You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2009.
Supporters of Eli have also set up a website, called Walk With Eli.
Note from JAC for Bukit Gasing: Elizabeth Wong is one of our strongest supporters and this blog started on her initiative. We appeal to all readers to support this appeal. Please go to the online petition link and show your support before you leave this site.
Better still, Do It Now!
Spread the word and if you are able get 10 signatures before noon tomorrow to send as noted below.
Many thanks and regards
By this Wednesday, Menteri Besar of Selangor will seek an audience with the Sultan of Selangor to seek HRH’s advice on the position of Elizabeth Wong as an Executive Councillor.
Some unscrupulous person has violated her privacy by not only photographing her in her sleep but also stealing and mongering her personal data. The constituents and voters of Bukit Lanjan, elected her last March 8 to carry out her duties without fear or favour. Eleven months after her coming into office as both the state assemblyperson and an executive councillor of Selangor, we are truly satisfied with her performance.
We believe the malicious campaign against her is motivated by hatred of what Eli and we stand up for – sustainable development, accountability, and social justice.
If we give in to such gutter politics, we will lose a good politician who will not budge one inch on hillside development. Since 1990, 74 lives had been lost to hillside development in Klang Valley, with 48 in Highland Tower and six in Bukit Antarabangsa.
Had Eli been sitting in the Executive Council 20 years ago, all these lives might have been spared. In the past 11 months, she ensured that not even one single hillside development project was passed while 99 such projects had been approved under one former Menteri Besar
Would we allow Eli to heed the call of the latter to resign and expose our lives and properties to the risk of landslide? No way. That’s why Eli’s fate must not be sealed to please the political vultures.
We hold firm that the people have the final say of who should be in the office. Parti Keadilan Rakyat offered her to serve us. We accepted that offer and we are happy. We now expect PKR to honour its commitment in this service contract. We object to and shall take offence of any unilateral premature termination of contract.
Your Action Counts
How do we show to the Palace and the politicians our wish and resolve to retain Eli’s service, and with that, a brighter future for the environment and the people in Bukit Lanjan and Selangor?
We shall show it by collecting 10,000 signatures in 24 hours, counting from 11am today February 23 (Monday) when we started our campaign to 11 am February 24 (Tuesday) when the campaign is closed. This is something unprecedented for a cause of this nature.
While other friends have set up online petition campaign, we recognize that many Malaysians are offline or not accustomed to online petition. We want to bring 10,000 signatures from the streets of Bukit Lanjan and elsewhere.
Is it achievable to collect 10,000 signatures within 24 hours, or 222 signatures per hour? Yes, it is achievable. Mother Theresa once said “If you cannot feed one hundre feed one. Just do your small part and see it snow ball. If 1000 people go out to look for 10 signatures each we will make the 10,000 target. There are surely more than 10,000 good Samaritans out there willing to support Eli, sustainable environment, and our right not to die in landslide.
Remember we are doing this for our children
Will you be one of the guardian angels? Will you bring one petition form and collect ten signatures from your families, friends, colleagues, neighbours and even acquaintance?
Will you show your support in your own way to quietly tell others: no, I resist gutter politics, I desire sustainable environment and I want Eli to stay?
Last year, it was tsunami. This year, the snow ball you start will create an avalanche that will bury gutter politics, corruption and hypocrisy.
You can make a difference
So, print a petition form (download here) and get 10 signatures. Email the scan copy back to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or fax to 03-77223569 before 11am, 24 Feb 2009. (Tuesday). or sign it online here http://www.petitiononline.com/reject/petition.html
Thank you for making a difference..
Bkt Gasing hearing tomorrow postponed by High Court (Judge Mdm Lau) to 8 April at 2pm.
NHBA General Secretary see Works Minister’s green light to hillside development as a preposterous suggestion in The Star.
WE refer to “Furore over lifting of hillside ban” (The Star, Feb 16).
The announcement by that Minister of Works that the “green light’ had been given for hillside development carries an innuendo that there is a shortage of land for the increasing population and that the cutting of hills to build houses is inevitable.
This is a preposterous suggestion. The recent Bukit Antarabangsa tragedy seems to have been forgotten within a very short period.
Let’s not compare ourselves with developed countries with beautiful hillside homes to show off. In our tropical environment with heavy monsoonal rainfall, we believe the situation is greatly different from temperate countries.
Hillside development requires special legislation to set stringent conditions for the cutting of hills. It demands professional integrity, honesty and a high standard of policing and enforcement. All these elements are not the natural trait of the majority of Malaysians, especially in situations where money is involved.
It is common knowledge that the enforcement capability of Malaysian law enforcement agencies is questionable in many instances. Hence, we contend that to allow a situation that critically requires all these elements is indeed a foolhardy undertaking which will lead to a dangerous situation.
Another worrisome aspect on hillside development is that the disastrous effects of any breach of the required precautionary measures may not necessarily affect that particular property but those located downstream of the defaulting lot.
