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BN rejects ‘tainted’ hillslope project list

 | July 16, 2012

Some information, like contour plans, was missing from the declassified list of projects, says state BN chief Teng Chang Yeow.

GEORGE TOWN: Barisan Nasional has rejected the Penang island municipality’s (MPPP) list of hillslope projects, claiming it to be “tainted and flawed.”

State BN chairman Teng Chang Yeow said the state opposition would stop scrutinising the list as it contained many misleading information.

“No point for us to continue going through it,” Teng told a press conference at the BN office here today.

On June 27, state executive councillor in charge of local government, Chow Kon Yeow, announced that all the relevant documents pertaining to projects involving land above 250ft from 2006 onwards would be declassified.

The MPPP put up the list for public perusal in the wake of growing criticisms against unscrupulous hillslope developments on the island.

Penangites have been criticising the Pakatan Rakyat government under Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng for approving, without clear guidelines, high-density projects that have been destroying the hills of this tropical island.

Teng said information, like contour plans, was missing from the declassified list of projects while projects not above the 250ft limit, like the one in Bukit Jambul, was listed.

The list also included some overlapping projects such as a twin tower luxury apartment in Bukit Jambul that was first approved in 2005 and then amended and approved again in 2006.

“But MPPP listed the approval and amendment of that one project as two projects,” Teng said.

The other overlapping project listed as two projects was Pearl Island 18-hole golf course which was first approved in 1995, then amended and approved in 2006.

The project is also not above the 250ft sea level limit.

Misleading data

“BN officials tasked to study the documents were told to stop as there was nothing to gain from misleading data,” said Teng.

He urged MPPP president Patahiyah Ismail to uphold her professionalism when answering public queries.

“She has been around since the last state government. She should not be afraid or be under the thumb of the state government,” he said.

But Teng said BN would continue to pursue the high density and hillslope development issues to protect public interests, rights and benefits.

He said the Pakatan government must explain the reasons behind the sudden and unpublicised increase in density on an acre of land on the island.

He said the increase has affected the environment, traffic and quality of life because developers can now build higher condominiums even on an open space.

Previously, he said the density was six units per acre for development above 250ft.

But the Pakatan government has increased the density in many projects, he said.

Teng cited the development project in Mount Erskine, which was approved by the BN government previously with lower density. But now it has taken off with higher density after Pakatan approved a renewed plan.

The project, being built on a 13.7-acre plot that features three blocks of 200 units each, has incurred the wrath of nearby residents who claim it was environmentally damaging.

A check with MPPP’s planning department director Roslan Ramli revealed that density for projects above 250ft was less than 15 units per acre.

As for projects below 250ft, particularly medium and high-cost units, it ranged between 15 and 78 units per acre.

Teng said this was based on MPPP’s zoning policy under its Controlled Development and Planning Policy Plan 1996.


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