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Bukit Antarabangsa: A govt must do what is right and not what is popular December 9, 2008

Posted by elizabethwong in Economy, Environment, Malaysia.
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One of the earliest policy announced by the new Selangor State Government after the March 8 General Election was to ban any development on Class 3 and Class 4 hill slopes. This would mean that no development could be carried out on hill slopes 26 degrees and above.

This decision was heavily criticised by the developers and their association. The state government was accused to be hostile to development. Citing that land is already scarce in Selangor, the developers argued that there would be no more land to be developed in a few years time.

However, the recent tragedy in Bukit Antarabangsa had silenced these critics but with four deaths and thousands displaced, it is inappropriate for the state government to brag that they are correct to impose the ban. A government should do what is right and not what is going to be popular.

The same thing goes for the current crisis in Bukit Antarabangsa. The experts have announced that almost 2,000 people need to be evacuated as their homes are unsafe. If further reports confirmed that these homes could never be made safe then a decision on the future of Bukit Antarabangsa must be made. Even if this would mean demolishing these homes or closing down certain parts of Bukit Antarabangsa, the state government must do what is right and not what is popular with the people.

Allowing the people to move back into their homes and announcing that they are safe would be very popular but what is the point if this tragedy would repeat itself in the future?

Ministers, deputy ministers and VIP’s would visit the site, make sympathetic statements and pose for the cameras but at the end of the day, the state government, the Menteri Besar and Excos, would be burdened with the decision making. The people should brace themselves for the worst as this decision would be based on the safety of the people and not on the winning of elections.

Iskandar Abdul Samad
Selangor State Exco for Housing, Building Management & Squatters
8 December 2008

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Comments»

1. Jackie Teo - December 9, 2008

Prevention is better than cure. While I note the good intentions by the new ruling Selangor government, may I know what preventive measures has been taken for those EXISTING houses/apartments/condos that has already been build & approved ALREADY by MPAJ???

We should have programs to check the living ones instead of writing good essays for the lost ones.

Ini baru betul mah! PR has control over 5 states! Please ENFORCE them in this 5 states IMMEDIATELY !!!

Talk is cheap! We want actions before innocent lives are taken away AGAIN due to irresponsible developer’s unethical criminal negligent.

By the way, this immunity law that protect the local council from any wrong doing is unconstitutional! NO ONE SHOULD BE PLACED ABOVE THE LAW! Rulers also don’t have such immunity! Why they have ?

Thank you!

2. where is Ong TK? - December 9, 2008

What is popular is not not build on dangerous slopes. THe BN govt have not been listening. That’s why BN is so unpopular and they lost Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. Anyway, where is the Housing Minister eh?

3. wandererAUS - December 9, 2008

Good governance is part of a solution and tackle failings head on. This corrupted UMNO-BN govt is almost the main contributor to the problem as in this case…Bukit Antarabangsa landslide. Yet, they are pushing the blame on others.
Corruption and indifference, poor professional planning and lack of soil study led to this disaster. Of course, combined with inefficient inspections. Any layman can tell you this.
Obviously, you will never expect these UMNO goons be men enough to take the blame, Minister and MB responsible, resigning from their positions.
Where is the rich Indo migrant Khir Toyol, what have you got to say? You have blood in your hands!

4. eagle has landed - December 9, 2008

Misinformation and ignorance. Both the government and the public but snakes are lurking around wearing the developers tag. And the end result is catastrophic, the public will have to bear the burden.
It is a matter of choice, profit or the life of the people?. Politicians are voted in by the rakyats, so get down to real business for the interest of the nation which include the safety, security, liberty and you name it in the spirit of human rights.
Time to revamp or overhaul the policies before the nation goes deeper into the drain.
Do what is right and not what is popular and you are right on target and go to hell with BN 50 years policies.

5. InfoHQ.us - December 9, 2008

Public funds shouldn’t be used for maintenance of slopes where the rich want to build their palaces!

6. jb - December 9, 2008

It is sheer negligence and incompetance of the present BN govt. They are pursuing policies for maximum wealth for a few at the expense of the larger population.
When such disasters strike, taxpayers money are taken to compensate the victims. There are promises but no concrete action.
Are we Malaysians so blind not to understand what is happening to this country. In well developed countries, there is accountability.
We should demand the highest standards of governance. The way I see it is only through change of Government that there will be improvement.

7. m. nizam - December 9, 2008

From all the information we read on the media, The government itself must monitor not only the progress of the housing development but also the entire housing area and investigate the approval of a new housing development.
There must be one person to be blame and it must go to the district head ( sacking must be given automatically ). Don’t you agree ?
Human life are lost due to corruption activities!!!!!!
and is it only now that we started to have a preventive measure ?
Malaysia is not progressing if the authority keep on mentioning that this is not their problem . Dont the district head have weekly or monthly meeting among themselves?

