NGOs against plan to build hotels on Penang Hill

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 10 Nov 2018

GEORGE TOWN: Concerns have been raised by non-governmental organisations over the state’s stand on environmental issues after the proposal to build two hotels on Penang Hill.

Penang Forum steering committee member Khoo Salma Nasution said they were against the building of the hotels.

“The previous chief minister, the late Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu, was voted out in the 1990s because Penangites did not want massive development on Penang Hill.

“The Penang government is now picking up where Lim left off,” she said, adding that the state did not know anything about climate change.

Khoo said Penang Hill suffered around 200 landslides last year, yet the state wanted to develop it and build two hotels there.

She expressed hope that the state assemblymen would raise their concerns on climate change and man-made disasters such as floods and landslides.

She also touched on the Penang Structure Plan and whether it would allow for more development on hills and the possibility of development on Bukit Relau, popularly known as Botak Hill, which was illegally cleared in 2013.

“The draft structural plan would lead to the reclamation of over 7,000 acres of land.

“It will be just like Forest City in Johor.

“Why do we need so many condominiums that people can’t even afford?” she asked.

Earlier, Khoo joined more than 30 protesters in placing a bunch of white flowers under a tree opposite the Penang state assembly building here yesterday to mark the “death” of the state government’s competency, accountability and transparency (CAT) policy.

She claimed that the state government did not practise the CAT policy when it came to environmental concerns.

“We want the freedom to voice out against projects that affect us, and we want to help the state government to solve the problem.

“But they only turn to the developers,” she claimed.

The group urged elected representatives to seriously discuss the implications of overdevelopment in Penang.

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