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 =>
http://www.npptownplan.gov.my/index.php?module=ContentExpress&func=display&ceid=32
The Star article => http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/2/15/nation/3273064&sec=nation

Gary Yeoh
JAC for Bukit Gasing.

Advertisements