MY wife, her sister and I are spending a couple of weeks at the Lone Pine Hotel in Batu Ferringhi to get away from the cold weather in Britain.
We all agree that the largely rebuilt hotel is a huge improvement over the old one in almost every way.
The owners, management and hotel staff are to be congratulated.
However, what a shock it was when we walked onto the beach last Tuesday to see a digger removing large amounts of sand in order to drain the badly polluted river next to the hotel into the sea just yards from where tourists and locals swim and use jet skis, etc.
The smell from the jet black liquid defies description and the already dirty sea water immediately turned a shade darker.
Needless to say, dead fish started washing up within a few hours.
The impact upon sea life and the environment is bound to be severe but it will surely harm the hotels along the beach together with the water sports business as well. Sooner or later it will surely have a negative effect on the local economy.
In the United Kingdom this sort of behaviour would result in swift prosecution enforced by the government environment agency.
The body that is responsible for environmental issues here in Malaysia needs to take strong action immediately or there will soon be no tourist industry left.
This is our third visit to Penang but until this issue is properly addressed, I fear it will be our last.
The water at Langkawi is (at least for now) much cleaner.
STEVEN AND LESLEY DELLAR
and SUSAN BUCKINGHAM
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