Ka Chuan – don’t be a second Samy Vellu

The Bukit Antarabangsa landslide disaster on Saturday, 6th December 2008, claiming five lives and dislocating 5,000 people after destroying 14 bungalows, is sheer criminal negligence after the Highland Towers tragedy 15 years ago on Friday, 11th December 1993.

It is sad and shocking testimony that the 48 who died in the Highland Towers tragedy 15 years ago had died in vain as the lessons had not been learnt by the relevant government authorities and parties.

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi blamed developers and buyers when he lamented:

“Malaysians never want to learn 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.

Subconsciously admitting that it was indefensible to exonerate the government from responsibility for the criminal negligence resulting in the Bukit Antarabangsa disaster, Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek complained that it was not fair to slam the Government for failing to act every time a disaster happens.

“It is unfair to say the Government did not act. We cannot put the blame on just one authority. After all, you need two to tango, but this time there are three – the government, the developers and buyers.”

But the real unfairness is the government’s shirking of responsibility, and this was why when the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council Inquiry Report into the Highland Tower Tragedy was made public in June 1994, putting the blame solely on the developer, the Highland Towers victims were incensed at the exoneration of responsibility by the various government authorities, in particular the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council.

I am shocked that the Housing and Local Government Minister, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan, who had been missing for the past four days of the disaster, has surfaced today to rule out human negligence as the cause of the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide disaster and to declare natural causes as the probable factor.

Ong should not be a second Samy Vellu with excuses of “acts of God”.

This attitude of government immunity and impunity for sheer criminal negligence has continued unchanged in the past 15 years from the Highland Towers Tragedy to the Bukit Antarabangsa disaster, and will ensure not only the 48 who died 15 years but the five who perished last Saturday would have died in vain as nothing would have been learnt from these man-made disasters with future hillslope disasters waiting to happen with more victims.

No wonder, Dr. Benjamin George, who survived the Highlands Tower disaster, was not convinced that things would get better when he said: “In three months, the tractors will start work again. I have survived long enough to see all this nonsense repeated.”

Affected Bukit Antarabangsa residents are entitled to ask why several tell-tale signs of impending landslides days and even weeks before Saturday’s landslide disaster had not been acted upon by the authorities to issue landslide warnings, especially as a geological firm had been awarded a RM1.6 million contract to “solely monitor the geological conditions” in Bukit Antarabangsa area, including earth movements.

Residents refer to a landslide which cut off a portion of the Jalan Bukit Antarabangsa main road just six days earlier, while a landslide victim, businessman Hassan Saad, 49, claimed that he had notified the relevant authorities about fallen trees and earth movements close to his home in Taman Bukit Mewah in October but his complaints were not taken seriously by the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ).

There can be no two ways about it – there should be a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide disaster with a three-prong terms of reference:

• firstly, to inquire into the circumstances and causes of Saturday’s Bukit Antarabangsa landslide tragedy;

• secondly, a larger mandate to inquire whether and why the Federal, state and local government agencies have not learned the lessons of the Highland Towers tragedy 15 years ago, specifically for Bukit Antarabangsa but even further afield; and

• thirdly, why other countries like Hong Kong could end landslides by ensuring hillslope safety despite development.

Finally, there should be full and independent inquiry into the serious complaints by Bukit Antarabangsa victims about some irresponsible members of the search and rescue (SAR) operations team, in particular, the shocking complaint by the husband of accountant Eng Yee Peng, who died in the landslide at Bukit Mewah in Bukit Antarabangsa on Saturday, who alleged that when he sought help from the rescue team to save his wife who was still alive, he was given a hoe and asked to dig and find his wife on his own.

I believe the majority SAR members are responsible and honest but the handful of black sheep who were callous and inhuman must be ferreted out to face the full force of the law.

