SOME time ago, the sighting of a school of dolphins near the Second Bridge captivated the attention of the Penang state government.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng even played a video clip to show the sighting to journalists to somewhat illustrate the fact that clean sea in Penang could have invited the mammals.
Now, not too long after that when two dolphins have been spotted dead in Tanjung Bungah, how come there is no mention of the current condition of the sea water in Penang?
Or does the sighting of dead dolphins not warrant any reaction? Well, after all they’re dead, so what?
Well for one thing, it is a big deal when two dolphins have been found dead just a few days apart from one another in the same area of Tanjung Bungah, with the first one being on Dec 29 and the latest one on Jan 4.
Having spoken to Tanjung Bungah state assmblyman Teh Yee Cheu, it can be established that there is somehow a link somewhere between the dead mamals the nearby reclamation works on the coastal line stretching from Gurney Drive to Tanjung Tokong,
Seri Tanjung Pinang Phase 2 (STP2) which covers an area of 760 acres or 3075610.88 square metres (imagine the size of small island).
Teh, who is also known as The Green YB for championing environmental issues had started warning the state government of the impact of reclamation works not long after he became state assmblyman for the area, representing DAP.
“I’ve already warned of environmental and ecosystem impact from reclamation works time and again.
“This could also be the start. It could be even more devastating if reclamation works are done haphazardly,” warned Teh.
Teh said the relevant quarters should not take the two dead dolphins as a light matter as it could be a sign of worse things to come following continuous reclamation works.
The marine ecosystem, he said, is slowly seeing the impact of mankind’s greed and the two dead dolphins is a sign to start wisening up.
The two dead dolphins shocked many tourists in the tourist and residential belt of Tanjung Bungah.
The nature-loving Teh is also urging the DAP led Penang state government not to allow Penang to end up being like Hong Kong where reclamation has become the norm at the expense of the marine ecosystem and habitat for marine life.
“I really hope the dolphins here will not end up being like those in Hong Kong where their habitat was endangered while the Hong Kong Airport was seeing a third runway being built on an island,” he explained.
After all, as a popular tourist destination, Penang should be somewhere tourists come to see dolphins alive swimming in the clean seawater of Penang and not see them dead on the beach.
The Penang coastal line has been known to be a passageway for dolphins which are normally spotted amongst those frolicking near Penang Bridge.
Is it not sad that the poor mammals cannot even swim past Penang alive these days?