Thirty hills on the island have been cleared off trees, with seven showing major damage, according to Gerakan veep Dominic Lau

KUALA LUMPUR: Gerakan vice-president Dominic Lau today thanked Kepong’s DAP MP Tan Seng Giaw for his honest opinion which the latter posted on Facebook yesterday saying Penang island was losing its greenery.

“When I said it last Friday, there were critics on Facebook saying this was an election gimmick by Gerakan. They called it a politically motivated attack against the state government.

“Today I want to thank Kepong DAP MP Tan Seng Giaw for affirming what we have been highlighting,” said Lau.

Tan took to the Facebook yesterday and said: “Going around Penang island today, we find the coast is changing and Balik Pulau is less green, the population of 850,000 require houses and employment”.

“I support Tan’s observation […] not just Tan’s observation, Adun Tanjung Bunga Teh Yee Cheu also said the same,” the Gerakan man pointed out.

According to Lau further, at least 30 hills in the island have been cleared for development, either by the state or done illegally.

He however said that seven out of the 30 are in crisis mode with barely any green left, and these are Bukit Kukus, Bukit Sungai Pinang, Bukit Elvira Slope, Teluk Bahang Dam, Bukit Papan, Sungai Ara Hills and a hill opposite Titi Kerawang Waterfalls.

“This is not a political attack from us. If you don’t believe me, try going across the old Penang bridge and see the condition of Bukit Kukus as you pass. More than 30 hills are almost cleared, seven of them stripped badly.

“It is very clear the greenery is being cleared away. This is not a politically motivated claim, these are facts.. Gerakan does not have any chair in the state assembly but we are constantly monitoring the state government’s activities.

“Hills, whether cleared by private or state entities, even if illegally cleared, DAP being the government there should not allow this,” said Lau.

Last Friday Lau said that the DAP-led Penang government had failed to fulfill 15 promises in response to DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang stating that Penang was not a failed state but Malaysia was.

Lau listed the 15 unfulfilled promises, among which were environmental concerns, ever since DAP formed the Pakatan state government there.

Other unfulfilled promises he listed related to the failure to eradicate illegal parking, an education hub in Balik Pulau, underwater tunnel, flood problem, affordable housing, LRT, maintaining rates of quit rent, business licences, service fees and land tax.

Lau had also highlighted Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s failure in providing bus lanes, expanding the Chowrasta night market and the traffic congestion.