Source: Buletin Mutiara

Rock falls occur due to a complex interplay of geological and environmental factors. The research found that Penang Island is susceptible to soil erosion and landslides, primarily due to the substantial levels of precipitation it experiences. These heavy rains saturate the soil, leading to the erosion of debris and rocks, resulting in instability[1].

The intense rainfall overloaded the Penang stream, served as a reminder of the importance of ensuring human safety and safeguarding infrastructure. In recent years, three incidents of rock fall were reported near residential areas, specifically in 2017, 2018, and 2020. Nearly 2,000 residents of the Grandview Heights and Bukit Saujana flats in Paya Terubong have been living in fear for their safety following several devastating landslides tragedy of rock falls close to the Lorong Bukit Kukus slope, fronting their homes[2].

In response to these concerns, the State Government has implemented temporary preventive measures to enhance public safety and cleanliness by ensuring slope stability in Lorong Bukit Kukus, opposite Grand View Heights. Following a boulder collapse in October 2020, barriers and nettings were installed to prevent rock falls. To address the issue more comprehensively, the State Government has allocated approximately RM7.7 million for a slope repair project. Zairil Khir Johari, the Exco Infrastructure and Transport, elaborated that the Public Works Department (JKR) took temporary mitigation steps on the slope after receiving a complaint.

Subsequently, the Penang City Council (MBPP) conducted a survey to assess slope safety and appointed a consulting company for further study. Another survey was carried out by a certified Geotechnical Engineer and Material Surveying company appointed by the State Government through MBPP. The surveys confirmed the need for permanent mitigation works to prevent future problems. During a press conference at the site visit, Zairil stated that out of the RM7.7 million allocations, approximately RM6.8 million would cover construction costs, while RM893,000 would be allocated for design studies and other consulting expenses. The scope of work includes the installation of rock bolts, rock fall netting, soil nailing, gun knitting, drainage systems, fence installation, and road resurfacing.

Senior Geotechnical Engineer, Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang (MBPP), Mohd Hanafi Mohd Yaacob said, “It is estimated that the 400-meter-long works have started since May 15 and are expected to be completed in November 2024 to reduce the risk of landslides and rockfalls”.



[1] Melawani, O., Naventhan, A., & Tan Thung. Report on climate change impacts in Penang.

[2] Dermawan, A. (2022, April 25). Rock falls making residents of two Paya Terubong flats worry. News Straits Times.