DBKL cites how Hong Kong was able to have safe hill slope developments. Well, here are some information from the Geotechnical Engineering Office (GEO) Hong Kong website :

  • On average 300 landslides a year (September 2006 info note)
  • HK have continuous monitoring and forensic landslide investigations
  • Dedicated and trained geotechnical experts continually track and make improvements to slope management and design of slopes
  • HK government funds a Landslide Preventive Measures Program, with continuous program (recorded on website) of government owned slope upgrades
  • HK government policy is to make slopes as natural as possible
  • They serve “Dangerous Hillside Orders” to privately owned slopes to ensure safety
  • Recognizes public participation and makes available a large number of information to the public

To see how much investments and skills are required for safe hill slope development, go to the Geotechnical Engineering Office (GEO) Hong Kong website. Specifically, look at the landslide reports recorded on the website.  For those in a rush, following are statistics from the GEO Hong Kong:

Year No notable Landslides* Year No notable Landslides*
1997 18 2003 9
1998 15 2004 3
1999 15 2005 8
2000 8 2006 2
2001 4 2007 4
2002 7 2008 2

* Refers only to number of notable landslides studied only, not total no of landslides

The GEO continually investigates landslides to learn. They are not ruled by a “GP WPKL 2010” and pass the buck to developers and geotechnical experts, nor do they shunt involvement of the public. In fact, since the mid-1990, landslide risk assessment has become a factor in developments on hill slopes.  They recognized that conventional deterministic approach of slope stability analysis for slope design was inadequate and not holistic enough.

Hong Kong practises landslide risk management. This comprises an estimation of the landslide risk, deciding whether or not the risk is tolerable, exercising appropriate control measures to reduce the risk where the risk level cannot be tolerated. Implicit in this are human lives! Essentially, they do not rely on just 2 geotechnical experts to do away with buffer zones. In fact, in some cases debris resisting barriers and statutory repair orders are imposed.

Most importantly, the Hong Kong authority recognizes that residents next to hill side developments are stakeholders. They reach out to communicate and facilitate partnership with them.

DBKL and Federal Territory Ministry appears to think residents need not be involved nor should they be concerned.  Hence, it is not surprising that the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association and certain developers are jumping for joy at the prospect of working with GP WPKL 2010.

The following are information from the National Slope Master Plan:

  • Landslide records are only based on media reports from 1973 to 2007 [sic]
  • Reported landslide events are concentrated mainly in hillside development areas
  • Records show that Kuala Lumpur (19.2%) and Selangor (16.6%) are the most landslide-prone areas, followed by Perak (13.4%) and Pahang (12.3%). Kuala Lumpur has the highest landslides record.
  • Landslide hazard assessment tools used by JKR only for road safety and are yet to be verified for effectiveness. Landslide hotspots yet to be identified
  • Losses due to landslides in Malaysia are considerable, but are not consistently compiled and properly tracked

A lot more can be found on the internet that requires DBKL and Federal Territory Ministry to explain how they have put People First in putting forth GP WPKL 2010.

In earlier articles, questions on how DBKL can be exempt from National Physical Plan (NPP) policies have been raised. The Prime Minister is the chairman of the National Physical Planning Council. Should he not be concerned that the Mayor of Kuala Lumpur considers the NPP as irrelevant in the Federal Capital of Malaysia?

Bukit Gasing residents have a right to a public hearing to understand how DBKL and various agencies have taken care of their safety.  Kuala Lumpur residents should be concerned at how they are being disenfranchised by DBKL through GP WPKL 2010 and their rejection of Town & Country Planning Act 172 as applicable in KL.

Gary Yeoh – JAC for Bukit Gasing.