8. jonathan - December 9, 2008

BolehLand supposedly proud it has no natural disaster to cause misery, death, loss of property and people’s hopes, has man made calamity and disasters. We seem to court danger, asking for it to happen and challenging ‘mother nature’. And those with money think that their money is as strong as the foundation piling, retaining walls, artificial landscaping, ‘man mad’ or is it ‘mad man’ or is it man made structures we erect on contours that defy logic, engineering or plain common sense.
It’s sloppy slimy attitude of developers and authorities that has caused enough of uncalled tragedies. Thank goodness noone has blamed ‘allah’ yet?
Where there is demand there is supply. Where there is money to make, supply it anywhere anyhow! Where there is corruption, who cares whose life is at stake in the end right?
see. ‘Slip Sliding Away Attitude’ http://www.jonathan66-my.blogspot.com

9. endstands - December 9, 2008

i agree with you.they must do what is right and not to just please the residents in order to avoid tragedy again.learn from what happened.developers and their asscoiates must not only think about $$$ only.dont play around with peoples live just for the sake of earning big money.pbt(pihak berkuasa tempatan) also must do their part by not to permit anyone to develop any hill slopes.

10. Viktor Wong - December 9, 2008

Why is the Minister of Housing & Local Govt keeping quiet? Where is he now??? This tragic is sure to be the work of corrupt elements.

Can the BN govt be trusted? Can we risk the lifes of few more hundreds again?

http://huanghaichen.blogspot.com

11. AFLAW NORDIN - December 9, 2008

On this issue,I posted my comment on YB Iskandar’s blog. Care to read..

12. Gary Yeoh - December 10, 2008

I wish every success to YB Iskandar Abdul Samad and Elizabet Wong in their endeavours to put a stop to the rot that they have inherited. To govern is much more difficult than to oppose. Yet for the sake of our children, we must pray that they succeed.

The path to right the wrong will be long, littered with pitfalls and “snakes” in their midst. We know or suspect who they are. Yet, I will pray for your wisdom. In successes, remember humility. In victory, remember grace. The public is fickle minded, so act with firmness and be principled. However, be mindful of arrogance in your acts.

To those of us governed, let us learn patience and keep faith that little by little we can each make our contribution to their efforts. Let’s be constructive in our criticisms. Let us be short term in cynicism, but long term in optimism.

Go on and rock PR! (oops revealing my age now)

13. yap sing yeong - December 10, 2008

From what I have obtained the information from the Chinese newspapers, you have done a good job in coordinating at the Bukit Antarabangsa landside scene!

14. moo_t - December 11, 2008

To instill SAFE hill side development, it will COST A LOT. I suspect the price is enough to WIPE OFF ALL THE DEVELOPER PROFIT, if the state government enforce it.

Why say “because we can”, when you can throw them the whole guideline and CHARGE them environment assessment fees, monitoring fees, and cost of earth strengthen enforcement. In fact, those cost can easily pile up to tens to hundred millions that enough to shut those developer mouth.

Always, unscrupulous business always TRANSFER the responsibilities and cost to the societies. The main reason they successfully get away with those practice mainly due to corruption, cryonism.

Take the landslide as example, the estimated cost to enact a proper and safe barrier on the collapse slope, easily cost RM50 millions. I doubt the developer in bukit antara bangsa afford to pay that much. In fact, they get away with it because the previous BN government let them.

Throw in the hundred millions ringgit bills, I bet all hill and slope side developer will stop the rubbish of suing state government and demand compensation for “project delay”.

15. chengho - December 11, 2008

Rakyat is waiting the action from the State Government of Selangor .
THere are many similar development from Ampang ,BT Antara Bangsa , Taman Melawati and Templer Park . Do you dare to challenge the developer?

16. kayuu - December 11, 2008

Dear YBs,
One way of stopping these greedy developers from putting endless pressure on you people is to out the pressure back on them. People like them are afraid of transparency and honesty, so please publicise those who are demanding the right to do the wrong thing. Expose them for their contempt for human safety and lives. They would most likely threaten to sue, but how can they win when they are breaking the law?

17. JUN YEE - December 12, 2008

Bukit Antarabangsa Landslide – My true life experience

Finally I managed to get out and drive my car out from Bukit Antarabangsa.

Here are my true life experience in chronologically orders:-

5th Dec 2008

11pm : Reached home at Oakleaf Park condo

1:30am : Watched ASTRO and went to bed

6th Dec – 2008

Midnite : Awaken by a loud noise. Returned to sleep.

9am – I was awaken by 2 sms from my bro and sis.

