Nod for MPPP to take legal action against landowner

GEORGE TOWN: THE Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) has received the green light from the deputy public prosecutor’s office to take legal action against the landowner of the illegally cleared land in Bukit Relau here.

MPPP president Datuk Patahiyah Ismail said that the court has, however, yet to give them a date for the hearing.
“We have got the go ahead to take legal action. This is concerning the earthworks plan that was not submitted,” she told reporters after a council meeting at Komtar here yesterday.
It was earlier reported that the landowner had been told to speed up its mitigation works and overcome any pollution issue at the site.
It was also reported that earthworks at the site had stopped, with only mitigation works going on.
The land, which was cleared earlier this year without council permit, was rezoned last year to allow for low-density housing development.
Located over 76m above sea level, the land was being cleared to make way for a high-end project, which included bungalows.
Meanwhile in an immediate response, environmental interest group Citizen Awareness Chant Group’s (Chant) steering committee member Peter Wong welcomed the move.
“This is a matter of public interest as illegal works without proper approval, haphazard construction without consultants’ advice may cause landslides, which may lead to the loss of lives.
“Also, the illegal works was an act which was blatant and a total disregard of authority and the law,” Wong said in a statement.
Wong further stated that in the interest of the public, the prosecution should seek a deterrent sentence to prevent future abuse of the process and the offender to merely pay a fine.
The illegal hill clearing, which had gone on since April, was brought up to the media early last month by Seri Delima assemblyman R.S.N. Rayer.

Read more: Nod for MPPP to take legal action against landowner – Central – New Straits Times

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