A CALL for a public forum to discuss the rising number of hill development projects in the state was proposed during the full Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) meeting.
MPPP councillor Dr Lim Mah Hui in his closing speech read out a letter by 25 non-governmental organisations addressed to MPPP president Datuk Patahiyah Ismail regarding the proposal.
“We support the council’s effort to strengthen its geo-technical division. However, we want a public forum to inform the public about the steps taken to address this issue.”
He said the group raised several questions such as whether there was an inventory for all hill sites that have or being deforested and whether measures to monitor such clearings existed.
“They also want to know about the state’s policies and guidelines on hill developments above 76m and on slopes above 25 degrees.
“The group also questioned why the council failed to seek a more effective and deterrent penalty on those involved in illegal hill clearing,” he said.
When met after the meeting, Dr Lim said he fully supported the proposal and was looking forward to attending the forum.
Patahiyah said she had instructed the council’s Engineering Department to prepare the required inventories.
“I need talk to the councillors and hold some meetings before deciding on the proposal,” she said, adding that she also needed to refer the matter to the state government.