Home Civil Society Voices Teluk Bahang illegal quarry shows gross negligence by government authorities

Teluk Bahang illegal quarry shows gross negligence by government authorities

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Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) is shocked to learn from media reports that an illegal granite quarry has been carrying out its activities despite the authorities knowing of its operations since 2016.

According to media reports yesterday (in the Star), the state government has known about the illegal quarry since its expose in May 2016.

Further, it has been reported that the Penang Island City Council had issued a stop-work notice in February and May this year but the operator continued to carry out the quarry works.

It is indeed mind-boggling and shocking that the government authorities have not acted with more urgency, despite the non-compliance by the quarry operator with the stop-work orders and the violation of all the relevant laws in place.

To compound matters, the illegal operations have been taking place partly on hill lands above 76 metres (250 feet), which is contrary to the Penang Structure Plan, especially for activities of this sort which involve quarrying and blasting.

The quarry is also in an environmentally sensitive area quite close to the water-catchment forests and the Teluk Bahang dam.

How the quarry operator has been able to get away with such environmentally damaging activities in an environmentally sensitive area illegally for all these years raises very serious questions.

Why did the government authorities including the Penang state government, which is responsible for quarrying activities under the National Land Code, as well as the city council, not take stern action urgently when the quarry operator was happily flouting the laws?

Clearly, the government inaction in taking stern and quick measures smacks of gross negligence on the part of the authorities, who have allowed the illegal activities to continue. The quarry operator should have been charged and prosecuted for the illegal acts, with strong and deterrent punishment being pursued, instead of being allowed to carry on its works.

This is yet another case which goes to show that enforcement of the laws is lacking and poor in Penang, at all levels of government. Beefing up the state and local governments’ enforcement capacity has long been overdue!

We call on the Penang state government and the city council to buck up and take urgent action to stop the illegal quarry, haul the operator to court and push for a jail sentence.

The quarry operator should also be required to rehabilitate and restore the area which has been ravaged by the quarry works. Urgent and stern action should be forthcoming now, and the authorities should not wait for yet another media expose before acting!

Meenakshi Raman is president of Sahabat Alam Malaysia.

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

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3 Oct 2019 9.08pm

The Penang government is only interested in making money and is developer friendly. … Since when have they actually taken serious actions against such culprits? Shame on you. Action taken only when it’s highlighted in the news, otherwise turn a blind eye!

Gimano Sanoki
3 Oct 2019 8.16am

Hopefully there where will be somebody, association or ngo dare enough to make the government authority involved to be accounted for their negligence.

3 Oct 2019 7.18am

Nothing surprising…….Zero difference between BN & PH.
What happen to the big talk about STOP corruption by PH???????
Ministers & Authorities are either corrupted or sleeping on Swiss made Dreamland Bed.

Michael Andre Augustin
3 Oct 2019 12.50am

Now … is our Penang state govt doing!!!???

Alyson Su Ying
2 Oct 2019 11.44pm

Still waiting for action to be taken on owners of Lost Paradise for illegal construction and running an (allegedly) illegal school

Cynada Pom
2 Oct 2019 9.27pm

They sure can be more efficient..but got do work also la..just read this —> https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2019/10/526234/penang-mulls-action-against-illegal-quarry-operator

Edmund Pua
2 Oct 2019 9.38pm
Reply to  Cynada Pom

Cynada Pom mulls 🤣

Cynada Pom
2 Oct 2019 9.47pm
Reply to  Cynada Pom

Edmund Pua read if u r really that concern..if not..😱😱🙄🤦🏻‍♀️

Jackie Ee
2 Oct 2019 9.06pm

How come illegal quarry is not treated urgently? Is it can easy kaotim?
Need to get that operator to patch back the hills, on top of hefty fines and jail time.

3 Oct 2019 7.19am
Reply to  Jackie Ee

Malusia semua boleh lo…..

Chaw Chee Kien
2 Oct 2019 8.34pm

The government must root out corruption

Loganathan Jambunadan
2 Oct 2019 8.15pm

Monitor all illegal factory /illegal quarry in the country.

Lim Daniel
2 Oct 2019 8.21pm

Why isn’t the headline about bringing in the wrong doers?

Govind M. S. Munu
2 Oct 2019 8.17pm

Another botak hill, clear invasion to ecology.

Fami Isa
2 Oct 2019 7.54pm

Gross takings I’d say

Terence Heng
2 Oct 2019 8.03pm

Najib says Cash is King. That’s the factor behind.

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