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.