Archive for December 7th, 2008

Bukit Antarabangsa landslide disaster – criminal negligence after Highland Towers tragedy 15 years ago

The Bukit Antarabangsa landslide disaster yesterday, claiming at least five lives, injuring at least 15 and dislocating thousands of residents after destroying 14 bungalows, is sheer criminal negligence after the Highland Towers tragedy which killed 48 people 15 years ago.

Clearly, the lessons of the Highland Towers tragedy 15 years ago have not been learnt by anyone, least of all the various government agencies, whether at the federal, state or local government level.

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi yesterday lamented that “Malaysians never want to learnt from past experiences” – “They want good views while developers only seek to profit; but no one takes safety and soil stability into consideration”.

Conspicuously absent from Abdullah’s blame list are the various government agencies and authorities who should be even more culpable in giving approvals or closing an eye to dangerous hillside developments and in totally ignoring the lessons of the Highland Towers tragedy 15 years ago.

I visited the site of the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide tragedy this morning together with several DAP MPs – Dr. Tan Seng Giaw (Kepong), Fong Kui Lun (Bukit Bintang), Lim Lip Eng (Segambut), Teo Nie Ching (Serdang) – Selangor State Exco Member Ean Yong Hian Wah (Seri Kembangan) and Lee Ying Ha (Teratai) and I was shocked that the Minister for Housing and Local Government, Datuk Ong Ka Chuan had still to make his appearance at the site although it was more than 24 hours after the tragedy. Read the rest of this entry »


Najib, 3 UMNO DP and 8 UMNO VP candidates – declare stand whether support Abdullah “reform” legislation

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has utter contempt for his successor Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, pouring scorn on Abdullah’s promises to push through reform before he steps down in March next year – particularly the bills to establish the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MCAC), reputedly patterned after Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), and the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC).

Writing in his blog, Mahathir noted sarcastically that “after failing to implement any of the promises made in the 2004 or 2008 elections, it looks like nothing is being done either with regard to the promise to carry out a variety of so-called reforms” before Abdullah steps down as Prime Minister in March 2009.

It would appear that Mahathir is privy to information not generally known to the Malaysian public, that forces are at work to frustrate and roll back any reform legislation on anti-corruption and an independent judiciary which Abdullah had promised to present to Parliament next week.

I will not be surprised if Mahathir is hands-in-glove with these reactionary UMNO forces to undermine and even roll back any reform legislation to be proposed by Abdullah in Parliament next week. Read the rest of this entry »


Bukit Antarabangsa landslide disaster – urgent Parliament debate

Just four days to the 15th anniversary of the Highland Towers tragedy, disaster again struck early this morning in Bukit Antarabangsa when a landslide killed at least four people, seven missing, 15 injured, 14 bungalows destroyed and 4,000 people evacuated from the area.

Parliament, when it reconvenes on Wednesday, should have an urgent debate on why no lessons have been learnt from the 1993 Highland Towers Tragedy which claimed 48 lives when its Condominium Block 1 collapsed so as to prevent the recurrence of today’s tragedy.

I still remember vividly the harrowing presence of former Deputy Prime Minister, Tun Musa Hitam, when I visited the Highland Towers Condominium collapse site in Ulu Klang on the night of 11th December 1993, as he lost his son Rashid Carlos who together with his wife Rozita perished in the tragedy. Read the rest of this entry »