Oil patches scattered seen in the Penang waters - Pix by Sayuti Zainudin Malaymail
The recent major oil spill in Penang reported to have polluted a 5km coastline on the island stretching from Swettenham Pier to Gurney Drive is a major concern.In addition to this oil spill disaster, Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) urges the authorities to also investigate and take action on the oil spills that has been occurring in Penang waters in the recent months.
Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) urges the Forestry Department of Kedah and the Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) to pay serious attention and take immediate steps to protect and save the mangrove forest in the Kilim Geo Park in Langkawi Island from devastation.
The Kilim Geo Park covering an area of 100 square kilometres is a nature reserve with amazing flora and fauna including limestone, fossils, caves, lagoons, beaches and panoramic sea views.
However, a survey conducted by SAM found that the natural environment in this area, for example the mangroves, is being threatened by tourist boat activities and pollution problem due to littering.
The Consumers Association of Penang is deeply concerned that pedestrians are either side-lined in the government transportation plansor that they have been overlooked after the prioritisation of motorised vehicle use.
The situation has deteriorated over the last three decades since car ownership was encouraged with the advent of the first national car in 1985. Nationwide in 1975, 47 percent Malaysians used public transportation and 63,842 passenger cars were registered. However, by 2005 only 6 per cent Malaysians used public transport while 416,692 passenger cars were registered. The number of registered cars had increased by 6.5 times within two decades while number of bus users plummeted almost 8 times.
In Penang Island itself roads were widened to accommodate the increase and more than 12 pedestrian bridges were constructed. They are white elephants, each costing more than a million Ringgit to build.
Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) and the Penang Inshore Fishermen Welfare Association (PIFWA) are very concerned over the critical level of leachate from a retention pond in the Pulau Burung Sanitary Landfill in Nibong Tebal, Penang.
The Penang State Government, Municipal Council of Seberang Perai (MPSP), Department of Environment (DOE), Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID), and the Forestry Department of Penang should immediately investigate this matter because landfill leachate typically contain ammonia, heavy metals, organic compounds and other hazardous pollutants.
By Khoo Salmah Nasution
President, Penang Heritage Trust
The newly announced Penang Transport Masterplan proposes a transport hub at the Prangin Canal. The open space is important to the people who live and work around it. The Prangin Market, the Prangin Canal, the heritage shophouses and the underground remains make this place rich with social memory.
Prangin Canal was built in 1804 as part of a defensive moat around George Town. It later became a busy waterway for small boats and the area around the Prangin Market developed into a bustling trading place. Today the Prangin Canal is located at the edge of the George Town World Heritage Site.