cara Vista and Leisure Cove. There is still a wide open public area there where YB Teh hopes to install a sports field. To preserve the sandy area for the sports and dissuade would-be squatters, hundreds of coconut trees were planted as well."

Friday, August 20, 2010

Update for TBRA Aug 2010


Dear Members and Friends of TBRA, Aug.2010
Here is an update on what your Association has been doing since the AGM.
Sea crying Orange alert
Remember 22 June? It was the day that the sea along the North Coast became orange! It had rained very heavily the days before and the island was soaked. Along the road to Batu Ferringhi, lots of the mud washed down the cut slopes left unprotected from the many ‘developments’ there. One heavy rain and the road risks becoming impassable because of mudslides. And it’s the only road we have.
Alerted by a member, TBRA immediately sent SMS and email messages to MPPP asking them to clear and monitor and to the CM & co reminding them that this would not be happening if approvals for construction had been denied. Denuded steep hillsides will suffer erosion, landslides may result, roads get flooded, and the sea has to swallow all that mud and debris. No wonder it protested: orange alert.
Our Adun YB Teh responded promptly saying… “The best solution is to totally ban development on all hill slopes along the Tanjong Tokong-Tanjong Bunga-Batu Ferringhi-Teluk Bahang " eco-sensitive tourism area and also make sure Tanjong Bunga be returned its substantive status as ‘Tanjong Bunga-Teluk Bahang Secondary Corridor’ in the Penang Structure Plan which was gazetted in June 2007 and state it very clearly in the Local Plan (Bahagian Pulau).”

Ongoing struggle re Structure Plan.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Launch of Tanjong Bunga Coastal Park



Press Release

May 31 2010

For immediate release

Launch of Tanjong Bunga Coastal Park

.....“They paved paradise and put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique, and a swingin' hot spot
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you got 'til it's gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot”.....

‘Big Yellow Taxi’ by Joni Mitchell ...singer/songwriter

This seems the unfortunate state of affairs Tanjong Bunga Residents find themselves in again and again! The people have requested on multiple occasions for the preservation of a coastal park/safe area as a nature preserve, for recreational purposes, for musical weekends of jazz and other multi-use purpose for the residents of Tanjong Bunga and the larger Penang community.....instead of more unoccupied high rises added to our everyday landscape!

It seems our local government is sensitive to the issues raised by her people and we will get a coastal park in Tanjong Bunga! Therefore, it is with great pleasure and sincere appreciation that Tanjong Bunga Residents Association invites the Press and other interested social media to observe Tanjong Bunga residents with YB Teh, initiate the soft launch of Tanjong Bunga Coastal Park, near the Cove Condominium on Saturday, 5 June 2010 at 10 am.

All Press and Social Media are invited. Please come and commemorate our delight for ‘Local Residents in Partnership with our Local Government’ putting our wishes first and our dreams for a Coastal Park as a priority over illegal and unwanted development.

Purpose: Launch of Tanjong Bunga Coastal Park

Date: Saturday, 5 June 2010

Time: 10.00 am

Place: Between Cove Condominium entrance and old ‘Country Club’ site on Jalan Tanjong Bunga (opposite Tanjong Bunga Hawker Center)

Refreshments: courtesy Copthorne Orchid Hotel, Penang

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Forum Report: Overdevelopment along the north coast of Penang.

Forum Report: Overdevelopment along the north coast of Penang.

Date: 17 April 2010 at Paradise Sandy Beach Hotel, Tanjung Bunga.

Organised by Tanjung Bunga RA (TBRA) and Batu Ferringhi RA (BFRA)
It was full house in the meeting room of the Paradise Sandy Beach Hotel on a Saturday night (despite a thunderstorm and bad traffic) where close to 150 people attended this public forum organized by the TBRA and the BFRA. About 40 of the attendees were MM2H residents.

