Friday, December 7, 2007


The Penang Turf Club is an area regularly prone to flooding. Use of geologically or environmentally sensitive areas for high density development as proposed by the PGCC will have adverse impacts on the surrounding areas especially in term of flood control. Drastic alterations of a ground surface, such as compaction or paving can reduce the infiltration capacity of a surface, which can cause a serious reduction in groundwater recharge and an increase in runoff. The undisturbed open space land of Penang Turf Club have the highest capacity to absorb water and subsequently the lowest rates of stormwater runoff. In contrast, impervious surfaces of PGCC will have the highest runoff rates. The volume of stormwater that washes off one-acre parking lots is about 16 times greater than that of a comparable size meadow.

Without a detailed EIA that reflect the overall impact of PGCC on transportation, utilities, the environment, and adjacent neighborhoods, the proposed development density of nearly 30 units to an acre may result in increased cost to local governments and other public agencies. As the local government will be force to provide more public services such as flood control, public transportation, sanitary sewage, storm sewage, solid waste collection and disposal. In many situations, the cost of providing these services to such high density commercial development is much higher than the revenues to local governments resulting from the expanded tax base. What is the cost per arce will be when utilities, flood control, transportation, and subsidiary governmental entities’ costs are included? The public would like to know how the state government can justify such kind of urban sprawl without taking into consideration the public expenditures that will incurred to maintain the so called development.

The local community objects to the development, arguing in part that the area was prone to flood and not suitable for development. The flood hazard mitigation effort by the state government also appears to have been carried out on an ad-hoc basis with a lack of strategic catchment planning and poor commitment to their maintenance. Flooding in the surrounding area is expected to be exacerbated by insufficient urban drainage capacity if the development is allowed. How much million or billion the state government is expected to spend on stormwater control projects? Turning the Penang Turf Club into greenways and trails may result in reduced costs to local governments and other public agencies. Establishing a greenway in an area prone to hazards, such as flooding, may decrease costs for potential damages. Greenways and associated vegetation can also help control water, air and noise pollution by natural means, resulting in potential decreased pollution control costs. Greenways and trails may promote physical fitness, leading to decreased public health care costs.

The local community cannot afford to allow this project to take place, it is not just the traffic congestion that will haunt the residents, but the potential uninvited hazard that will surfaced in their living room when it rain; FLOOD! Not only will those who are already here have to cope with the mess resulting from flood, they'll have to help pay to fix it!

Image how the muslim community nearby going to pray when the state mosque is flooded when it rain. Image how ridiculous when the Governor of Penang, has to be evacuated each time rain water flooded the official residence at Residency Road. Image how the rich and famous have to be evacuated each time it rain when rain water flooded Jesselton ,York Road,Scotland Road, Hospital Road and surrounding areas. Image what will be your property value when flood is a frequent occurence. Image how PGCC will become another failed venture like Komtar, when investor found that it is not worth to invest in flood prone area.

Is this what you call development, a pride to Penangites? Penangites do not need PGCC, all what we want is safer streets, nicer places to live, less pollution, our parks, farms and open space protected.

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