KUALA LUMPUR: Google maps satellite photos prove that the project site in Tanjung Bungah where a killer land-slide claimed the lives of 11 people, was actually a hill-side which the developers cleared.
In sharing the images, political observer Lim Sian See said, “Of greater concern is that the developers seem to be aware that they will be getting full approval to proceed even before the state government gave them the approval.”
“For this project, planning permission was approved on Feb 18, 2015. The building plan was subsequently approved on May 2015 but commencement of work was approved only on January 18, 2016,” he said.
“But the satellite photos show that even as at Nov 2015, much of the site has already been cleared and ground-works have started.
“No developers would spend so much money if there was no assurances from anyone that the project will proceed,” Lim claimed.
“Similarly, the developers at the Penang Turf Club has spent a lot of money to clear the hill-sides even though they have not gotten any approval from the Penang City Council,” Lim added.
“Development at the Penang Turf Club is a politically-sensitive subject as one of the reasons why the BN Penang Govt fell in 2008 was due to strong objections to the Penang Global City Centre project (PGCC) project led by the NGOs.”
With that in mind, Lim said the Penang City Council under DAP later rejected the development approval on Jan 24, 2017 with the following reasons:
– No hill land approval
– Failure to comply with the city council’s density guidelines
– Failure to comply with the city council’s guidelines for the provision of community amenities
– Failure to comply with the city council’s guidelines for the provision of low-medium-cost housing
“However, all those ‘reasons’ given can be swept aside in one go by classifying the above project as a ‘special project’ and then approved by the State Planning Committee chaired by the Chief Minister,” Lim said.
“Like I said, no developer will spend so much money clearing the hill-sides on such a scale if pre-assurances were not given by someone that the project will get approval.
“Thus it is likely that after GE14, the DAP Penang Govt will approve this project – just like how they will approve the massive water rates hike which they had applied to SPAN but then retracted due to elections sensitivities.
“You do not think this can happen? Remember Ronnie Liu and gang went down to Gurney Drive to raise banners to protest against land reclamation in 2007? But after DAP took over, they approved the project and it is well underway now.
“It makes the NGOs look like fools and DAP look like hypocrites – but DAP doesn’t care.
“And what about the Penang Outer Ring Roads (PORR) which DAP and the NGOs protested strongly against prior to 2008? They revived those road projects and put it as part of the Penang Tunnel project.
“And again, it makes the NGOs look like fools and DAP look like hypocrites – but DAP doesn’t care.
“Based on DAP’s past history, the project at the Penang Turf club will surely happen after GE14,” Lim claimed.
“DAP doesn’t mind making U-turns and lying to the public as they no longer fear the NGOs and the public since they believe people will continue to vote for them no matter how much they lie or how arrogant they are,” Lim said. – MO