The Forum was opened by Dr YK Leong (TBRA member) giving an overview of the Penang north coast district. This narrow strip of land consists of 4 small townships Tanjung Tokong, Tanjung Bunga, Batu Ferringhi and Teluk Bahang. There is relatively little flat land and only one access road from Tg Bunga to Teluk Bahang.
George Aeria (TBRA President) presented the major issues affecting the Tanjung Bunga residents.
    · Do you know that Tanjung Bunga has been secretly reclassified from a Secondary Development Corridor to a Primary Development Corridor thereby increasing its housing units per acre to 15 from 75?
    · Do you know that Tanjung Bunga has disappeared from the Penang Structure Plan Map and that Tanjung Tokong’s boundary has been extended up to Mar Vista?
Tanjung Bunga was gazetted as a Secondary Development Corridor in the Penang Structure Plan (2005-2020) in June 2007. A Secondary Corridor has a maximum permissible density of 15 housing units per acre. In Feb 2007, the State Govt (under the direction of someone in high office from the previous state government) changed the Penang Structure map for Tg Bunga from a Secondary Development Corridor to a Primary Development Corridor without following legal procedures. A Primary Corridor has a maximum density of 75 housing units per acre. This was done without public consultation and review contrary to the Town and Country Planning Act 1976. Further, Tg. Bunga has disappeared from the Penang Structure Plan map and Tg Tokong’s boundary has been extended up to Mar Vista.
The TBRA has made several attempts with the present state government to reclassify back Tg Bunga to a Secondary Development Corridor. It has met with silence and limited response.
    · Do you know that the only remaining state land (Plot B) in Tg Bunga (beside the Penang Swimming Club and The Cove where Tanjung Club used to be) has been converted to TOL (Temporary Occupation License) land. This is the only remaining state land in Tg. Bunga where the public has free access to the beach.
    · Do you know that a private developer has proposed a marina and a 41-storey condo to be build on Plot B?
The TBRA has urged the state to preserve Plot B for public use and to make it into a coastal park but there is no commitment from the state.
Picture: Plot B in 2001, before the reclamation reached today's height and became known as the "Sore Thumb," and before the arrival of the 4-block, 42-storey, The Cove condos. (image credit)

Mr Low Swee Heong (a member of Penang Traffic Council) said JPJ data showed that there are more vehicles than people in Penang (1.75mil vehicles for 1.58 mil population) in 2009. The average vehicle registration growth for Penang is 9.5% per year making it the highest in the country. Swee Heong presented concerns of traffic congestion and pollution with the overdevelopment of the north coast district. There are grave concerns on emergency response services as the only accessible road to Batu Ferringhi is badly congested and jammed during holidays and weekends.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Our Declaration from April 17 Forum on Overdevelopment

FORUM DECLARATION
BY TANJONG BUNGA RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION (TBRA), BATU FERRINGHI RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION (BFRA)
& FORUM PARTICIPANTS

We, the Tanjong Bunga Residents’ Association (TBRA), the Batu Ferringhi Resident’s Association (BFRA) & all participants of the Forum entitled “Overdevelopment on the North Coast” held on 17th April 2010 at the Paradise Sandy Beach Hotel in Tanjong Bunga, do hereby declare that:
  1. the border of Tanjong Bunga starts from Jalan Gajah and ends just before the Desa Mar Vista Resort;
  2. Tanjong Bunga is in the Secondary Corridor and the diagram shown in the published State Structure Plan was wrongfully amended by the previous State Government to show Tanjong Bunga within the Primary Corridor; the diagram is to be considered null & void since it was changed secretly by the previous State Government via the then CM without following legal procedures;
  3. the text in the State Structure Plan and the legend of the diagram clearly state that Tanjong Bunga is in the Secondary Corridor and take precedence over the changed diagram;
  4. the present State Government has the legal authority and the moral obligation to rectify this glaring anomaly and to take all necessary measures to ensure that Tanjong Bunga remains in the Secondary Corridor;
  5. the soon to be released State Local Plan must incorporate and clearly show Tanjong Bunga to be within the Secondary Corridor zone, which sets strict limits & requirements on all development projects;
  6. all approved projects which have not commenced yet, are to be reviewed, esp. in terms of density, to be in line with Secondary Corridor requirements;
  7. all future development projects in Tanjong Bunga & Batu Ferringhi must comply and not exceed the density guidelines of the Secondary Corridor;
  8. all current and future proposed development projects in Tanjong Bunga & Batu Ferringhi must take into account the serious infrastructure limitations currently faced in these two areas;
  9. that NO FURTHER approvals be granted henceforth for all dangerous hill slope development projects on Class III & Class IV hill slopes in Tanjong Bunga & Batu Ferringhi;
  10. that all future development projects MUST NOT cause any environmental degradation such as soil erosion that leads to sea & beach pollution, thus severely affecting our local recreational use of beach & open space, the tourism industry & the MM2H programme;
  11. that there be no land reclamation along the North Coast until and unless a comprehensive Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA) is undertaken and approved by ad-hoc panel of experts (not only by the State Government or MPPP);
  12. that at least two Public Recreational Parks be created for easy access by all: one on the top of Pearl Hill and the other on the rock pile, the so-called Sore Thumb, next to the Penang Swimming Club; plans for both these Public Parks have been submitted for gazetting.
We make the above Declaration as concerned citizens and residents of Penang and call upon our State Government to take all measures necessary to implement the above points in the public interest.

