Wednesday, November 25, 2015

TBRA Press-Release Hurray for Teh !

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
Tel: 0172128792    

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

City of Dreams nightmare for Seri Tanjung Pinang residents

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 –

  • from 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
  • to signing as the land proprietor of Lot 702 through the Penang Registrar of Titles in the PP application submitted by CZBUCG in October 2014
  • to approving the PP on 17 February 2015 in a rather extraordinarily efficient fashion.
According to YB Lim Hock Seng, Lot 702 (3.67 acres) worth RM135.08m had already been given to CZBUCG as part of the said payment in kind for the feasibility studies for three proposed roads which were 97 per cent completed.

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:

  1. Is Lot 702 specified to be part of the 110 acres as payment in kind in the agreement dated 6 October 2013?
  2. When is/was the payment due for the feasibility studies of the three proposed roads under the agreement?
  3. If Lot 702 has been alienated to CZBUCG, when was it done?
  4. Is 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 Enactment?
  5. In 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?
  6. What 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?
  7. How much green open space was originally provided for in the Master Layout Plan of STP Phase 1? How much is left currently?
  8. Isn’t Lot 702 stated to be for low-density residential development in the DEIA Report on STP Phase 2?
  9. Where will be the permanent access for CoD? When will it come into existence?
  10. The 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 enjoy?
  11. Will 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?
  12. 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
  1. Notice from MPPP dated 5 March 2015 and Borang B under Section 22(6) Town and Country Planning Act 1976
  2. Grounds of Appeal to the Appeals Board
  3. Plan contained in EIA Report of STP Phase 2 referring to Lot 702 as low density residential development
  4. The Edge Financial Daily, 31 March 2015 pg 4
  5. The Edge Financial Daily, 1 April 2015 pg 2
  6. The Edge Financial Daily, 13 April 2015 pg 4
  7. The Edge Financial Daily, 17 April 2015 pg 4
  8. Relevant portions of Draft Local Plans of Penang Island 2005-2020 (“Intensiti”, “Pengezonan” and “Peta Cadangan”)
  9. Google Maps satellite images of the area
  10. 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
  11. Letter of objection against CoD from YB Zairil Khir Johari to JPBD 26 November 2014
  12. Letter of objection against CoD from YB Yap Soo Huey to JPBD dated 14 January 2015
  13. Sin Chew mykampung online report, 12 May 2015
  14. The Malaysian Insider report, 13 May 2015
  15. The Star Online report, 16 May 2015
  16. 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

Memorandum for YAB Mr. Lim Guan Eng, Chief Minister of Penang

This memorandum was extensively discussed in a meeting between the Chief Minister and Dato' Renji Sathiah, chairperson of the TBRA and Dato' Leong, former chairperson, on July 21, 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:

One of the old illustrations from Structure Plan 2005

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

TBRA Has a Facebook Page!

TBRA now has a Facebook page here:

Please "Like" it so that you can be informed of events and new posts.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

City of Dreams turning into Tanjung Tokong residents’ nightmare

This project is just outside of Tanjong Bungah and the articles give clues that the Penang government seems to be approving developments without clear plans and transparent procedures.

"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 for more...

Residents showing their displeasure ... (Source:
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.

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.
See for more

Thursday, May 21, 2015

TBRA Needs You! Application Form for Ordinary and Life Membership

Use this application form to join TBRA!  . 

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

Anil Netto reports on 1000 residents opposing Komtar-esque towers ...

"Residents of Tanjung Bunga packed a press conference this morning to protest against a Boon Siew Group project that will see two 50-storey buildings, one 49-storey building and one 34-storey building sprouting in the area.The project is located between Jalan Sungai Kelian and Jalan Loh Poh Heng."...

... Click here to see Anil Netto's full article and follow ups.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

TBRA 2015 AGM - Chairman’s Report Now Available!

Photo Credit:
Tanjong Bunga Residents’ Association has held it's 2015 AGM on 28th March 2015. These links point to The Chairman’s report by Leong Yueh Kwong:

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 Plan
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
2.0 Some issues and challenges ahead
2.1 Development without planning
2.1.1 Unresolved status of Tanjung Bungah as a secondary 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 North coast development corridor
2.2.1 Zoning and development in Batu Ferringhi
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 The review of the Penang Structure Plan up to 2020
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
3.0 Current situation for TBRA as an organization
3.1 Membership and participation of members
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.
3.1.2 In TBRA, the number of active members are small and getting a quorum for meetings is a problem.
3.2 SWOT analysis and strategic plan?
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.
4.0 The way ahead, from TBRA to North coast’s residents association?


Click one of these links to read the full report:

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

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:

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


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 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
(Also see a quick, same-day, reply from the Penang Chief Minister

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


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)