GEORGE TOWN: Environmental issues, particularly on the encroachment of hilly areas in this state are critical and require the immediate attention of the authorities, says an environmental group.
Pertubuhan Pelindung Khazanah Alam Malaysia in a survey of the hilly areas of the state has found that most of the highlands in the five districts show the effects of damage due to land excavation, said the group’s president, Shariffa Sabrina Syed Akil.
She said Penang as a heritage site needed to conserve forests and the surrounding greenery as well as its heritage buildings.
“We are well aware of what is currently happening…most of our hills have been cleared to make way for development. Based on our observation, we have detected the damage of the slopes similar to those in Teluk Bahang and Batu Kawan.
She said the state government and the local authorities must inculcate awareness about the importance of hills that act as nature’s pillars to the earth and lessen focus on the development of Penang island. She called for a sustainable balance which also protected the greenery and treasures of nature for the future generation.
The group seeks a meeting with the Chief Minister to discuss development of the hills and to submit a memorandum to ensure that the greenery of the state is preserved.
“PEKA urges the agencies of the state such as the Penang Island City Council, Seberang Perai Municipal Council, district and land offices as well as the Forestry Department to be more proactive in addressing the issue of land encroachment at a more serious level before more hills throughout Penang are sacrificed,” she said.