Save Penang’s Trees

Cities and towns are not only for roads and vehicles. Trees are part and parcel of a livable and living city. Unfortunately trees that make urban areas green, livable and beautiful are often sacrificed to pave way for development.


Thus, we in the Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) and Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM)are very disappointed to learn that the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) will be cutting 44 trees and transplanting 20 trees along a 700-metre stretch of road from the Jalan Udini roundabout to the Shell petrol station on Jalan Masjid Negeri. An arborist appointed by a project consultant for road widening and drainage works here had identified 80 trees in the area of which only 16 will remain.

CAP and SAM object to the massacre of our trees. The beauty of some of Penang’s roads is attributed to its tree-lined roads. Some of the trees along Jalan Masjid Negeri with colourful flowers and beautiful foliage add extra attractiveness to the neighbourhood. The trees along the road also provide important benefits such as the provision of shade, the buffering of noise and improvement of air quality.

Trees are the best natural purifiers of environment pollution. A study shows that a single large, well-watered city tree can transpire about 380 liters of water in one day, thus producing the cooling effect of five average room air conditioners running 20 hours a day. Trees thus improve the microclimate of the area.

Penang will be losing its asset if the Council continues with its plans to chop the trees on this stretch. Hence the MPPP should consider ways on saving the trees from being axed but still go ahead with the upgrading of the drainage system here. Some of the trees have been living here for many years. The trees that have been identified as a public hazard should be trimmed and not removed. If the trees are diseased, cure it, not kill it.


CAP and SAM urge the MPPP to stop the felling or transplanting the trees here. We want an assurance from the State Government and MPPP that the trees along this stretch will be spared. The people of Penang must stand up and resist the cutting down of these trees. Nationally, we need to plant more trees and preserve those that are standing.

No more trees should be felled to make way for development.

Press Statement, 28 November 2012