Questions from participants

At Penang Forum 5, many participants wanted to raise a host of questions, but due to time constraints, only a few were able to verbally put forward their questions during the Q and A session. To cater for the others, organisers decided to allow written questions to be submitted.

The following were the written submissions received with the initials of the name of the person raising the question in brackets at the end of each question.

This list of questions was sent to the Penang state government and local councils on 24 August 2012  for their response. We will include their responses below as soon as we hear from them.

Questions relating to development

  1. No more high rise apartments on the beach front after the floating mosque (LBE)
  2. Pl do something about the 30ft wall behind 8-10 Pintasan Kenari, Desaria, Sg Ara. (OWY)
  3. How many hill slope projects were approved by the present govt? (Mr U)
  4. We received rejected letters for 7 blocks shoplot development by Palmex at Tingkat Kenari, Sg Ara but why is development still carrying on? No answer from MPPP (PST)
  5. I have been staying at 47 Tingkat Jelutong for more than 30 years; why is the flood problem never been solved? Please help. (CT)
  6. “as long as PR is in power, rakyat in Sg Ara, Sunway City project will be on hold” What about Palmex project on the hills behind Pintasan Kenari? Our area is 250 ft above sea level and now having retaining wall just 5 feet away. When it rains there is water running below the retaining wall. Will Pg Govt only take action when disaster strikes in Pintasan Kenari with land slides and boulders crashing down on houses? PL look into this matter seriously. (JN)
  7. With all the mostly high rise buildings that are going to be built along Macalister Rd, how are you going to solve the traffic problem? (LBE)
  8. Why are there so many development projects (high rise residential buildings) in Penang? Are the current projects(residential projects) all sold out? (TL)
  9. Is the govt serious about stopping all forms of hill slope projects/development? (TL)
  10. Much of the talk here is concentrated on island living. What is the government’s plan for mainland? (TL)
  11. If you look at Penang, Teluk Bahang may be the only social and cultural pristine area left and we hope that there will be checks and balances on development in the area. We see it slowly coming thru and it seems to again be aimed at costly high end residential homes. We really truly hope high rise buildings will be curbed in Teluk Bahang. (JdR)
  12. Illegal demolition? We are heritage city – how? Rebuild order? (LY)
  13. Can you pl give a commitment/timeframe when the applicants for low/medium cost housing in Penang will receive the offer of the units? (AR)
  14. The preservation of heritage in Penang is great! But all the new hotels and restaurant are upmarket. What is being done to make these preserved building more affordable? Constant hill/rock blasting in Lembah Permai for years! When will the day come when enough is enough? (KG)
  15. How could MPPP consider a block of 16-storey medium-cost flat on a piece of land just 14000 sf ft within neighbourhood of semi D and terrace house in town and beside school? (CHL)
  16. 87 units density for established housing area! MPPP guidelines? (YL)
  17. Whenever the public question the CM about hillslope development the answer from him is always the same. The state govt will be sued in the millions and billions if it cancels the project. Does the CM believe in his own statement or is it to misinform the public? (DL)
  18. In 1985, 80% of Penang Island are covered with Beaches. Now 2012, 80% being covered with concrete jungle. Why? Do you want to copy Hong Kong or sustained Penang as island of beaches? Pl explain. How do you feel when our beautiful public beaches being transformed into concrete jungle coast? (JJ)
  19. What plans have you for Teluk Bahang? The Mutiara, the amusement park, the shore road? (RL)
  20. From the aerial view what is the shape of our island? Is it still tortoise shaped? (CSY)
  21. Is anything being done to limit speculation in property – people buying units/houses being developed and selling off soon after? Property prices have escalated. (SP)
  22. How about educating and ensuring that developers undertake their social responsibility to compensate rakyat for damages to property due to their development? (SP)
  23. Pg guideline for hill development stated that man-made slopes 35 degrees and above is considered high risk. Why has Pg State Govt allowed a man-made 90 degree vertical wall of 10 metres high behind houses at Lengkok Kenari Satu, Sg Ara? (TSH)
  24. There is a hill project around Jln Gambier. Believed to be by Nadayu. Believe more than 75m above sea level. Who approved the project and why knowing that it will destroy the environment? (SL)
  25. Why can’t we include eco-friendly technicalities in new development where we think about greenery, waterways and conservation? (M)
  26. Why cant we stop all expensive development in the island because if u are rich enough you can develop the mainland so the rich can buy and travel to island (the cost will not be a problem) (M). If density is good as urban development, I am afraid that the cost of living will increase and I, as a low income earner will miss out the goodness there. How do you remove my fear? (M)

Questions relating to town planning, local democracy, local plan

  1. There is a proliferation of illegal so-called religious centres in residential areas (in Pemancar Area, Gelugor). What are the authorities doing about this? (SCC)
  2. Why is the state govt taking no action to endorse the Penang Local Plan which is long overdue? (LSH)
  3. There is a container along Tingkat Kenari – MPPP does not answer email sent (TPS)
  4. For a bottom-up policy in the planning process, the exhibition or public questions should be held at places such as shopping malls on Saturdays or Sundays for more public participation. (TKH)
  5. What is the state government’s stand on PSNPP 2020 in the absence of a Local Plan and the ambiguity of MPPP 1996 controlled development and land policy? (Concerned citizen)
  6. Since 2008, what action has the state government taken to amend the local or state acts which will balance the power between citizens, ratepayers and developers? (T)
  7. Many apartments and condos in Penang are very poorly maintained. Some of them are so dirty and an eyesore eg Wayton Court in Paya Terubong, Van Praagh etc. Please do something (CYK)
  8. What commitment has the state government to gazette the Local Plans for specific areas as allowed for under the Town and Country Planning Act? (TSH)
  9. Some buildings are eye-sores – black fungal walls which are also health hazards. Who is responsible for their maintenance? What can be done about them? Any by laws? Esp the building on the road from airport, Van Praagh etc. (CSC)

