Illegal excavation causes mudslide in Penang

Contributed by Carolyn Khor, Citizen Journalists Malaysia

Illegal excavation at a site in Penang has caused a mudslide to occur after a heavy downpour last Tuesday.

The mudslide occurred at about 8 pm as consistent heavy rain exacerbated the already massive soil erosion that has been occurring at the location near the Sun Moon City in Paya Terubong.

Tractors and trucks have been spotted excavating massive amount of red earth in the location for the past few weeks.

The authorities from Paya Terubong Municipal Council have issued a stop work order and have placed concrete slabs to block the main entrance.

“This is to prevent the contractor from further ruining the hill’s geometrical alignment,” said Azman bin Surin, the assistant director of enforcement for the municipal council.

Even though local authorities came to stop the excavations late last month, the activities are believed to have resumed after just two days.

“We initially thought it was some kind of hill side development, but there was no board indicating as such,” said a local resident who lives by the hillside.

“When we referred the matter to our ADUN, Yeoh Soon Hin, we found out that the excavation is illegal,”

She also expressed her fears that a bigger danger might lurk around the corner if the excavators do not stop their activities soon.

“We are living in fear. When it rains we are afraid there might be a landslide,” she added.

Meanwhile, according to Wong Hon Wai, a police report has already been lodged about the matter and Paya Terubong state assemblyman Yeoh has been sounded regarding the issue.

“MPPP was there last week to give summon. Have asked YB Yeoh ADUN Paya Terubong and council to take drastic action,” Wong commented on his Facebook.