GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Island City Council (MBPP) has expressed regret over an incident along Jalan Perak here this morning, where a century-old Angsana tree uprooted and crashed into a Proton Wira, killing its driver.
The MBPP said in a statement tonight that the cause of the incident was still under investigation.
The council also assured the public that the Angsana tree, which was transplanted at the junction of Jalan Perak and Jalan Lenggong, was replanted by a certified arborist.
"The replanting of the Angsana tree was carried out in accordance to all the guidelines stipulated, including tree hazard assessment before the replanting application was approved.
"The transplanting of the Angsana tree was carried out by an arborist, who was appointed by the contractor overseeing the road expansion works.
"The certified arborist is responsible in ensuring the compliance of all conditions set," it said after the issue of the replanting of the Angsana tree came to light following this morning's accident.
It was reported that a man was killed when a huge Angsana tree uprooted and crashed on his car following continuous downpour early this morning.
The deceased, Yong Geeng Huei, 53, was on his way to work at a car repair workshop when the incident occurred along Jalan Perak.
Several businesses nearby had claimed that the Angsana tree was not there previously, and had only been replanted at the current site somewhere between 2017 and 2018.
Batu Lanchang assemblyman Ong Ah Teong told the New Straits Times that he would get a MBPP arborist to explain what actually happened.
"This tree was replanted at its current site somewhere between 2017 and 2018. I am still getting the Landscape Department to confirm the date.
"At that time, MBPP engaged an arborist to certify that the tree was healthy before it was replanted. Now that an accident has occurred, I want to ask MBPP to get the same arborist to answer and to let the public know what actually happened and how the tree uprooted," he was quoted as saying.
The MBPP also went on to say that scheduled maintenance was conducted on all replanted trees to ensure they are healthy and well kept.
"As in the case of the Angsana tree along Jalan Perak, maintenance was last carried out on Jan 31 this year," it added.