DBKL’s announcement of the hill slope guidelines (GP WPKL 2020) 22nd Sept 2010 puts into jeopardy the vision of Kuala Lumpur Structure Plan 2020 to transform KL into a sustainable and livable city. It is well known that sustainable and livable cities must balance the interest of business and living environments.  A key measure of this is a city’s regard to providing “Open Spaces” and encouraging the creation, extension and conservation of public parks and nature reserves.

DBKL’s choreographed presentation of the GP WPKL 2020, with supporting cast from the Institution of Engineers, Malaysia (Geotechnical Eng. Division), highlighted that the solution to residents living under threat of a man-made time bomb of landslide disasters need fear no more.

DBKL and various agencies and experts had considered the hill slope safety standards of Hong Kong, Singapore even Korea. They (including the geotechnical engineering profession) are convinced that with the new guidelines, residents should now trust the experts.

To ensure hill slopes safety standards are kept high, there has to be an “independent checker”, appointed and paid for by the developer. The “Best Engineering Practices” shall be employed and all manner of geological studies has to be submitted before approval. The “Factor of Safety” index (FoS) that shall apply will be 1.5.  Apparently, Hong Kong only uses maximum FoS of 1.4.  IEM representative cheered the wisdom of the Mayor of KL.

Given the wisdom of such measures, buffer zones and setbacks on buildings on hill slopes developments can be reduced from previous hill slope guidelines and the Selangor State Government’s proposed larger buffer zones are no longer needed. There is no longer the need to prohibit development on Class 3 (≥ 25 deg.) and Class 4 (≥35 deg.) gradient hill slopes.

The Mayor stressed that landowners have a right to develop their land for profit and KL needs the property development industry to prosper. If DBKL were to succumb to irrational fears of residents against steep hill slope development and demands to provide world class open space requirements (e.g. as stated in the National Physical Plan for Malaysia), it could cause DBKL 7 billion ringgit.

Residents in KL and other residents affected by DBKL’s decisions should visit to following websites for a sanity check:

In case you are too busy to explore the websites above, the  vision of  “little red dot” (a land starved nation) to support a sustainable and livable City is to increase the green park space by 900ha to 4,200ha by 2020, and reach a park provision of 0.8ha per 1,000 population by 2030.

The yet to be gazetted Draft KL City Plan Open Space target for 2020 is 1.1ha per 1,000 (with the inclusion of some 25% of this being “private open spaces”. So, will the GP WPKL 2020 facilitate or further undermine the Open Space target of the DKLCP? DBKL is already in breach of the target of 2ha per 100 Open Space set by the National Physical Plan.

KL residents and others affected by DBKL decision should pray that the blessings of such wisdom don’t turn to mud (literally).

Gary Yeoh – JAC for Bukit Gasing.

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