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There you have it. Our PM announces RM 5 billion ringgit, 100 storey building in KL and yet it’s not his idea.

PNB claims that PNB board first approved this in 2004. The 100 storey tower with 2 to 3 million square fee has been blessed by our Government in an official budget. Kuala Lumpur as a livable city will be further jeopardized.

Plausible deniability comes to mind.

I guess in the light of the above, DBKL’s support for developers to build on steep hill slopes is just small change. GP WPKL 2010 is but a means to an end, just like the Budget 2011 for the big boys with negotiated[invited] mega projects.

Click below for news reports:

Gary Yeoh – JAC for Bukit Gasing

The last few posts have been heavy with frustration at the way our authorities sought to ignore public concerns and sustainable development.

Yet, we can bring change if we stand by each other to voice our concerns. So, listen to this song compiled across nations. Listen as voices and instruments come together to may “Stand By Me” a beautiful song.

Click here

Together the public can bring change. Let us not give up in the face of intransigent authorities.

Gary Yeoh – JAC for Bukit Gasing.

Yesterday’s blog (13th Oct) attracted a spike of visits to the site. I wondered why. Is it the cute acronym of “FoS”.  So, I shall continue the winning streak and retain the magic word. After all, DBKL and FT Ministry officials clearly feel that it’s a good mantra for steep hill slope development safety.

DBKL, in championing FoS and GP WPKL, has now ruled that Damansara 21 shall now be Damansara 16. Did the 16 agencies supporting DBKL made an error of 31% in earlier approval?  Suppose we apply the same margin of error (say before homes get destroyed), the FoS should be increased by 31%.  Now, this would mean a FoS of 1.965.

Wah lah, what do you know? If you read the Wikipedia definition of FoS in my earlier blog, the common FoS for each structural member in a building is 2.0.  Amazingly close to the FoS 1.965 figure above?

Did you know that a buffer zone of 4.5 metres is shorter than the length of a Proton Perdana?

Fascinated by FoS touted by DBKL and FT & Urban Well-Being Ministry, I called a geotechnical engineer contact for his views.  Neh, now is not the time to talk about that.  However, it occurred to me that a variation of the acronym for FoS, i.e. “Factor of Stupidity”, could equally apply. Consider the below:

  • DBKL slope engineering unit has an engineer, two geologist and technical assistants for slope (figure given Datuk Ahmad Phesal Talib – Secretary-General of FT & Urban Well-Being Ministry)
  • There are 24,221ha of hill slope areas in KL to be monitored by team of 3?
  • National Slope Master Plan says information it has is insufficient for landslide hazard analysis, such as failure dimension and causes of failure.
  • Only 13 geotechnical experts registered as accredited engineers by Board of Engineers Malaysia
  • Many of our hill slope landslides are due to poor construction and supervision, but we have heard nothing about tightening up on monitoring of contractors, developers and mandatory supervision of constructions.

Well, I guess I still have some way to go to understand the legendary wisdom of our leaders. 😉

Gary Yeoh – JAC for Bukit Gasing.

It was reported in the Malay Mail and The Sun that the Medan Damansara (Damansara 21) development has been approved and that the GP WPKL 2010 (DBKL’s special recipe for safe hill slope development) will ensure approved developments will be safe.

Here are some of the special benefits of the GP WPKL 2010:

  • It will now be Damansara 16 not 21 [phew, someone remembered not to select no 14]
  • FoS of slopes when completed will be between 1.4 to 2.9 [oops, somebody used no 14]
  • New “U-Drain” to be included [oh yes, “U-turn” on concern for Medan Damansara safety]
  • Buffer of 4.5 meters [so landslide debris better not be too much and hope there are no swimming pools]

Of late, DBKL and Federal Territories and Urban Well-Being Ministry Secretary General Datuk Ahmad Phesal Talib have been loudly proclaiming that the FoS (Factor of Safety) of not less than 1.5 stipulated in the GP WPKL 2010 will ensure safe hill developments.  So, how true is this?

Visit this site for a definition of Factor of Safety and you will find that FoS are only as good as the prediction of assumed load and the environmental conditions that walls and structures built for hill slope developments are supposed to withstand.  The use of a Factor of Safety does not imply that an item, structure, or design is “safe”.

The National Slope Master Plan (published in Sept 2009) acknowledged that available information is insufficient for landslide hazard analysis, such as failure dimension and causes of failure. It also highlighted the lack of resources and skills in government agencies. So, is GP WPKL 2010 a recipe for safe hill slope development or a disaster for residents?

Read the reports below and ponder if KL will ever become a world class city. Let’s forget about the tropical garden city bit as it is quite clear that DBKL have no desire for greenery.

Cabinet okays Damansara 21 project/Stop at 16 (The Sun)

Damansara 21 project still can’t resume yet (The Malay Mail)

Do read the following for my views on DBKL’s GP WPKL 2010:

Geotechnical Checker – A fair deal from DBKL ? Part I

Geotechnical Checker – A fair deal from DBKL ? Part II

Gary Yeoh – JAC for Bukit Gasing.

Isn’t it amazing that after all the effort developing a KL Structure Plan 2020 with a vision to propel KL to a world class tropical garden city, Kuala Lumpur has dropped 8 positions in the 2010 Global Cities Index measured by international management consulting firm AT Kearney  index from  40 (2008 Index) to  48.

Steep drop in rankings a wake-up call for KL

Kuala Lumpur has also dropped 4 positions in the “Liveable Cities” ranking in the Economist Intelligence Unit survey, falling from 75th to 79th.

To add salt to injury, Georgetown (Penang) had caught up by being equal  62nd position in “Liveable Cities”  2010 ranking conducted by ECA International , another international management consulting firm.  Georgetown was 64th and KL was 61st in the 2009 survey.  Whilst Georgetown progresses, KL drops.

Penang’s capital is eighth most liveable city in Asia, on par with KL and Bangkok

ECA International (2010 ranking)

ECA International  (2008/9 ranking)

Looks like having a Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Ministry won’t do much good if KL continues to have an absence of world class universities, relatively low salaries, lack of major cultural and outdoor attractions, lack of orderliness and poor maintenance, low levels of sophistication, creeping urban sprawl, crime, unhygienic conditions and traffic congestion.

In launching the GP-WPKL 2010, the Mayor of KL and the FT and Urban Wellbeing Minister will be  accelerating urban sprawl as it frees up hill slope developments purely for commercial profits.  Sadly, far from working towards progress in becoming a world class city, KL seems set to regress towards setting an example for a failed city with unsustainable development policies.

It seems if we wish to save KL, we are best to vote Pakatan Rakyat.

Gary Yeoh – JAC for Bukit Gasing.

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