By TBRA, BFRA & FORUM PARTICIPANTS
Tanjong Bunga, 17 April 2010

Thursday, April 22, 2010

TBRA's 4th Annual General Meeting 2010

4th Annual General Meeting 2010
NOTICE & INVITATION

The Tanjong Bunga Residents’ Association (TBRA) is pleased to invite you to the AGM

Date: Saturday, 24 April 2010
Time: 3 pm Place: Meeting Room, Tanjong Bunga Community Hall (above the wet market).

Agenda
  1. Address by George Aeria, chairperson TBRA
  2. Approve Minutes of 3rd AGM, 18 April 2009*
  3. Adopt Annual Report 2009 *
  4. Adopt Audited Statement of Accounts, Treasurer TBRA*
  5. Take note of the 2009 resolution being forwarded to ROS*
  6. Consider any other business
  7. Discuss matters of general interest
  8. Closing address & refreshments

Your attendance will be much appreciated. As you know, every AGM needs to have a quorum of at least 20 members. Please make sure we reach that quorum by coming to support your Association.

Secr. TBRA

Thursday, April 15, 2010

PRESS STATEMENT Overdevelopment along the entire North Coast of Penang

PRESS STATEMENT

Overdevelopment along the entire North Coast of Penang

There will be a Public Forum on Saturday, 17 April 2010 from 8.30pm to 11.00pm at the Paradise Sandy Beach Hotel to highlight Over Development and apparent Unplanned Development along Penang’s North Coast from Tg Tkong to Teluk Bahang.

The Press is invited to attend and hear what residents and NGO’s have to say about the mushrooming of high rise buildings, the savage hill cutting and spoiling of the beaches in Tanjong Bunga and Batu Ferringhi. It is obvious that the traffic situation is going from bad to worse and jointly we need to reflect and raise awareness about what can be done to preserve our environment and maintain a liveable community along the coast. State Government officials will be invited, not to give speeches but listen to the people. One exception, the ADUN for Tanjong Bunga, Y.B. Teh, will give the opening address.

Uncontrolled development has become a major concern initially to Tanjong Bunga and Tanjong Tokong residents but now even more to those living in Batu Ferringhi. They have recently created their own RA, the Batu Ferringhi Resident’s Association (BFRA) and have an active blogsite. In fact, all Penang residents who used to enjoy a ‘day out on the beach’ will be affected. Moreover, the trend toward Over & Uncontrolled development is likely to happen in the same manner in other districts of the State.

The main issues that will be highlighted and discussed at the Saturday night Forum are:

  1. Zoning issues: Tanjong Bunga must be in the Secondary Development Corridor and deliberate but secret and illegal changes must be set right.
  2. Traffic and other Infrastructure cannot cope, despite vague promises.
  3. Beach encroachment, illegal reclamations – who benefits?
  4. Dangerous Hill development on Class III & IV slopes – disasters in waiting
  5. The Importance of the Local Plan in the proper development of Penang.
The Forum will point out the many inconsistencies of the past and current State governments relating to limits on density, construction projects on very steep hills and other uncontrolled developments. The eventual effects of such overdevelopment if not quickly resolved will be serious and far-reaching.

