Flash floods at Sungai Ara, Sungai Dua & Paya Terubong due to failure of state government to control hill slopes development projects.

AlbertTan 20150917 Penang Flood Hillslope Development BIPENANG — An intermittent heavy downpour from midnight of Saturday, 12 September for almost 12 hours caused flash floods in the vicinity of Sungai Ara, Sungai Dua as well as Paya Terubong.

Penang Gerakan has reasons to believe that this unprepared happening is caused mainly by the housing developments in the surroundings areas as well as the illegal clearance of the hilly lands in the same areas.

Penang Gerakan State Liaison Committee member Tan Kah Leong urged the state government to seriously look into the problem.

Tan pointed out that Penang Gerakan has kept closed watch on the situation and has summed up all the complaints received: i.e. water in Sungai Ara started to rise at about 2 am while in Sungai Dua and Paya Terubong the flood started at about 2.pm on Saturday. Even though the water level in the abovementioned 3 areas is not very high, the yellowish & muddy water that flooded the roads have proven that the rain water had rushed down the soil of the hill slopes causing certain degree of landslides.

Incidentally certain hill slopes housing development projects are found in these 3 flooded areas, in particular certain projects at the hill slopes in the vicinity of Sungai Dua and Paya Terubong are located very near the controversial “Botak Hill” i.e. Bukit Gambier.

In a press statement, Tan urged the State Government to view the adverse impacts brought about by the housing development projects on the hill slopes with sense of urgency. Don’t wait for any major disasters to happen which may cause damage to private properties or lives of the innocent before any drastic action is taken against the perpetrators.

He would like to remind the State Government and Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng that ever since a big boulder rolled down from the hill slopes in Paya Terubong near the densely populated Sun Moon City Housing Estate in 1998, hill slopes in Paya Terubong have been earmarked as high risk landslides areas. If the State Government still ignores this kind of risk and approved the new housing development projects haphazardly at their whim and fancy, it is tantamount to completely disregarding human and property safety.

He appealed to Penang Public Work Department, the Engineering Department of MBPP, National Security Committee and other relevant government agencies to send delegates of expertise to the Paya Terubong and the “Botak Hill” hill slope areas to make the necessary geophysical survey. If the survey found that the relevant hill slopes are not suitable for any kind of development, the State Government has a duty to stop the relevant projects.

Tan said, whenever there is any heavy downpour in Penang, the DAP State Assemblyman for Tanjung Bungah, Teh Yee Cheu will show his concern on the impacts of the rain as well as the impacts on the hilly slopes development in the state.

He hoped Teh will bring the Saturday incident at the coming State Assembly sitting for debate.

The popular and much talked about quote by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng: “No flood occurs if there is no rainfall” has already created enough mockery out of himself, and Penang Gerakan will not buy this kind of silly argument. Jest aside and we fervently hope that Lim will seriously review and reflect the serious problems of floods brought about by the hill slope development. Don’t make the slogan of “Green Penang” as strongly advocated by State Government a laughing stock.

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