After killer landslide, Penang urged to freeze all hill development

GEORGE TOWN, Oct 21 — The Penang government must immediately halt all hillslope projects in the state following a deadly landslide in Tanjung Bungah this morning, said Gerakan’s Oh Tong Keong.

The Penang Gerakan vice chairman said today’s tragedy was a wakeup call for the state to urgently review all developments on similar terrain.

“The state government must [seek] a royal commission to investigate this tragedy,” he said in a statement issued today.

He said investigations must also examine if any abuse of power contributed to the landslide.

Oh also reminded the state government that DAP’s Tanjung Bungah assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu  previously objected to the project hit by the landslide today.

“The state government had ignored Teh’s objections as he had said the project was dangerous and might threaten the safety of residents in the area,”

“The local authorities approved the project despite his objections,” he said.

Oh then pressed the state government to ensure that it adheres to its own guidelines regarding hillside developments.

Aside from projects near hill slopes, he also said the state should review all high density housing projects and change its high density housing policy to prevent any future tragedies.

“Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng must explain to the people over this tragedy and the council must openly apologize and explain as they are the authority to approve the project,” he said.

This morning, a hill slope next to a construction site of a high density housing project collapsed and buried 14 construction workers underneath.

The Fire and Rescue Department found three bodies by 1pm. The search, with the help of the canine unit, continues for 11 others still buried underneath.

The construction is for the Granito@Permai affordable housing project at Jalan Lembah Permai.

The development consists of a 49-storey building with two towers and 12 levels of car parks. It has 980 units for sale at below RM400,000 and was listed as an affordable housing project.

 
 
 
 

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