Tuesday June 19, 2012
Stop the projects on Penang hillslopes
BATU Ferringhi is located in the north of Penang, facing the Andaman Sea which is a part of the Indian Ocean.
Its strategic location has made it attractive for building hotels and service apartments. However, safety factors should also not be neglected when approving hillslope sites in Batu Feringhi for the construction of high-rise condominiums.
Our country, especially the coastal areas of Kedah, Penang and Perak, are not totally free from earthquakes and tsunamis. The 2004 tsunami claimed 80 lives and caused loss of property to residents in the northern costal areas of Malaysia.
Tsunamis have occurred in the Indian Ocean in 1791, 1861, 1943 and 2004. Based on this, we may say that tsunamis occur once every 60-70 years in this region.
In view of the impact caused by tsunamis and earthquakes, construction of high-rise condominiums should not be allowed on hillslopes. But were these factors taken into consideration by the Penang state government before they approved the construction of a 23-storey condominium in Batu Ferringhi?
Local weather and climatic conditions are another factor that add risk to the construction of high-rise condominiums on hillslopes.
The uprooting of trees and plants on the hillslopes will lead to the depletion of water catchment areas, which eventually will lead to landslides.
Based on these factors, I sincerely ask the Penang state government to either stop or review its approval of construction of high-rise buildings on hillslopes.
GOH HOE HOE,