Monday, December 8, 2008

Bukit Antarabangsa Tragedy - Hillslope Development

My deepest sympathy and condolence to the victims of the Bukit Antarabangsa tragedy.

The latest Bukit Antarabangsa Tragedy in Kuala Lumpur once again demonstrates the Malaysian boleh for the wrong reason.

Landslide in the vicinity of Bukit Antarabangsa is not alien to us. It is a tragedy that occurs with such frequency that we have to ask ourselves whether we are wiser after each disaster. We may be sad, but are we any wiser?

The usual blame game will start and new directives have been issued by the PM to state government and local council. This will be repeated when the next tragedy strikes again.

Hillslope development and landslide tragedy is a classic example of greed, inefficiency in implementation and poor monitoring or to be exact no monitoring.

There are clear guidelines for hillslope developments. There is also a cabinet committee on hillslope development with very clear guidelines according to the gradients of the hillslopes and measures to be undertaken. Often this remains good only on paper.

There are some issues that need to be taken in consideration for hillslope development.

1. Are projects approved according to guidelines in high-risk hillslope Development?

2. Are there any measures to stabilize the hillslope implemented?

3. Who is the monitoring authority? A coordinated approach involving JKR, DOE, JPS, local council and geotechnical experts are required.

4 When the project is completed, who is responsible for monitoring the hillslope stability?

5. What about the professional consultants (from engineers to architects) – are they also not liable, can they be sued so that there are more professionalism and commitment in their work?

I have written many times in this blog that EIA Report and other mitigating measures remain good on papers only since there is hardly any effective monitoring and enforcement.

We should learn from Hong Kong how they overcome their problem on Hillslopes development. There is a need to review all hillslope development that have been approved but not implemented and revisit some of the completed projects.

Political will is required. Meanwhile, there should not be any cutting of trees and vegetations on hillslopes that are earmarked for development. Buyers should be more demanding and discerning about purchasing houses on hillslopes. Panoramic view and fresh air is good if there is soil and slope stability.








1. 是否根据高风险山坡发展指南去审核有关发展计划?





Chen Chow said...

Dato' Seri, this is not directly about your this post, but about the links on the right hand side of your blog.

From there, we can see links to various newspapers etc, as well as a link to YB Lim Kit Siang.

While it is fine to have the link to opposition leader, I think it should be appropriate to have links to several other leaders within MCA and BN too, to be fair.

CTLee said...

Datuk Seri,

I agree with your article and comprehensive proposals. But one important issue which you miss out or intentionally miss out is the NEP factor. Are we sidelining alot of our best Engineers, architects, planners,etc in the public service in the name of NEP (or ketuanan Melayu)? A point in view is the recent hooha about the non-malay personnel who was promoted to be the acting GM in PKNS. If we cannot have the best and committed people in public service irregardless of race, it will still be pointless to have all sort of laws and guidelines.

Engineering failures affect all irregardless of race and economic status. The Malaysian govt need to wake up before we have to encounter more catastrophes


Ban Tiek said...

People tend to be forgetful and oblivious to the rules for hillslope developments. Rules remain rules as there is no mechanism to implement them. Everything looks nice on paper until something crops up. The BN Government should be blamed.

NEIL said...

Dr, If they keep on approving projects like this under the table ,I won't be surprise there will be another tragedy like this in future.

朱刚明 said...

根據大馬律師公會主席楊映波在2006年的讲话里谈及”因山崩而打算起訴安邦再也市議會的居民很難打贏官司”一事說: “除非聯邦法院推翻較早前裁決安邦再也市議會享有豁免權的決定,否則因山崩而打算起訴安邦再也市議會的居民很難打贏官司”。详情可參阅

shan said...

Wonder how many BNputras have a stake in hill side development?

yakuzanam said...

check this out, if i am not wrong, the local authority / council has pretty much FULL immunity against any legal suit should there be any of this case occurs. BUT ironically, they have FULL rights to approve or reject a proposed project.

this has been a nightmare to MOST of the consultants like architect and engineer, in particular. liability has been completely pushed to the consultants.

THERE SHALL be a thorough review into this policy.
local council and authority SHOULD be imposed with some level of 'duty-of-care' in order to make them to be more responsible in monitoring the progress of works on site (as a neutral party).

by doing this, they are to work closely with relevant consultants of a project, ensuring the compliance of all the subjected regulations FROM the VERY BEGINNING, DURING and END of a project.

this will also contributes a lot to the on-going battle against CORRUPTIONs.

I swear said...

Dr Chua, where's your comrade the Housing Minister eh? Landslides and people dead also no news from him. People dead not important, rubbing shoulders with VIP more important?

In other countries, their Ministers would have taken the first flight back home.

So all this reforms are all NATO only?

Pearls said...

Everytime there is such a tragedy, everybody will say all sorts of things but wait la.. in another 6 months, construction will start again, developers will be gleefully rubbing their hands together counting their profits and some idiots will have extra few hundred thousands in their bank account and can afford to take on a 3rd wife!!

I dont think we will ever learn from any of these tragedies. I dont think the government, municiple councils, developers has ever or will ever care that there are lives lost and damaged. Sigh.. this is all about GREED!


To All Whom may be concerned
Please watch

I am willing to sacrifice my time for any translation services voluntarily ,In the past I did the same in Japan ,Singapore and Malaysia



Why there are less incidence of this in Singapore and Hong kong
which are also situated in equiteral region and of the same wheather pattern like us. Local governance need to be improved. Agree with the following statement
"Hillslope development and landslide tragedy is a classic example of greed, inefficiency in implementation and poor monitoring or to be exact no monitoring."

JY said...

Feeling disappointed with people who keep giving political comments in the press after such tragedy happened without contributing any helps. Why would this be politicalize instead of giving beneficial comment on the improvement measures or restructuring? When could this finger-pointing culture ended?

The tragedy has again given the opposition parties and its supporters a chance to bombard the government. What I see is, it has became Malaysian culture to blame the government for whatever issue, I believe same will goes to Pakatan Rakyat IF they were the current government.

My deepest sympathy to the residents, and condolence to the deceased. We shall give supports to the victims and look forward to a more efficient monitoring and stringent guideline with proper implementation by the state government / local council, to overcome such problems in hillslope development in future.


Dato Dr.Chua Soi Lek

Very happy to learn that you had attended the BN component parties meeting yesterday.At least I can see some positive change , but that is not enough.
Had the Bukit Antarabangsa Tragedy been touched during the meeting.I think it should have been mentioned if not discussed in detail.Not far from Bukit Antarabangsa ,the similar tragedy happened in 1993, the collapse of highland tower.I think these incidences must be viewed very seriously. Immediate actions should be taken to identify areas vunerable to landslide in our country.Look for the help of foreign expert if necessary.

We would be glad if you can brief us in this blog the progress of Barisan component meeting which took place yesterday

el said...

hey, we want to see the real report for highland tower. then we will know why it happened and who is responsible.

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