Once a waterfall, now a dumpsite

GEORGE TOWN, Malaysia - It used to be a popular recreational spot in Penang but now, Air Terjun Bayan in Kampung Perlis near Bayan Lepas here has been reduced to an illegal landfill.

The culprits are believed to be residents of nearby housing estates, who dump their household waste on the hillslope at night, fast turning the area, once frequented regularly by former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, into a trash heap.

The pond into which water from the cascading waterfall collected used to be deep enough to reach a man's shoulders. The water level is now only knee deep and the gush of the waterfall has been reduced to a mere trickle.

A visitor, Mohd Fairus Md Isa, blamed the lack of enforcement and maintenance of the area by the local authorities.

He said the public, especially the nearby residents, should stop disposing their domestic waste in the area.

"It used to be a scenic and relaxing spot for families.

"Not anymore -- now, it is smelly, dirty and the facilities built by the authorities is in dire need of maintenance."