Penang BN wants Putrajaya to intervene in hill slope project issue

Penang BN chief Teng Chang Yeow (holding microphone) said lives are worth more than compensation.

GEORGE TOWN: Penang Barisan Nasional (BN) chief Teng Chang Yeow said he had alerted the federal environmental regulators over a mega high-rise project taking place adjacent to another condo project on a hill slope in Batu Ferringhi.

He said the project, taking place next to the Miami Green Condominium, was supposed to get the green light from the Department of Environment (DoE) in Putrajaya, but had instead been approved by state authorities in Penang.

Teng, who is also BN’s Tanjung Bungah candidate, said in the case of the mega project, it was being built on a Class IV hill land with a 35-degree slope. He said this would require the DoE in Putrajaya to give its consent.

He said he was raising this matter after speaking to Miami Green residents at a dialogue yesterday. They were worried that any mishap at the new hillside project would adversely affect them in future.

Teng also said he was also haunted by images of the Tanjung Bungah landslide next to a quarry and a condo project last year which claimed the lives of 11 people.

“It is shocking that the Penang government has approved the project with 101 units per acre. This is against the guidelines of 15 units per acre allowed in that area.

“We call on the Penang Island City Council to stop processing the building plans. We also ask the federal DoE to intervene because of the environmental concerns.

“The DoE director-general has promised to revert back to me on this,” Teng said at a press conference here today.

The project comprises five 29-storey tower blocks, two 34-storey blocks of 336 serviced apartments and one block of 197 units of affordable apartments.

When asked if he would cancel the project and pay compensation to the developers if BN won Penang, Teng said paying compensation was not the only way.

“There are many other ways (to cancel the project). What is money compared to the lives of 1,700 people (of Miami Green)?

“Already, 11 lives were lost in a tragic development in Tanjung Bungah before. Do we want another?”

Pakatan reps dropped from GE14

On another matter, Teng said he could raise any issues with Prime Minister Najib Razak daringly without facing any prospect of a backlash, unlike Pakatan Harapan leaders.

He pointed to the fate of Pakatan assemblymen who had spoken out against the Penang government and who had been dropped from the polls this time around.

Teng said under the present state government, there was no tolerance for dissent.

He said a case in point was Tanjung Bungah assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu, who was barred from giving out state-sanctioned flood aid.

Teng said when the former Gerakan-led Penang government had issues with the state MCA leadership, the then Chief Minister Koh Tsu Koon never penalised his critics.

“This will also never be the practice of BN.

“Look at those who had gone against Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng. Teh, Cheah Kah Peng, Ong Chin Wen and T Jayabalan. They were all dropped from contesting in GE14.

“Look at BN. Despite second finance minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah criticising the prime minister, he is still being fielded in this election.

“This is the difference and contrast between BN’s accommodative style of leadership, with the peoples’ interests in mind always, and the Pakatan Harapan leadership.

“If you don’t toe the line, your fate will be like Teh.”

Teng also said he was not a blue-eyed boy of Najib, as claimed by DAP vice-chairman Zairil Khir Johari.

Teng said the opposite was true as Zairil was known to be the blue-eyed boy of Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

“Will he dare to air people’s grouses to the chief minister?

“If it is about my people, I will raise it (to the PM) and my leadership to find a solution.”