I greatly suspect that it's hardly coincidental that the improvement works at the Ceruk To'kun Forest Park at the foothills of the Bukit Mertajam hill are going on at the same time as the expansion works at the Penang Botanical Gardens.
Both are being carried out with funds from the federal government, not the state government as I had assumed initially, and presumably both projects were approved at the same time. But there's a lot of unhappiness about how the federal government has bulldozed it's way through with scant disregard for the wishes of the stakeholders, especially the people of Penang.
While the works at the Penang Botanic Gardens have come in for a lot of criticism and protests from environmentalists who claim - rightly, as I would like to believe and wholeheartedly support - that the very soul of the Gardens is being destroyed, the on-going works at the Ceruk To'kun Forest Park has hardly garnered any adverse comment.
the writer of this blog said that the architect couldn't even give any justification for his plans. Sad, indeed.
I suppose it's because there's no destruction of the environment here. Work started late last year with the cementing of the banks of the stream that flows through the Park. Today, hordes of people come in the afternoon to take in the cool fresh air and the local boys (and the occasional monkeys) use the pools for a dip.
But if there is anything to object about all the work here, it has to be the building that's coming up on what was once a small field that campers use in the Park grounds. I haven't been able to figure out yet what's this building for. By the time I do, it will most probably be too late. I only hope this project can only improve the Park and not destroy it.