            ***

Organised by Tanjong Bunga & Batu Ferringhi Residents’ Associations

Blogs: http://tanjongbunga.blogspot.com or http://bfrapenang.blogspot.com

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Join our forum April 17: North Coast Over Development

Worried by over-development in Tanjong Bunga, Batu Ferringhi, and more? Come to our North Coast forum. Entrance is for free, but come with an opinion.

Date: Saturday, April 17, 2010
Time: 8:30-11pm
Place: Paradise Sandy Beach Hotel, Tajung Bungah


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Flower mural to fight unlawful planning

Welcome to the Flower Cape !

By now everybody will have seen the huge mural painted on the wall across from the Tanjong Bunga Hotel. It was not just done because someone thought the wall was ugly and a Welcome would be nice. It is a message with flowers (bunga) to remind the State government that this is where Tanjong Bunga starts, not at Mar Vista !








Together with our State Assembly man, YB Teh Yee Cheu, TBRA thought it had to remind the government and the MPPP that the official boundaries of Tanjong Bunga town start from Jalan Gajah (near the mural) and finish at the Mar Vista Resort whose official address is 1 Jalan Batu Ferringhi. Why would they not know? Why would they want to forget? Here is the story in brief.

When deciding on zoning the State, the previous government, by right, considered Tanjong Bunga to be a tourist zone and a residential area and placed it in the Secondary Development Corridor. So the wording of the 2005 Structure Plan put Tanjong Bunga into a green zone.

When the Structure Plan was printed, the wording was still there but the diagrams illustrating the zones had been changed from green to orange. That meant Primary Development Corridor. That meant that by one stroke of a colouring pencil, the permissible density of our town had changed, allowing for all kinds of high rises and commercial buildings. Believe it or not, by the colouring, Tanjong Bunga starts at Mar Vista. And since Mar Vista is in Batu Ferringhi, Tanjong Bunga has been wiped off the map. It ceased to exist.

TBRA has protested against this for years, first nicely, then by way of lawyers’ letters and via top level meetings. Nothing doing. The State government, the MPPP, all refused to listen. So this flower mural was yet one other attempt to get our point across. In the last meeting with the head of Planning, TBRA asked if any of the staff remembered how the colouring happened. After some hesitation, they said that it was the former CM, Koh Tsu Koon himself, who personally instructed the staff to change the colour of Tanjong Bunga. Some twenty people in the room heard this, noted this and wrote it into the Minutes of that meeting.

The Minutes were sent out to all concerned starting with the very top, i.e. the current CM Lim Guan Eng, and adding that since this was an illegal act, there should be a moratorium on all further plans handed in for approval. Not until the Structure Plan diagram is corrected, should any permit be given to start constructing one more condo. The answer to date? Silence. Silence is golden, they say, but there are times when silence pays rich dividends.

Welcome to Tanjong Bunga !

A statement by Tanjong Bunga Residents' Association. March 31, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pictorials of what's to come in BF and TB

Fancy a whole city on the hill in Batu Ferringhi that will bring more traffic? These pictures are what Ong Eu Soon's blog below is referring to.

One of the high-rise projects in Batu Feringgi (1 Island Resort)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Want to know what's coming up in Tg Bunga and Batu Ferringi?

Blogger Ong Eu Soon has put together a worrying list of developments that includes the Batu Feringgi Island Resort developments.

He started by highlighting the Penang state government's stealthy increase of density of units per acre. Perhaps not all the projects he listed qualify as receiving "final approval" under the LGE administration, but it is enough to cover our hills with concrete.

See http://eusoon.blogspot.com/2010/03/new-trend-of-change-for-penang.html

Example of his list
http://www.apartment-penang.com/2008/08/1-island-resort.html
http://www.apartment-penang.com/2008/02/island-resort.html