Bukit Antarabangsa: A govt must do what is right and not what is popular December 9, 2008Posted by elizabethwong in Economy, Environment, Malaysia.
Tags: Bukit Antarabangsa, landslide, Ulu Kelang
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