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

The Association was represented by its Chairman, Dato Dr Leong Yueh Kwong, while Tanjung Bunga’s State Assemblyman, YB Teh Yee Cheu, chaired the Press Conference.

TBRA said that the many of the massive development along Penang’s beaches are on ecologically sensitive areas without any close supervision and monitoring by the Department of Environment and the local authorities and they are causing irreparable environmental damage to the coastal areas through soil erosion and water pollution from the runoff..

“No-where is it more clear than at the Tanjong 1 tower being built at the edge of the sea”, said TBRA’s Chairman Dr Leong Yueh Kwong. “In their rush to complete the condominiums, the developers are ignoring the environmental impacts of their construction. Their huge posters on the main road show the unspoilt, pristine beach in order to promote sale of the multi-million ringgit apartments. Down on the beach, it is a different story: mud turns the sea orange as the rain washes the earth downhill whenever there is a heavy downpour which is very frequent at this time of the year”. Tanjong 1 has been encroaching on public land by bulldozing rocks and soil beyond their limit.

The Association is concerned that the authorities seem unwilling or unable to stop the pollution of the beaches and coastal waters, despite some earlier efforts to help clean up the beaches. In March 2012, MPPP joined the residents in Tanjung Bunga for a massive Gotong Royong. More than 200 people helped to clean up the beach and also prepared a path for public access to the proposed Tanjong Bunga Coastal Park. This month all of that was forgotten as the private developers went their way to expedite their construction regardless of environmental concerns.

“Tanjong 1 brazenly removed all the fencing on the seaside and is bulldozing excess earth and rocks onto the public beach and park area. MPPP should be protecting the beach by regularly overseeing the impact of construction works,” said YB Teh.

TBRA is once again asking for the immediate gazetting of the Coastal Park which has been promised for years. This request has been made many times over the past four years but nothing has been done. Letters to the Chief Minister have gone unanswered. “The people of Tanjong Bunga are tired of waiting patiently and politely. They want a public recreation area. They want to save the Coastal Park now. They want clean seas and public beaches. This is part of State Government often trumpeted policy of a cleaner and greener Penang which we all support. They don’t want the government to allow private developers to snatch the coastal park away under one pretext or other. That would be one scandal too many,” said Dr Leong.

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