Urgent letter to the Yang Dipertua of MPPP: Objection to the cutting or shifting of trees in Jalan Masjid Negeri

7th December 2012                                                     

URGENT BY HAND/FAX

YBhg. Hjh. Patahiyah binti Ismail
Yang DiPertua
Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang
Tingkat 17 Menara KOMTAR
10675 PULAU PINANG

 

Assalamualaikum wrbt.

Yang Berbahagia Hjh.

 
Re: Objection to cutting or shifting of trees in Jalan Masjid Negeri

CAP is shocked to learn from press reports that the MPPP is intending to commence work on Monday on its plans to widen Jalan Masjid Negeri and eliminate some 62 trees in the process. It would appear that the date of commencement of the works has been deliberately brought forward by the authorities as originally it was stated that the work on the project would only begin on or around the 13th or 14th of December 2012.

The indecent haste with which the whole project is being pushed  through despite public  protests shows a complete disregard for public opinion. It also confirms CAP’s view  that  the dialogue held on November 30 by the MPPP’s engineering  department with NGOs was a mere sop to assuage  public  concern after the relevant contracts to proceed with the work had already been signed and sealed. This is not public  consultation in any meaningful sense.

If the authorities believe that by railroading the project and presenting the critics with fait accompli, they can put an end to the whole  controversy, they are sadly mistaken. Such conduct will only erode  public confidence in the workings of the MPPP and its crediblity. Such a bureaucratic way of resolving a matter of public interest will raise serious questions as to  whose interests the MPPP is serving.

We therefore urge the MPPP to postpone the commencement  of the works to allow for a  fuller consultation on the matter. The  authorities  must take environmental matters more seriously instead  of brushing  them aside as a nuisance. They must constitute a central concern in any development plan.

We look forward to your immediate reply.

Thank you.

Wassalam.

S M Mohamed Idris
President, Consumers Association of Penang & Sahabat Alam Malaysia