Penang Hills Watch Community and Government Engagement

  1. Raikan Sungai Ara (Celebrate Sungai Ara)

    Nov 18, 2018

    Penang Hills Watch co-organized Raikan Sungai Ara (Celebrate Sungai Ara) together with Water Watch Penang, Ruang Kongsi, Penang Forum with the objective of creating and raising awareness on the importance of ‘green areas: public parks and clean rivers’ to the Sungai Ara and whole Penang community.

    This was one of the largest events co-organized by Penang Hills Watch as part of our outreach, engagement and education aspect and attracted hundreds of people.

    Watch our river awareness video here, featuring the co-founders of Penang Hills Watch, Dr Kam Suan Pheng and Rexy Prakash Chacko

  2. Penang Hills Watch-Slope Watch Workshop and Joint Walkabout

    Nov 3-4, 2018

    Penang Hills Watch and SlopeWatch organized a workshop aimed at empowering local communities to understand concepts regarding slope stability, identifying signs of slope failure, as well as how to look out for signs of impending landslides. About 40 people, mainly residents living near hill slopes attended the workshop.

    The sharing was conducted by Eriko Motoyama , programme director of Slope Watch who shed light on many things related to slopes and landslides which were poorly understood.

    The workshop was followed by a walkabout along the hillslope in the Tanjung Bungah, Sungai Ara and Bukit Gambir area, where residents got a hands on opportunity to observe and learn about their hillslope.

    2. Penang Hills Watch Meeting with YB Chow Kon Yeow, State Executive Councillor for Local Government, Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation Committee

    4 May 2017

On 4 May 2017, Penang Forum-Penang Hills Watch members met with YB Chow Kon Yeow, state executive councillor for local government, traffic management and flood mitigation, Penang Island City Council (MBPP) engineering director Ir Addnan Mohd Razali and Penang State Forestry Department director Tuan Rusli Tahir to seek clarification on hill clearing cases which were reported.

At the meeting Forestry informed about the use of the department’s Forest Monitoring using Remote Sensing (FMRS) system, and Penang Forum-Penang Hills Watch emphasized the merit in complementing remote monitoring with the kinds of field observations that the Penang Hills Watch is able to track, particularly where clearing activities are not so clearly detectable from the air. Penang Forum-Penang Hills Watch expressed appreciation for the prompt action taken by the Penang State Forestry Department in liaison with other state departments to investigate a series of reported clearing activities happening on the slopes of Bukit Laksamana in Mukim Teluk Bahang

3. Penang Hills Watch Meeting with Local Government Departments

24 October 2016

On 24th October 2016, PF members had a meeting with a number of government agencies including Penang Island City Council (MBPP), Penang State Forestry Department (JPNPP), Department of Survey and Mapping Malaysia (JUPEM) and Penang Town and Country Planning Department (JPBDPP) where we explained the purpose of Penang Hills Watch (PHW) and demonstrated the online application.

PHW suggested close cooperation with MBPP and other relevant government departments for mutual exchange of information, and our suggestion was well received at the meeting.

PHW-Media Coverage

Below are a few article links where the Penang Hills Watch (PHW) initiative has received international and local coverage.

(qouting Penang Hills Watch co-founders Dr Kam Suan Pheng and Rexy Prakash Chacko)
1. In traffic-blighted Penang, transport upgrade plans raise hopes and fears. By Danielle Keeton-Olsen on 3 May 2019

2. In Malaysia, an island drowns in its own development.Has Penang Island’s growth become a hazard to life? Mongabay Series: Southeast Asian Infrastructure. Analysis by Keith Schneider on 26 July 2018

Singapore Straits Times
1. Penang landslide: Similar incidents had been flagged to state government . 22 October 2017

1. Penang Hills Watch; Raising awareness about hill clearing activities in Malaysia. By Angela Oduor Lungati, 10 December 2018

2. Penang Hills Watch: Tracking hill clearing activity in Penang. By Angela Oduor Lungati, 28 March 2017

Research Paper
1. From resilience to multi-species flourishing: (Re)imagining urban environmental governance in Penang, Malaysia
Creighton Connolly, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore.
Urban Studies Journal Limited 2019.

