We are not privy to the PWD Bukit Antarabangsa initial report December 18, 2008Posted by elizabethwong in Bebal-ism, Democracy, Economy, Environment, Huh?!, Human Rights, Malaysia.
Tags: Bukit Antarabangsa, landslide
My office has been on a state of high alert to receive the initial assessment report on Bukit Antarabangsa today. I even cancelled my working trip to Singapore just to be in office to go through it.
But …. Public Works Department told us that the Selangor Government can’t have a copy of the report.
Six pm came and ran off; we’re definitely not going to see it.
This is a disservice to the residents of Bukit Antarabangsa, and yet another good reason why there should be a Freedom of Information Act (not just a state enactment) in this country.
18 DEC 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SELANGOR HAS A RIGHT TO INFORMATION REGARDING BUKIT ANTARABANGSA
Today, the Selangor State Government should have received a copy of the initial assessment report from the Public Works Department, including that of the potential geo-hazardous zones, of the landslide-affected areas at Bukit Antarabangsa for the state’s own study and assessment on the integrity of the hillslope and its surrounding areas.
With the said report, the Selangor state would meet with the residents on Friday morning 10 am, to make public the report and to convey the options that would be available for the affected residents, including whether or not they would be allowed to return to their abandoned homes.
This pledge was conveyed to the residents during a closed-door meeting with affected residents and families of the deceased on Sunday, 14th December 2008, with the Selangor Menteri Besar, state representatives and the Public Works Department.
Thus, it is of grave concern that the state has been informed that a Ministerial order has been given to deny the Selangor State Government of this initial assessment report today. Despite being informed of this fact this morning, we gave time for the Public Works Department and the Minister to reconsider their decision.
Instead, we have been told that the information is only for the eyes of the Minister of Works and that only after the Minister makes his announcement, then would the Selangor state government be allowed to view the report. It is further disconcerting to be informed that one of ‘reasons’ given was that because the report was funded by the Federal Government, thus it would be for their eyes only until they ‘allow’ us to view it.
I find this attitude is repugnant and disturbingly partisan.
Both the Minister and the Selangor State Government have a right to the information contained in the initial assessment report compiled by the Public Works Department. We are equally as anxious as the residents to ascertain the safety of Bukit Antarabangsa considering it may affect thousands of people and the future of development in the area.
Instead of wrangling who should read it first, one should reason that the report should be available to both the Federal Minister and the State Government.
I urge the Minister of Works to release the report to the Selangor State Government without further delay so that we are able to have enough time to study the report and to honour our collective pledge to the people of Bukit Antarabangsa.
Exco for Tourism, Consumer Affairs and the Environment
Selangor State Government
|Landslide: PWD decides not to hand report to MB|
|Jimadie Shah Othman | Dec 18, 08 6:32pm
|Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim is disappointed with the Public Works Department over its decision not to hand over the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide report to the state government.
This has resulted in Abdul Khalid not being able to announce the next course of action as scheduled tomorrow.
According to sources, PWD revealed its decision on the matter to the state government this afternoon.
However, the department did not provide a detailed explanation as to why it decided as such apart from stating that “there were too many implications” if the report is handed to Abdul Khalid.
Sources said the menteri besar has expressed ‘puzzlement’ over the decision.
Promise given during dialogue
Previously, during a dialogue between the menteri besar, PWD officials and Bukit Antarabangsa residents, the department had promised to hand over the report so that proper follow-up action could be taken by the state government.
It is believed that Works Minister Mohd Zin Mohamad would announce the report tomorrow after it is tabled before the Cabinet.
The New Straits Times today reported Abdul Khalid as saying that the state government is expected to make an announcement on the safety of Bukit Antarabangsa after going through the report from PWD and the Public Works Institute of Malaysia (Ikram)
“We are waiting for the report from PWD, geologists and Ikram,”
The massive landslide in the Bukit Antarabangsa area on Dec 16 left four people dead and destroyed 14 bungalows in Taman Bukit Mewah and Taman Bukit Utama.
Following this, Housing and Local Government Minister Ong Ka Chuan said there were no indications of human negligence as the cause of the incident.