My sister mentioned to me there was a terrible landslide at Bukit Antarabangsa, and I replied to her “where got landslide”

My brother mentioned to me to switch on the TV. That time I noticed there was no electricity. Then I realized there are many helicopters hovering my area. Red and white color. Tat time, I realized something bad had happened.

I walked out and chat with my jiran (an ex army). Tat point of time, I realized there was a very very huge landslide had occurred

10:30am – Walked down to the landslide location. Area was condoned off by police. The first feeling that I got when looked at the destruction was “OMG…..what had happened?? How could this terrible thing happened to us”

My heart was dropped to the ground when saw those banglos units became Groud Zero. Those beautiful expensive banglos all swept flat by huge tons of muds

No access to ASTRO…no access to TV. Cut off from the outside world totally. The only access I hav was the mobile phone SMS and calls.

Before noon, many residents from Oaklead Park and Kyoto Gardens had moved out by using the temp access route at Impiana Selatan and Athethaum condo. I remained at my place

7pm – Residents from Oakleaf Park condo collected food and waters from the authority. Foods are delivered from the condo guard house.

9pm – Peace Malaysia group making announcement from the condo area, informing anyone that needs medical assistance could contact them

9pm until next morning – These are the worst moments. No electricity. Unable to receive latest updates from TV. Lucky Oakleaf Park management provides power generator. Lifs are working, emergency lights are working.

7 DEC 2008

9:30am – I left Bukit Antarabangsa by using the Athetheum jungle trekking access route. The route is muddy and slippery. Very dangerous. Once slipped, could cause serious injury. However, it is still OK. Just gotta be more careful.

Once reached the summit, registered. Mineral water was provided. My family members fetch me to their house in Pandan Mesra. Stayed until Monday morning.

9 DEC 2008

9am – Took a taxi to Athetheum condo. Walked down the same jungle trekking trail. This time was OK becoz I carried nothing. Reach Oakleaf Park around 10am.

Unable to drive down because of the time table to drive down. Gotta wait until 5pm.

At 2pm, I felt not well. Felt wanna vomit. Felt wanna faint. Tried to drive out but the traffic was so terrible. Full CHAOS

No choice, walked to Kyoto Garden to seek medical assistance. There was no doctor on site. However, there were a few Kyoto Garden residents. All of them very helpful. They tried contact doctor for me. They fetched me to the nearest doctor camp.

I would wish to thanks ppl from Kyoto Garden and also ppl from Bukit Utama and also mostly thanks to Doctor Rafik for his medical consultation to me.

After consume the given medicine. I recovered abit. Doctor Rafik sent me to the Oakleaf Park condo. My family member was there too. Called my brother to wait for me at Bkt Antarabangsa’s Giant. We walked down. The traffic was so terrible. Queue started from Oakleaf Park Condo all the way to Riverdalle Apt. If I happen to drive my car down, I think I need at least 3 hours

10 DEC 2008

Managed to get my car out finally.

11 DEC 2008

Reported to work.

Later after office hours, will try to go home at Oakleaf Park Condo. I hope the traffic is OK by now

I Only Wish To Go Home

18. MALAYSIAN LANDSLIDES - RESULT OF “SLIMY COLLABORATIONS”? « SCwatch - December 13, 2008

[...] Calamities like these do not happen overnight or over a few months’ time. They emanate from the time the development was approved and it falls squarely on the lap of Khir Toyo’s administration then. I note that the current Selangor State Government had banned hillside developments where land exceeded 25 degrees in gradient (see State Councillor’s [in charge of environment] representation here). [...]

19. fahmi - December 13, 2008

YB, good stories about you and your team on drrafick blog. read here:

http://rights2write.wordpress.com/

20. monsterball - December 15, 2008

UMNO government will do everything to win votes…and you can dream till kingdom come…they will do right things.
As for this tragedy….they have no choice. They will act tough and fair….yet keep protecting…the ones approving the projects…keep blaming developers and engineers.
So don’t think UMNO have changed for the better.
Corruptions is the main issue.
Build 10 houses…give one free to the person approving it..is welknown.
Details study not important.
Furthermore…half past six government…where do they have experts to study. All they know.is act ..when tragedy occurs.
Greed is the word!!
Want to get rid of corruptions and ISA…you must get rid of UMNO….so said RPK.

21. mob1900 - December 16, 2008

YB,
Keep up the great work!

22. Alan - December 18, 2008

Hi,
As a supporter to PKR in the recent election, I expect changes to take place fast even though not immediate. My area, BKT Antarabangsa, andaman UK todate, I have no idea where and how to contact my ADUN. How come no work done to let us complain abt the problems we face on our daily life.
Mr. MB, pls let us know, why the MPAJ website had been tarnished and there is no one answering the call.
I want to complain abt rubbish collection, Monday collected, until Thursday, still not coming to collect, may I know who is the exco that r responsible for this ? can I know the contact number ??


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