KUALA LUMPUR: The Government will consider compensating victims of the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Speaking to reporters after chairing the Barisan Nasional supreme council meeting, Abdullah said the council expressed sadness and regret over the incident.

“The Government will consider help for the victims,” he said when asked.

Abdullah said, however, that the supreme council did not discuss the giving of aid from Barisan.

“To those affected, our deepest condolences, and sympathy goes out to the families who lost relatives and those who lost their houses.”

When asked if the Government would gazette such land as permanent forests to prohibit development of homes, Abdullah said there would be no more choice for developers if that were the case.

“The choice to build or not to build is now an option for developers because that is where the air is good and the view is good,” he said.

“To gazette land, where building of houses is prohibited, would mean no more choice.

“At this point, there appears to be some choice.”

Abdullah, however, said that catchment areas that had not been gazetted would be done so as soon as possible.

On Bukit Antarabangsa residents citing carelessness by local authorities for the tragedy, Abdullah said those affected would want to point fingers or complain to the Govern­ment at this time.

“What had happened is regretful and was not deliberately done,” he said.

“Those who are responsible for building the houses would have considered the soil stability and all other technical studies and should not be taking risks.”

Abdullah said that because of the incident, the order was given to stop all development approvals in such areas.