In the hours following the fatal landslide at Bukit Antarabangsa, both the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister had in effect ordered that hill side developments be stopped.

Hence, we call on the Mayor of DBKL to immediately obey the Federal Government in declaring that all developments in the vicinity of Bukit Gasing (KL Side) and Medan Damansara will not be permitted or be halted.  The development proposals for “Sanctuary Ridge” and in Pantai Dalam on Bukit Gasing (KL-Side) must not now be allowed.

Our local media has reported, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as having said: “But Malaysians never want to learn from past experiences. They want good views while developers only seek to profit; but no one takes safety and soil stability into consideration.” and, “Future projects will also not go on to prevent any further worsening of the soil conditions at the hilly area,..”

The media has also reported the Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak as saying that “all applications for hillside development would be frozen with immediate effect while risk-management studies would be carried out on existing projects.” He was also quoted as asking developers not pressure state authorities to approve hill side developments

It would be irresponsible for DBKL not to comply with the orders of our Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. The FT Ministry claimed to having been monitoring of hillside projects, including that of Bukit Gasing and Medan Damansara (Bernama report of on 7th December 2008). Yet, that did not prevent the landslide at Medan Damansara that only narrowly avoided fatalities. Monitoring of hillside projects has not prevented landslides. We call on the Federal Territories Ministry to immediately instruct the Mayor to comply with orders of the Federal Government and stop all hillside projects. We cannot permit any further hillside developments before all the preventive and stringent control regulations are made mandatory.

The residents at Gasing Condos, Gasing Indah and Petaling Gardens launched a Judicial Review application against DBKL primarily because they were not prepared to be transparent on their approval processes for the proposed development and their refusal to grant a Public Hearing. We had been appalled by DBKL’s refusal to consider justifiable fears of “Highland Towers” disaster befalling on us. Sadly, the disaster at Bukit Antarabangsa brings home yet again the catastrophic failure of our approving agencies in learning from disasters.

Our call to arms was “Save Bukit Gasing, Save Lives”.  It gives us no satisfaction even today to see how apt this call to arms has been.

We appeal to the Mayor to act immediately to stop all steep hill slope developments and hill side developments.  If he does so, he will be remembered as a Mayor with the interest of Kuala Lumpur at heart. Kuala Lumpur do not deserve to have any time bombs the like of what we are seeing in Hulu Klang.

There cannot and must not be any further delays by DBKL and all other municipal councils in recognizing the serious and very real dangers of hillside developments.  There must be immediate and total banning of approval for hillside development until such time as mandatory regulations and effective approving agencies, free from political and commercial influence, are in place.

In less than a week before this tragic event, we have had 2 young lives lost in Ulu Yam and 11 cars buried in Amanah Raya Buildings along Jalan Semantan. Again, these losses are through landslides.

These “killer” landslides are not “Acts of God”. These “killers” have been taking lives in Klang Valley and elsewhere.  According to newspaper reports, for period of 1990-2006, 68 deaths were recorded for Klang Valley alone, with 48 deaths at Highland Towers. Adding the 6 deaths in the last week, Klang Valley has a sad total of 74 deaths. These deaths must not be taken as merely disaster statistics. If a more detail study of deaths caused by inadequate and inappropriate developments on hillsides across the country were taken, the figures will be make grim reading.

Press Release on behalf of Owners and Residents against Gasing Meridian’s proposed development on Bukit Gasing (KL Side).

Date: 9th December 2008

Contact:          Gary Yeoh

Joint Action Committee for Bukit Gasing (JACBG) &

Chairman – Maxwell Towers Owners Association

HP: 019 480 8732

Email: garykwyeoh@hotmail.com

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