Fauwaz Abdul Aziz | Aug 27, 08 8:22pm

Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim today reiterated his state government was not planning to withdraw a ban on hillside development, but would continue to listen to all views including those of developers and landowners.

“We haven’t changed our view but we are giving the people a chance for reassessment,” Khalid said.

“We think we made the correct decision. But we allow them (developers) to come out with all their arguments to re-validate our decision by giving the people a chance to air their views,”

Khalid was speaking to reporters after chairing a dialogue between representatives of residents’ associations, NGOs, housing developers and real estate groups.

The PKR leader and his state exco colleagues, Teresa Kok and Ronnie Liu, recently came under fire after a news report suggested they might be considering lifting a recently imposed  ban on development projects on slopes having a gradient of 25 degrees and above, technically referred to as Class 3 and Class 4 slopes.

Hillside development has been a thorny issue with voters in the state and Khalid’s team had come to power during the March national polls on promises they would continue to prohibit such practice.

No softening in stance

Khalid also denied that Kok and Liu were in favour of lifting the ban, adding that the duo merely sought to listen to all sectors.

“We thought it was a good idea. So we called them to discuss,” he said.

“This is the first time, maybe, in Selangor that we have a town hall meeting between two bodies that have been confronting each other, but who are now able to sit down in a civilised manner and find improvement for the state.

“One of the developers said it was a good thing and should have been done 20 years ago, so this issue would not have arisen,” Khalid added.

The menteri besar insisted his state government would not stop any quarters from airing their grievances, even after decisions had been made. His government would practice a “continual assessment” policy in all its decisions, he stressed.

“If you say you have made a decision and then you say, ‘I don’t want to hear anymore (views)’, (that is) lacking in good judgment,” Khalid added.