Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) urges the Penang state and local authorities to check on the hill land clearing in Batu Ferringhi, off Persiaran Sungai Emas 3 here. SAM’s field investigation upon receiving a complaint revealed that the hill slope here is being terraced, most probably for agriculture purposes.
The complainant had sent us screenshots from the Google Earth app which clearly showed that tracts of land were being cleared on this hill. During SAM’s survey, we found the access route which leads to the cleared land but were unable to go any further to avoid trespassing as we were uncertain of the status of the land.
SAM feels that the hill land clearing is a disaster waiting to happen, besides destruction to the forested area. If there is constant and intense rainfall, the chances for landslides and erosion to occur are high.
SAM, therefore, urges the relevant authorities to visit the location to investigate the status of the land, the nature of works being conducted here, and whether it is an illegal clearing. The authorities must also disclose to the public whether the works here contravenes the Land Conservation Act 1960, which relates to the conservation of hill land and the protection of soil from erosion and the inroad of silt.
SAM urges the authorities to take prompt action on this hill land clearing and other areas as a check on Google Earth shows that there are quite a number of hill slopes being cleared on the hill range here and other parts of the island. Our hills are fragile and past tragedies should serve as a lesson. We need to safeguard and protect the ecosystem of our hills.
Note: The site is located near 5º28’05.49”N, 100º15’25.82”E