On a different note, we laud the Selangor state government for being steadfast in its ban on hillside development, despite the intense lobbying and threats by vested interested parties.
CHANG KIM LOONG,
National House Buyers Association.
Just about a year ago (11th Feb, 2008), 108 residents affected by proposed development by Gasing Meridian Sdn Bhd (GMSB) filed for a Judicial Review on DBKL’s refusal to grant a public hearing on the proposed development and a stay on development orders being issued. On 17th March, 2008, an ex-parte leave to proceed with the Judicial Review was granted. On 2nd April, 2008, the High Court granted an interim stop order against DBKL for it’s approval for hoardings works that GMSB had started to erect on 26th March, 2008. In the past year, we have been at the High Court 12 times for inter-parte hearings.
As those who had been following our case would know, DBKL and Gasing Meridian had fought against our Judicial Review application and had persisted to defend their rights to develop Bukit Gasing with scant regard to the fears of residents for safety of lives, property and numerous regulations that would have required more transparency. Recent fatalities resulting from landslides at Bukit Antarabangsa (6th Dec, 2008) and Bukit Ceylon (11th Feb, 2009), retaining wall collapses at Medan Damansara and Amanah Raya building (along Jln Semantan), have had no effect on DBKL.
To cap that, the “mudah lupa” Works Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Zin Mohamad had argued that a ban on hillside development is not required. Go read http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/2/15/nation/3273064&sec=nation
(The Star 15th Feb, 2008 – “Hillside Projects to go on”)
All the lawyers’ arguments were over on 2nd January, 2009. The High Court is set to announce its decision on the application for Judicial Review against DBKL and the right of GMSB to continue with development works on Bukit Gasing (KL Side) is this coming Friday, 20th February, 2009.
Please support the 108 applicants for the Judicial Review by attending this hearing.
Details as follows:
Date of Hearing: Friday, 20th February, 2009
Place: Level 3, Court No: R1 at KL High Court, Jalan Duta
Do consider taking a half day off this Friday to show your support.
Do check our archives section for more information on our fight to “Save Bukit Gasing, Save Lives”.
(“Construction worker killed in landslide”).
JAC for Bukit Gasing
Barely 2 months ago, 5 lives were lost at the Bukit Antarabangsa landslides. The dust of devastation have yet
to settle. Amidst the the disaster and grief, the PM and DPM loudly announced a ban on hillside development.
It seems the Works Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Zin Mohamad “mudah lupa”. His reasons sadly reflect why disasters at
Bukit Antarabangsa,Ulu Klang/Ampang, Medan Damansara, Bukit Ceylon and many more places have occurred and will
continue. For him to give voice to justifying hillside development based on population growth and scarcity of land,
indicates his lack of understanding of the National Physical Plan (NPP).
Here are some abstracts from the NPP:
4.5.4 Urban Land
“The assessment of demand was based on a number of assumptions, the most significant among these being that
overall the typical pattern of development in Peninsular Malaysia will not change significantly. However, in
line with NPP objectives to achieve higher levels of land use efficiency, better use of infrastructure, in
particular public transport and to create a higher quality urban environment with more parks and recreation
areas, the present overall gross urban density of approximately 29 persons per hectare will need to decrease
slightly to 25 persons per hectare. This target gross urban density has been adopted to establish a macro
level assessment of the need to provide urban land.
For the individual states, this figure will need to be adjusted to account for the development
characteristics of each area. The present overall gross density of Kuala Lumpur is for example higher than 25
persons per hectare. At the Kuala Lumpur conurbation level however, 25 persons per hectare is an applicable
average even though individual components of the conurbation, such as Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur have
been developed at higher densities.”
The above essentially means most hillside developments in already densely populated areas (e.g. PJ/KL areas)
are not justifiable.
Perhaps the Works Minister is far too aware that the NPP requires him to provide better infrastructures and
public transport systems such that the objectives of NPP can be achieved. Maybe he doesn’t quite understand
his job and would rather continue with helping developers make profits at the expense of public safety. Let
us remind him of the following from the NPP:
Abstract from Chapter 2 (Objective II)
“Total land required for urban use, including existing built-up areas, will amount to only 5.8% of the land
area of Peninsular Malaysia. In principle, therefore, there is no necessity for urban expansion to encroach
into land that should be protected or conserved for one purpose or another, nor is there any necessity for
carrying out large scale land reclamation works. Local planning may, however, need to adjust to the location
of available land.”
Perhaps he should take note of the death of a worker at Bukit Ceylon last Friday before he talks about safety of hillside development: http://www.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/2/13/nation/3260235&sec=nation
So, lay off hillside development in Klang Valley. In particular, stop attempting to justify development on hillside and steep hillslopes. Stop the sham.
PS: For those that wish to see how much our planning authorities (including Federal ministers) seek to ignore
the NPP, here’s the link =>
The Star article => http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/2/15/nation/3273064&sec=nation
JAC for Bukit Gasing.
