PENANG MCA is urging the state to conduct a risk assessment to identify the success rate of transplanted trees.
Penang MCA liaison committee secretary Yeoh Chin Kah said the state should take into account that 20% of the transplant process was deemed unsuccessful.
“Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said out of the 184 trees transplanted on the island since 2018, between 80% and 90% will grow successfully.
“How about the rest? What are the consequences?
“Trees that are transplanted unsuccessfully will die and collapse, which will pose a risk to road and park users, ” he said at a press conference before submitting a memorandum to the state government in Komtar yesterday.
Yeoh also urged the state to set up an independent investigation committee to probe the recent incident in Perak Road where a roadside tree fell and crushed a car, killing its driver.
“It is necessary for the state government to clearly explain the tragedy to the families of the deceased and the public.
“People need to know if this was just an accident or a consequence of transplanting trees by Penang Island City Council (MBPP), ” he said.
Bukit Bendera MCA division chairman Tang Heap Seng pointed out that according to the authorities, the last maintenance work on the tree was carried out on Jan 31.
“It is time to reveal the conservation policies. Avoid transplanting big trees and if it is unavoidable, professional arborists should be appointed.
“Planting new fast-growing species of trees could be a better alternative to transplanting big old trees.
“Big trees are heavy. How long does it take for the roots to grow properly and for the trees to be stable?” he added.
On Thursday, MBPP said a team of experts had been appointed to conduct an internal investigation into the cause of the tragedy in Perak Road.
In a statement, MBPP said it had enlisted experts consisting of Penang Botanic Gardens curator Datuk Dr Saw Leng Guan, the Institution of Engineers Malaysia Penang branch and the Institute of Landscape Architects Malaysia northern chapter.
The team will conduct an investigation into the cause of the uprooting of the tree and make recommendations to MBPP.
The tragic accident happened at about 9.30am on Tuesday shortly after a storm.
The victim – Yong Geeng Huei, 53, from Bayan Lepas – was extricated from the car at 11.04am and pronounced dead by medical personnel at the scene.