This is a Consumers’ Association of Penang’s Media Statement (Kenyataan Akhbar) supported by Sahabat Alam Malaysia
The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) calls on the City Council of Penang Island (MBPP) and Penang State Government to cancel the 1.8km road widening project along Jalan Masjid Negeri to save the roadside trees.
In a press conference, MBPP had mentioned that the number of trees affected along the Jalan Scotland-bound stretch, starting from Lorong Batu Lanchang – Jalan Masjid Negeri junction to the Jalan Air Itam – Jalan Masjid Negeri junction has been reduced to 18 from the initial 33 and it will be reduced further.
Whatever the figure given, ultimately some of the roadside trees are being sacrificed just to move cars faster. Our space, our trees are being sacrificed for the Car Gods. What has happened to the trees that were transplanted in the road widening project in 2012?
We are upset that consideration is being given to vehicle movement, at the expense of the trees. The roadside trees provide many benefits to us including providing oxygen, much-needed cooling, cleaner air, shade, sound barrier, absorb stormwater and also the greenery which gives the road’s distinctive charm and character.
Major changes are underway in Penang. The fast pace of development and priority given to motor vehicles is destroying Penang’s natural charm. With more greenery gone replaced by concrete jungle, Penang will soon become an unliveable habitat. Hence there is a dire need to preserve the character of our tree-lined suburbs and city.
The Penang government should stay true to their word. A Green Penang should be naturally Green. People of Penang must stand up and demand that our greenery, from the hills to the roadside trees, is conserved.
We cannot be silent observers to the wanton destruction of our irreplaceable rich natural heritage in the name of development. We should not give in to crass materialism.
Reject the rat race. Save the trees.
S.M. MOHAMED IDRIS