By NURBAITI HAMDAN and M. SHAMINEE
Monday February 16, 2009
KUALA LUMPUR: Resident associations have expressed their outrage at the Works Ministry’s “green light” for hillside development to continue.
The housing developers association, however, welcomed the announcement and labelled a total ban as “absurd”.
On Saturday, Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Zin Mohamed said land was needed for development as the country’s population was increasing.
Real Estate and Housing Developers Association president Datuk Ng Seing Liong said the move was a right direction for the country’s development. He said an official statement would be issued today.
Bukit Antarabangsa Residents Association chairman Dr Mohamed Rafick Khan Abdul Rahman said the problem with such developments in Malaysia was the inadequate laws on the issue.
“In Hong Kong, each year US$70mil (RM252mil) is spent to manage hillside developments. They have an authority to oversee these projects.
“In Malaysia, once a project is completed, it is handed over to the local authorities. But what kind of expertise do they have in maintaining these developments?” asked Dr Rafick, who created a stir by gate-crashing a press conference by Mohd Zin on Saturday and demanding the report for the Dec 6 Bukit Antarabangsa landslide tragedy.
Dr Rafick said he was disappointed when he was told by the minister that he had no locus standi to ask him questions regarding the report.
“I didn’t demand for a copy of the report right there and then, I asked for the status of the report. When is it ever coming out?” he asked, adding that residents wanted accurate information on the tragedy.
Environmental expert Derek Fernandez, representing Federal Hill residents, disagreed with Mohd Zin’s statement on land shortage.
“The National Physical Plan provides and identifies sufficient land for development. The land in Kuala Lumpur comprises of a very large area. He (Mohd Zin) should be more concerned about public safety,” he said.
Medan Damansara Residents Association committee member Randhir Singh said the announcement contradicted Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s call on local authorities to ban all hillside development.
Meanwhile, Mohd Zin said he expected a follow-up report on the landslide to be submitted to him next week.
“I will study the report first before making any public announcement.”
BY SIM LEOI LEOI
Sunday February 15, 2009
PETALING JAYA: Despite the controversies involving hillside development, there will be no blanket ban on such projects.
Works Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Zin Mohamed, who disclosed this, said this was because the country’s population was increasing and land was needed for development.
He stressed that a total ban would be a waste of land, and proposed instead an immediate halt on the “tip fill” technique during construction at hillslopes which he said was the cause of landslides in Ulu Klang.
The technique involves the cutting of slopes, and removal and refill of soil.
“To totally prevent landslides or ensure zero risk, we have the option of freezing all construction projects on hill slopes. But this is not practical,” Mohd Zin said at the launch of a seminar on hill site development organised by the National Board of Engineers here yesterday.
The minister said there were many local professional engineers with wide experience and expertise in carrying out safe development work on hillsides “who are capable of reducing or minimising landslides.”
“The Government itself acknowledges the importance of national development by putting aside RM259bil for the construction of highways, infrastructure and other facilities,” he said.
He said that with a ban on the “tip fill” technique, the Highland Towers and Bukit Antarabangsa tragedies would not recur, adding that the slope division of the Public Works Department was currently inspecting existing tip-fill slopes and its retaining walls to ensure no breach.
The minister, however, has his detractors. His press conference was disrupted by an irate Bukit Antarabangsa resident who demanded to know about the report on the tragic Dec 6 landslide there.
And as the minister was making his announcement here, about 200 residents in Tanjung Bungah, Penang, were gathered to protest against what they claimed was dangerous hillslope development in their area.
The minister said development on hill sides should only be carried out on properly engineered slopes and under strict supervision and maintenance.
Following the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide which killed five people and forced thousands to evacuate their homes, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had called on local authorities to ban all hillside development.
Najib subsequently said the Government might adopt Hong Kong’s guidelines of hillside development.
Mohd Zin said hillslope development fell under the supervision of local authorities as they were the ones to issue approvals for construction to begin, adding that the Government and central agencies could only advise.
Developers keen on hillside projects must also be prepared to set aside a bigger budget to ensure all safety standards were met and the slopes were stable, he added.
KUALA LUMPUR: An Indonesian was buried alive and another seriously injured in a landslide at a construction site in Jalan Ceylon, off Changkat Bukit Bintang, here yesterday.
The incident occurred about 4pm at an apartment construction site.
The victim who died was identified as Nor Salim Manan, 48, while the injured was Iman Rafei, 39.
Hang Tuah Fire and Rescue Department operation head Marzuki Shafie said 14 firemen were despatched to the scene after receiving a call at 4.30pm.
The victims were found about 5pm lying near each other.
Iman was rushed to Kuala Lumpur Hospital at 5.30pm.
Nor Salim’s body was recovered at 6.45pm and sent to KLH for a post-mortem.
Work was stopped after the incident.