Questions relating to traffic, roads, congestion

  1. When will MPPP do a trial run on one-way streets to ease the current traffic jam (Kelawai Road and Gurney Drive)? (GLT)
  2. What is the state doing about public transportation system in the mainland? What is the state doing to restrict vehicles into the island? You need unpopular policies for people to be disciplined. Have the trams back please! (TL).
  3. Is the state government planning to build LRT or monorail in Penang Island? (L)
  4. Does the govt have any plans to provide better pedestrian walkways accessible to disabled and elderly persons in Penang? (AL)
  5. Some popular restaurants in the little India area have booked/blocked parking lots. Can anything be done? (FO)
  6. Will the relevant authorities take positive and concrete actions to prevent cows from roaming into residential areas in Bukit Glugor, Pemancar Areas. (SCC)
  7. Will the Gurney Drive beach be reclaimed outwards in order to provide more space for road, parking and promenade? (JC)

Questions relating to vision and livable city

  1. How do you measure your vision? What are the key indicators you are looking at? (TP)
  2. What is the city characteristic envisioned by the CM other than world heritage site , Silicon Valley? Is there a possible direction as an educational and cultural hub, innovative and creatively designed/architectural city? There are many public projects initiated by Penang government. Will there be any architecture competition for those projects – such as Chowrasta market, the redevelopment of Prangin canal, even public housing at Batu Kawan? (TKH)
  3. I commend YAB CM for making time for open dialogue with civil society. But many of us attended today’s forum with the expectation to hear the CM’s VISION of Penang as an International Liveable City. There was a lot of talk but VISION was sorely lacking. Unless the state government has a clear vision it won’t be focused on where it wants to lead Penang in terms of making it an international liveable city. (ML)
  4. What is the plan to provide affordable housing for the young talents as you attract them to Penang? (GL)
  5. With the cost of living increasing especially on the island, how will the state govt respond to help especially the locals? (HL)
  6. What is your plan for housing young middle-class executives who are starting families in view of the excessive house prices in Penang? (DL)

Miscellaneous

  1. When can Rifle Range flats in Ayer Itam enjoy free wifi facilities? (LAL)
  2. Do you know if there is hanky panky at the land office? (LAL)
  3. The federal government is like a mosquito bleeding Penang but does not give anything back. Worse still Barisan clowns do sabotage. Can PKR do something about these dastardly practices? (LAL)
  4. Should PR/DAP successfully reach Putrajaya will the media be freed?Will the PPPA be aborted and media be allowed to freely comment and criticise regardless of government or opposition? (EJG)
  5. La Salle Learning Centre has been a non-profit non-religious provider of non-formal alternative free education in 52K Penang Road for the last 26 years. The Bishop of Penang has notified us in writing to move out without a suitable alternative place. Can you offer us something suitable? (FO)
  6. We are the owners of lot 350 Mukim 2 Daerah Barat Daya Batu Ferringhi. We wish to propose to YAB that part of our land be used as a campsite for scouts, girl guides and other uniformed bodies. Please advise what we need to do next. Thank you. (PW)
  7. I applied for my son the Edu cund (?) form RM1000 last year but didn’t receive because the state government it seems does not recognise Uniten. How is it? (AB)
  8. In plans to be inclusive, expats are unable to access Free Penang wifi because we do not have IC numbers required to register. Are there any plans to provide this any time soon to us? (Y)
  9. Teluk Bahang for Animals. Please implement.
  10. In order to safeguard Penang state water security, the state government has to ensure control and management of PBA remains with the state instead of surrendering to the federal jurisdiction and be privatised later like what happen to Penang port. What is the present status of PBA? (BT)
  11. Better waste management – charge for waste or tax on wastage – congestion tax. (JdR)
  12. Encourage composting. (JdR)
  13. Private landowners like Khoo Kongsi do not allow management by owners and resultant consequences. We submitted details to you about six months ago on our problems but no reply. Currently the management company has not complied to building maintenance requirements and is in many instances, negligent. We want a meeting with you to express concerns about leasehold properties and long-term implications. Awaiting your reply. (PS)
  14. I would like to stress that as you are trying to carry out cost saving, I suggest you close the public-meet-the-MPPP meeting because it is a waste of money, labour and time .All officials attending to your complaints are Tom and Jerry and only good in taking down your complaints. What is the big presence of all your department officials taking individual complaints as stenographers can easily take down complaints? When you ask what action your department can do the official concern will say he/she will refer to their head. After that no reply and news from the dept concerned. Not even one department director/councillor at the meeting. If I refer to the stat opposition these … will say to you “Shame on you” ha ha ha. Thank you I hope CM can make a time for me to meet you. (G)
  15. What will PR/DAP do if we have a hung parliament in GE13? (CCH)
  16. Penang has been mushrooming with illegal kindergartens and daycare centres etc in residential housing zones thereby causing a deteriorating living environment. What is the state doing to control this? (L)
  17. Can we do away with commercial advertisements in the city? They are ugly and spoil the sight of heritage buildings. You don’t find these in Singapore. (KSH)
  18. What is being done about housing for migrant workers? (PD)
  19. Are there any future development plans for the Siamese community area in Pulau Tikus? (BL)

Response from the Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP)

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