Malaysia: NGO - Stop Penang hill-cutting

PHUAH KEN LIN New Straits Times 6 Jun 14;

PRESERVATION: Group wants state govt to halt hill projects, land reclamation

GEORGE TOWN: ENVIRONMENTAL non-governmental organisation Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM), has called for a halt to hill-cutting and land reclamation projects in Penang to preserve the environment.

Its president, S.M. Mohamed Idris, said huge quantities of gravel and sand used for reclamation had depleted natural resources.

He said land reclamation along the coasts of Jelutong, Tanjong Tokong and Batu Uban needed millions of tonnes of gravel and sand.

“We are calling for the local authority to stop approving hill projects and land reclamation before these natural reources run out.

“The environmental degradation must stop at once to ensure the next generation gets to enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer.”

Mohamed said at a press conference next to the reclamation project near Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway that the state government needed to take action to save the environment.

“The rock and sand are being extracted at a rate far greater than replenishment, so, the authorities have to get their act together to say ‘no’ to hill-cutting and land reclamation.”

Mohamed said SAM had been frustrated as its appeals to the state government had fallen on deaf ears.

“Penangites are at odds over the continuous approval of hillslope project and mindless destruction of the environment. This has to stop.”

He urged authorities not to bow to developers’ demand.