Penang May Lose Batu Ferringhi Beach To Erosion, Worried Citizens Urge Gov’t To Take Swift Action
One of Penang’s many wonders is Batu Ferringhi beach – in fact, the 3-kilometre long strip of white, sandy beach is the second most visited place in the island, after Georgetown.
Known for its water sports and beach activities, it’s safe to say that it was once Penang Island’s pride and joy. That is, until citizens noticed that erosion and other alleged factors were beginning to take its toll on the coast.
As a result, the Penang state government has been prompted to examine the causes of the shrinkage of the popular tourist spot.
Speaking with FMT, Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) researcher and activist Mageswari Sangaralingam, declared that the condition at the site is dire, claiming that land reclamation and climate change had exacerbated the issue.
Mageswari also noted that the government must investigate the causation as well as provide data on the frequency of erosion.
“How severe is the erosion now, and are restoration initiatives contributing to it, as members of the general public have expressed concern that beach erosion is caused by reclamation?” she queried.
Following that, beach staff members informed FMT that the receding beach front has also affected trees as well as other constructions throughout the coastlines as of early last year. According to reports, 30 trees were uprooted.
Nevertheless, state executive council member Zairil Khir Johari said that a 380m shoreline is being restored.
He stated that short-term remediation began in January with a 20-meter span nearby Golden Sands Resort, followed by another 180-meter stretch last month.
Action on another 180m stretch, according to Zairil, will begin next month under the guidance of the Penang irrigation and drainage unit.
“In terms of the Rasa Sayang segment, the resort has hired a specialist to research a mitigation model for future action,” he told the press.
So far, there have been multiple accounts of deterioration affecting the Batu Ferringhi beachfront, especially in recent days.
A 10m-long civil defence force (APM) watchtower at Batu Ferringhi beach crumbled in January this year after a tidal surge stripped away sections of the beach.
Most recently, the Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa Pinang Restaurant and Bar, situated along the Batu Ferringhi beach, were shut temporarily last week due to strong waves and erosion causing the restaurant’s floor to be swarmed by sand.
Let’s hope the government’s efforts successfully redeem the treasures of Penang Island soon!