(Speech in Parliament on the urgent, definite, public importance motion on the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide disaster)

  1. #1 by k1980 on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 5:32 pm

    If you ask the minister concerned, he will claim that some unscrupulous people had got hold of SAR uniforms and are impersonating the search and rescue (SAR) operations team members to carry out looting of the abandoned houses. And of course the police are unable to patrol the abandoned houses because it is too dangerous in view of recurring landslides. So they get themselves an easier task, that is to hunt down the JERIT bicyclists who are campaigning against the isa

  2. #2 by monsterball on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 6:10 pm

    This is good to show MCA have brainless ..tasteless…balless…gutless…in their party…and chosen to be in the cabinet too.
    Majority MCA have thrown him out….and those majority should resign and through MCA out….if they have any decency by stop supporting race and religion politic.

  3. #3 by OrangRojak on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 6:15 pm

    “… even more culpable …”
    I’m not sure I understand you. If you mean ‘even more culpable’ than the other parties involved, then the statement is nonsense. That would be like saying the police should be more heavily penalised for rape than rapists are.

    If you mean “… even more culpable …” than they were last time (the Highland Towers tragedy), than they are, somewhere between twice as culpable and a million times as culpable. Given the government agencies are immune from blame, it doesn’t matter how many times more culpable they are, they’re still immune.

    The government agencies are only negligent, since they can’t legally be criminally negligent. The developers are criminally negligent, I suspect, in my ignorance of Malaysian law.

    I’m not sure what Act of God OKC (so close to my favourite emoticon: OGC !) is referring to. Rain can’t be an act of god, rain falls by virtue of “what goes up must come down”, as must houses and hills. They all fall at different, but largely well understood and mostly predictable rates. Perhaps OKC has seen fragments of asteroid in the debris and we will soon all be able to stop blaming each other and rest easy.

    More likely, he’s an expert buck-passer in a game where nobody wants to be the goalkeeper. If the causes of this tragedy are the same as for the Highland Towers, then it is the developer who should accept the majority of the blame. The government agencies have an enforcement role and are not the cause of the tragedy, only part of a much larger body of people who failed to stop the tragedy from following its course.

  4. #4 by bentoh on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 6:21 pm

    (Speech in Parliament on the urgent, definite, public importance motion on the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide disaster)

    Love this most LOL~

  5. #5 by i_love_malaysia on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 6:26 pm

    They are very the good in using God in excusing themselves from all responsibilities!!! As the saying goes “Kita merancang, Tuhan yang menentukan” , but if there’s no rancangan at all, Tuhan also cannot menentukan!!! Of course DISASTERS will happen every where!!!

    By the way, insurance companies like to use the acts of God to not compensate a single sen for any disaster!!! Got it!!!

  6. #6 by HJ Angus on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 6:31 pm

    He didn’t specifically mention “Act of God” so he is not like SV but he definitely shows God-like powers when he can make such an idiotic statement even when the experts are not sure what are the main causes of this landslide.

  7. #7 by hadi on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 7:01 pm

    That Ong K C fler should have resigned. But in this country “just blame the rest but not you”.
    My sympathy to people like you YB, but I am still proud of having Malaysian like you who dares to be counted.
    YB, may you be healthy and keep fighting as there will always be another day. The day that you will win-GOD BLESS YOU.

  8. #8 by waterfrontcoolie on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 7:02 pm

    If the Gomen had decided that the various authorities were not responsible nor accountable then it should abolish all those enactments that require Malaysians to get their approvals before construction, let us appoint our own consultants to do the job. The authorities need only to keep the reports and files that have been finalized. Ka Chuan, wouldn’t this be fair? At least you could claim that you are just responsible for keeping the reports!
    Again, keeping those reports and files are also useless as they have no bearing on any consequence even if the buildings are destroyed in whatsoever manner.
    In the end, we can only conclude that we don’t need anyone to run this country at all, as no one is responsible nor accountable for anything!!

  9. #9 by Loh on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 7:17 pm

    Antarabangsa victims about some irresponsible members of the search and rescue (SAR) operations team, ///

    That is the most serious issue. The persons who are sent to help utilized the occasion to take advantage of the situation. The victims not only had to bear the brunt of the misfortune, they have to guard against looters who seized the opportunity to help themselves.

