Penang Forum (PF) would like to commend YB Chow Kon Yeow for his full disclosure on the actions taken by MPPP against the two landowners responsible for the illegal clearing and destruction of Bukit Relau (The Malay Mail Online, 6 January 2014).
The inability of the landowners to restore the hill despite the actions taken to date indicate the sensitive nature of the area. Penang Forum would like to call upon the state government to re-gazette the lands there from residential to just hill land to prevent further destruction of the hills. Given the global weather change that we are experiencing, it is necessary for the state government to take serious actions to protect our hills.
Further we urge the other authorities such as the Department of Environment and the Land Office to take action within their respective jurisdictions to penalise all wrong doers and be alert to prevent any further illegal land clearing.
In the name of transparency, Penang Forum would like to request a site visit to be organised by YB Chow’s office for members of the press and related NGOs such as the Malaysian Nature Society to view the extent of the destruction and and the remedial actions that are necessary to restore the place. We would like to emphasise that the efforts should be towards restoration and not just slope stabilisation.
We would also like to commend YB Teh Yee Cheu and his two supporters for “going bald” to draw attention to the plight of the hill. If not for their actions, the people of Penang would not have known the current status of the place. Their non-violent action to express their concern for the environment should be lauded and supported.
Penang Forum Steering Committee
25 January 2014