Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) and Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) urge the State Government of Penang and the Penang Island City Council (Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang MBPP) to investigate the clearing on a hill near Titi Kerawang immediately.
In a survey conducted today, we were shocked to find that the hill has been cleared and were surprised how this indiscriminate act can be allowed and the reason for its clearing. A similar clearing is also happening opposite the Penang Government Rest House in Batu Ferringhi where an excavator was carrying out earthworks involving felling of trees in that area.
In relation to the felling of trees, we request that the Forestry Department and Land Office also investigate both the areas to check the status of the land, purpose of activities being carried out and whether approved by the authorities.
We found that the felling of trees in this area was recent and there were no signboards or notices on what is the nature of the project.
We are concerned by these activities because of the threat to the environment, impacts to the watershed, risk of erosion, flooding downstream and marine pollution affecting the coastal areas of Batu Ferringhi.
We hope that the Penang government and local authority will stop these activities if found to be illegal. The authorities should step up monitoring visits around the State to detect forest clearing and illegal development from the outset.
The findings of the investigations must be immediately publicised so that the public need no longer wonder what is going on. These questions were posed to us during our survey in the affected area.
It is fruitless for the State and Local Government to plant thousands of trees across the State, whereas thousands more are being felled indiscriminately.