The Malay Mail – Monday, 14th April 2008

Kuala Lumpur – THERE is no change envisioned in the way City Hall evaluates proposed development on hill sides and slopes.

Asked if Kuala Lumpur would emulate the latest move by the Selangor government on such pro jects, Federal Territory Minister Datuk Seri Zulhasnan Rafique replied: “At the moment, we are not discussing that (issue).”

He told The Malay Mail that there are regulations in place governing the matter.

“Chief secretary Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan is the chairman for the ministry’s committee for sensitive environment.

“He will be able to tell you the criteria of the development of hillslope projects,” Zulhasnan said after a two-hour meeting on Friday with MPs for the Federal territories of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan – the first after the recent general election.

Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim had an nounced last Wednesday that the State would no longer entertain new development applications on slopes with gradients of 25 per cent or more, but some 141 pro jects approved by the previous administration could continue.

The policy is aimed at preserving the environment and to avoid damaging water catchment areas.

“The environmental reason for the policy is to avoid landslides. The government also would not need to build houses in highland areas anymore as there are many flat areas for development.

“The greenery in Selangor would be a tourist attraction,” he had said.