GEORGE TOWN, Dec 18 — The Penang government has ordered all camping sites in the state to temporarily suspend operations to prevent any untoward incidents following the landslide tragedy at the Father’s Organic Farm campsite, Gohtong Jaya, Batang Kali in Selangor.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the measure was taken on the instruction of Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming to close all campsites near rivers and vulnerable sites nationwide for seven days immediately after the tragedy.

“We request all campsite owners in Penang, whether registered with the local authorities (PBT) or not, to temporarily close due to safety factors and instructions from the Local Government Development Ministry (KPKT).

“There are indeed many violations of the law throughout the country for taking up any kind of activity without a permit, including campsites, but this category (campsites) has not been detected in Penang,” he told reporters after attending the Penang 2nd Bridge PDRM 2022 Solidarity Fun Ride last night.

Meanwhile. Chow said campsites at Suling Hill in Seberang Perai Tengah and Taman Bandaraya have been ordered to stop camping activities immediately yesterday because of the hillside risks involved during the current rainy period.

He said the state government also has guidelines for building on hill slopes since Penang has been hit by landslides that have claimed lives.

“Any development on slopes, be it the construction of a residential building or any other development, including a campsite, is subject to the set guidelines and conditions.

“There have been landslides in the Bukit Bendera area, you can say that there are several incidents every year and the monitoring is done by PBBPP (the local authority), if there is a landslide, it is repaired by them (PBBPP). We also have a campsite in a bungalow of the state government in Bukit Bendera, which has also been temporarily closed,’ he said. — Bernama