GEORGE TOWN, July 24 (Bernama) -- The Local Government Bureau of Penang
Gerakan today urged the state government to right the wrong on the planning
permission approval for the hillslope project in Sg Ara.
Its chairman, Teh Leong Meng, said the state government and Chief Minister
Lim Guan Eng should take immediate action to solve the issue and relieve Sg Ara
residents of what he claimed was further suffering.
The residents of Sg Ara have set a precedent by being the first to challenge
the Penang government''s decision in the Appeals Board hearing on July 18.
Teh said the residents suffered because they have to collect money for legal
expenses to fight the case through the Appeals Board, and had to constantly
worry about the legal cost in a long-drawn legal battle, as well as the safety
Teh told reporters today the state government should not let the residents
gamble with their lives as the project is on the hill behind their homes.
HILLSLOPE-ARA 2 (LAST) GEORGE TOWN
"Who is going to be responsible for their safety in the long run? Can the
state government or the chief minister give a guarantee that there would not be
another Highland Towers tragedy?" he asked. (The Highland Towers refers to three
blocks of apartments in Hulu Klang, Selangor, one of which collapsed on Dec 11,
1993, killing 48 people.)
Teh said the chief minister should exercise his powers as the chairman of
the State Planning Committee (SPC) and instruct the Municipal Council of Penang
Island (MPPP) to revoke and withdraw the planning permission approval given to
the developer of the hillslope project in Sg Ara.
"Since the chief minister said that the state government has not approved
any development on contours higher than 76 metres, that means the SPC has not
approved the planning permission.
"Therefore, the approval given by the MPPP is null and void," he said.
The Sg Ara hillslope project is one of 19 hillslope developments higher than
76 metres and with the slope exceeding 25 degrees that have been approved by the
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