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Friday August 29, 2008

THE residents of Medan Damansara want the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) to investigate the Damansara 21 development project.

The residents announced this yesterday, after a retaining wall collapsed on Wednesday evening during a downpour, followed by a landslip at 4am yesterday due to soil erosion from the hill near the their area.

One house was badly affected by the incident with cracks appearing on the walls and mud gushing through the kitchen door.

Two families have been evacuated as a precautionary measure.

Construction workers clearing the debris where the landslip occurred.

Unsafe slope: Construction workers clearing the debris where the landslip occurred.

According to the Medan Damansara Residents Association committee member Randhir Singh, they want to know if proper procedures were followed with the regards to the project.

“We had foreseen this incident but our cries fell on the deaf ears of the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL),” he said.

“The family affected by the incident is traumatised and had to leave the home because it was no longer safe,” Randhir said.

“A fire department official told them that it was going to get worse and it did, when the soil erosion happened.

“The officer had also asked the next door neighbour to move out,” he said.

“The project is neither residential nor environment-friendly. The DBKL, however, seems to be developer-friendly,” he said.

Randhir said the project should be scrapped and the hill restabilised.

Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng, who visited the site, said he had received anonymous SMSes blaming the residents.

Dr Patricia Ambrose, whose family has been asked to move out, said she was fed up with the whole issue.

Lim (right) with the Medan Damansara residents at the affected house.

Investigations please: Lim (right) with the Medan Damansara residents at the affected house.

“The developer assured us that nothing would happen but it did. They said that it was safe but it is not.

“So, we have to stay away from our home,” she said.

“I think another downpour will cause the whole hill to collapse.” Patricia said.

Deputy Federal Territorries Minister Datuk M. Saravanan, who visited the site recently, said the ministry was concerned over the issue.

He said the ministry had issued a stop-work order to the developer in November last year after the residents complained about the risk.

“The developer was not given the approval to start development. Its workers were only clearing the place but even that proved dangerous,” he said.

Saravanan said if all the legal documents were intact, it would be difficult to stop the project because it was on private property.

“However, if the developers failed to provide the necessary documents, we will issue the stop-work order,” he said.

Workers can be seen clearing the eroded soil through the windows of the affected house.

Scary sight: Workers can be seen clearing the eroded soil through the windows of the affected house.

Asked about the residents’ intention to take the matter to the ACA, Saravanan urged the residents to do so if they thought they had a case.

“The ministry and the DBKL do not have any vested interest in the development project but if the residents have proof of corruption, then they should definitely lodge a report,” he said.

Noel Achariam, NST Streets, Friday, 25 July 2008


SHAH ALAM: Scrap it, say 10 of Kuala Lumpur’s 11 members of parliament of the KL City Draft Plan.


The MPs decided at a meeting on Wednesday to campaign for the plan to be withdrawn and a new plan drawn up that takes in the public’s interests.
They plan to start a road show to explain to constituents the flaws in the plan, and to bring their objections to the prime minister.

The 10 MPs, of Pakatan Rakyat, said they would collect signatures from those who are against the plan.

The MPs have also decided to send an objection letter to the prime minister and the Federal Territories minister.

The decision was made at a closed door meeting on Wednesday at the Shah Alam residence of Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, the Bandar Tun Razak MP who is also the Selangor Menteri Besar. Members of Coalition to Save Kuala Lumpur (CSKL) also attended the meeting.

Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng did not attend, and neither did Datuk Seri Zulhasnan Rafique, the MP for Setiawangsa, who is Federal Territories Minister.

Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun said the MPs had agreed to collectively write a letter stating their objections to the draft plan.

CSKL has explained in detail the draft plan, which is in serious violation of the National Physical Plan (NPP). I believe that we have to move fast as the objection deadline (Aug 31) is just around the corner,” he said.

Kepong MP Tan Seng Giaw said: “We are looking at various things that were discussed at the meeting and we have all agreed that the plan does not conform with the NPP.”

He said the MPs are now questioning the legality of the draft plan.

“Currently there are 1.6 million people living in Kuala Lumpur and according to the draft plan, it will be increased to 2.2 million by 2020. This shows that the plan is not binding to the NPP.

“They are supposed to lower the density, instead they are increasing it. This simply shows that the draft plan does not conform with the NPP.

“How are we going to make Kuala Lumpur a world class city if there are such discrepancies in the plan?” he asked.

“What authority have they got? How can they approve the draft plan without consulting the people?”

Tan stressed that City Hall must answer all the questions and objections raised.

He added that the MPs are going to step up their campaign and go to the grassroots to explain to the people.

“We will also go through the proper channels to have discussions with City Hall and the prime minister and then we will decide on the next step to take,” he said.

Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai said that the MPs are serious in seeking a meeting with the prime minister to present a letter of objection on the draft Plan.

“We are opposing the draft plan due to several reasons. Firstly, the plan has failed to comply with the legal requirements, including the Town and Country Planning Act 1982. And we will also bring up the issue of the Draft Plan Volume 3, which is still not available to the public,” he said.

“The prime minister might not be in the know of the flaws in the draft plan. We will be stating all our reasons in our letter to him,” he said.

CSKL chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman said: “We were called in to brief the MPs and the Selangor Menteri Besar on the flaws of the draft plan. We have explained in detail all the issues and legal aspect of the plan.”

CSKL is a coalition of 32 residents’ associations, non-governmental organisations and other concerned parties.

Nuradzimmah Daim, NST Streets, Wednesday, 25 June 2008



Datuk Seri Shukur Abdullah: Residents will file a civil suit if they do not receive a satisfactory response from the mayor.

KUALA LUMPUR: Residents of Medan Damansara are threatening to take City Hall to court if the controversial Damansara 21 project is not cancelled.

The residents’ association, through its chairman Datuk Seri Shukor Abdullah, described legal action as a last resort, but will file a civil suit if they do not receive a satisfactory response from Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Ab Hakim Borhan.

“We are seeking an explanation from the mayor of the letter we obtained from the Drainage and Irrigation Department saying it has yet to endorse the Erosion Sediment and Control Plan handed in by developer SDB Damansara Sdn Bhd.

“We also found out from the Selangor Mineral and Geoscience Department that SDB had done clearance on the hill, which has a slope of more than 35 degrees,” he said.

“The idea is to stop the development altogether. We will also write a letter to the Prime Minister’s office about our predicament,” he said after a meeting with about 100 residents on Sunday.

Among those present were Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng and Wangsa Maju MP Wee Choo Keong. Environmental activist and lawyer Derek Fernandez from Bukit Gasing also lent his support.

He said the Kuala Lumpur Structure Plan 2020 states in its environment section that City Hall shall not permit development on slopes exceeding the allowable level set by the federal government.

“A directive by the cabinet in 2002 stated there must not be any development on slopes of more than 35 degrees.

“For development on slopes of 25 to 35 degrees, the plan must include a risk erosion map, slope stabilisation measures and geotechnical report,” he said.

It was reported City Hall will give the green light for the project if the developer meets the conditions for rectification work set on April 21.

SDB was slapped with a stop-work order and fined RM100,000 for not putting up a perimeter drainage system, siltation traps and hoarding; and creating an access road on Jalan Kasah when the plan stated it should go through Jalan Beringin.

SDB had also not maintained the blue plastic covers for the slope.

Last week SDB Properties Sdn Bhd project development general manager Choy Wing Sung said the company has asked City Hall to lift the ban as rectification work had been done and requirements met.

For more photos click on image:

Damansara 21 hillslope project:‘Are you listening, City Hall?’

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