Local Media
1. Penang NGOs demand MBPP step up, freeze building on slopes after fatal wall collapse. Opalyn Mok, Malay Mail Online, 28 June 2019

1. Penang Forum warned state govt twice over Bukit Kukus. By Predeep Nambiar, Free Malaysia Today, 19 October 2018

2. Concerns over safety of Bukit Kukus repeatedly highlighted to state. By Audrey Dermawan, New Straits Times, 19 October 2018

3. MBPP urged to overcome weaknesses in monitoring hillslope projects. By Muhammad Yusri Muzamir, New Straits Times, 24 October 2018

4. Penang Hills Watch: Reconsider hotel plans for the hill. By Opalyn Mok, Malay Mail Online, 8 November 2018

5. Penang Hills Watch: No protection of at-risk environmental areas in Budget 2019. By Opalyn Mok, Malay Mail Online 2 November 2018.

6. Online petition to Save Penang Hill tops 22,000 backers. By Opalyn Mok, Malay Mail Online 21 November 2018.

1. Penang Forum discusses its Penang Hills Watch Report 2016 with state government. By Aliran Admin, 4 February 2017

2. No approval for 12 land-clearing cases in Penang hills. By The Star, 1 September 2017

3. Tanjung Bungah landslide site was the very first case highlighted by Penang Hills Watch. By Anil Netto, 21 October 2017

4. Landslide cases in Tanjung Bungah highlighted before: Penang Forum. By The Sun Daily, 22 October 2017

5. Penang Hill to be shut for a month following massive floods. By Audrey Dermawan, 8 November 2017

1. Penang Forum Launches Penang Hills Watch. By Opalyn Mok, Malay Mail, 31 October 2016

Penang Hills Watch (PHW) Reports

Penang Hills Watch collates information gathered from cases of hill clearing that it receives, analyzes them and makes recommendations before compiling these as reports. They are called the Penang Hills Watch Reports. They are then sent to the State Government and the Local Government (MBPP and MPSP) for action.

All our reports are downloadable and free for usage. Reports which are downloadable here are accompanied with the official responses we’ve received from the State.

While PHW strives to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no warranty of any kind about the completeness or suitability of the information here for any purpose. Any reliance on our information is done strictly at your own risk.

1. Penang Hills Watch Report 2016
Response from MBPP to 2016 Report

2. Penang Hills Watch Report 2017 Quarter 1
Response from MBPP

3. Penang Hills Watch Report 2017 Quarter 2
Response from MPSP

4. Penang Hills Watch Report 2018
Response from MBPP
Response from MPSP

5. Penang Hills Watch Observation of PTPR 2019

6. Water channel leak in Hill behind Leader Garden Condominium (Slopes of Carla’s Peak) July 2019

What is Penang Hills Watch?

Penang Hills Watch (PHW) is a citizens-oriented initiative by Penang Forum to provide an information platform for keeping watch on activities affecting the hills of Penang.

The main objectives of the PHW initiative are to:
• Involve the public in reporting hill clearing activities in Penang;
• Enhance public awareness about hill clearing issues and impacts;
• Foster civil society participation in information sharing and exchange with government agencies relating to hill clearing issues.

Watch our launch video here (Credits: The Star TV)

PHW has established an online repository of mapped information on hill clearing activities collected through crowd-sourcing from the public as well as official records obtained from relevant government agencies. Such information is systematically documented and made publicly accessible to make people aware about hill clearing issues and impacts and the need for safeguarding what remains of the forested hills of Penang for future generations. These mapped information are periodically sent to the Penang State Government for action.

PHW engages with and seeks assistance from relevant government departments and municipal councils in this initiative as it is in line with the Penang State’s Policy for a Greener Penang.
Contact us via Email

Visit our online map at

Follow us on Facebook at

Want to volunteer or help us out?
Email us at