theSun | FRIDAY DECEMBER 12 2008

Down2Earth
by Terence Fernandez

FIRST they came armed with “facts and figures” as well as executive councillors who acted as their spokespersons. They regaled us with successful hillslope development examples in Taiwan and Hong Kong and spoke of cutting down hills and dumping them in valleys as though it was admirable!

And now with the Bukit Antarabangsa tragedy, they have gone into public relations overdrive by offering their services in the rescue efforts and (this is laughable) audit landslide-prone areas! I am not calling the Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) members bandits, but as the saying goes, how can you ask the fox to look after the chicken coop.

And enough of this sandiwara.

If Rehda was really concerned with public safety, it would on its own accord get its members to be responsible developers and abandon all plans for hillslope projects. But no. At RM10 million a bungalow (as in the case of Damansara 21), the call of the ringgit is too alluring to ignore. So what, if there is another tragedy?

Even after the Pakatan Rakyat state government had in April declared its ban on Class Three and Class Four hillslope projects, Rehda members were still attempting to get the state government to reverse its policy.

This was evident at a dialogue on Aug 17 where they tried to pull every trick out of the hat to justify building on slopes…more

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