Saturday, December 6, 2008

6 Major Landslides, 8 Killed in Klang Valley Since October

At about 4am this morning, a landslide occurred at Taman Bukit Mewah in Bukit Antarabangsa that buried at least 14 houses and claimed 4 lives. After the mishap, Deputy Prime Minister Najib says no to new application for hillside projects. However the Drainage Department, as of Saturday, had listed Bukit Antarabangsa as facing no risk of landslides from rain.

On Thursday, 6 cars were buried in the landslide while 5 other vehicles were damaged and more than 300 people were forced to evacuate 2 buildings when a landslide caused part of the retaining wall of a car park to collapse in Jalan Semantan, Segambut.

The above latest 2 counts add to a total of 6 major landslides, 8 killed in Klang Valley since October.

My immediate concern is for the hillside project of 21 luxury bungalows at Medan Damansara where the residents’ association has filed a corruption complaint against the mayor and the DBKL over the project. The residents are already worried for their safety when the development is still on earthwork stage. In the wake of the recent series of landslides, will the authority cancel the permit for the development?

The government has to conduct thorough investigations and declare whether Bukit Antarabangsa, the areas at and below Jalan Sri Semantan 1, “Damansara 21” project and all other completed or approved hillside developments are still fit for occupation, so that future victims will know which party to sue for damages. The government is responsible if after declaring the project is safe yet it collapses during downpours.

Lim Lip Eng

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