    This happened not only in Bukit Antarabangsa, but also at the bus accident in Johor. Even fire fighter are said to demand payment before they would do their duties.

    The government cannot solve the problems by have more laws and regulations. It is the quality of the citizens, especially those government servants who deal with public. They should have been taught in school the correct moral value, if such qualify has not been brought about by the religion they profess. But government policies such as the NEP as implemented by the government do not conform to good values the students are taught in school. The basic natural justice is that one reaps what he sows. One should expect that the rewards should commensurate with input. But when APs can be given to make selected people rich, it demonstrates that that natural justice does not work. When the people who are less qualified could be offered places over those who are better qualified, and when the rich are awarded scholarships while brilliant students from the poor cannot find a place in local universities, the people are not hardened to empathy and have lost the sense of compassion. That was the psychology of the people who were supposed to perform rescue work. They easily rationalized that if the people in high position could use their power to enrich themselves, why should they forgo the chance of making extra incomes when the occasions present themselves. If powerful politicians can face God with all the sins, they should have no problems too.

    The challenge lie in molding the people to have the right sense of natural justice, and that what are taught in schools are reflected in the society. NEP tells them that there is no such thing as natural justice. If that is the national moral, but do we expect from the citizens?

  10. #10 by Loh on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 7:19 pm

    ///Finally, there should be full and independent inquiry into the serious complaints by Bukit Antarabangsa victims about some irresponsible members of the search and rescue (SAR) operations team, ///

    Sorry, that should be the title of the last post

  11. #11 by sinnerconman on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 7:22 pm

    This Moron Ka Chuan was with younger deluded brother asking for some bright ideas on the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide disaster, and after four long days they thought that they had come out with great explanation for the victims. When this moron was leaving, know-all deluded kit brother reminded: “Don,t ever forget I make you the minister”! This sentence was bugging him, “Don,y ever forget…” … finally becomes “acts of God”, when he opened his mouth.

  12. #12 by Mr Smith on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 7:24 pm

    A few years ago my friend, Mr X, was involved in an accident along the NS Highway. His car was a total wreck but he was badly injured and unconcious when the PLUS rescue team arrived. At about that time my friend’s relative, Tom, was calling Mr X to find out why he had not arrived at the destination. His phone was ringing but there was no reply. But a few minutes later Tom received a call from a rescue member who identified himself as Zul and informed Tom that Mr X was involved in an accident and he had been sent to the hospital.
    Tom then asked Zul how he had got his phone number. He replied that the Mr X (who was actually unconscious) had given him the number.
    To make long story short, we finally met Mr X in the hospital with broken limbs and was unconscious. His RM 1,200 handphone was missing. Also was missing was RM 400.00 from his wallet but all other documents like i/c, credit card, driving license were intact.
    So how did Zul get Tom’s number?
    The Search and Rescue (SAR) team should be changed to Search, Rescue and Loot (SART) team. Yet, the police and the government will protect and defend them and blame the victims of making false claims.

  13. #13 by sinnerconman on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 7:57 pm

    Malaysians are always “advised”, “Don’t spread rumours”, or ” Don’t believe in rumours”. Roman senator and history, about 2000 years ago said, “Rumour is not always wrong”. This country is far behind time.

  14. #14 by cheng on on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 8:07 pm

    People suffering normally do not make false claims, the looting are probably true,
    “Malaysians never want to learn…. They……. soil stability into consideration”. It SHOULD BE MALAYSIAN GOVT NEVER LEARN !
    DON’T blame buyers (public), they are not expert on hill slopes, If govt DON’T approved projects on dangerous slopes, developers CANNOT build ! Maybe the govt officers involved are NOT COMPETENT to assess the risk ?? or else…..$$$$

  15. #15 by behtahan on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 9:20 pm

    Minister attributes landslide to natural causes.
    As if we don’t know.

    but why allow houses to be built close to danger?

  16. #16 by ReformMalaysia on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 9:40 pm

    If it is an earth quake or Tsunami we can accept that it is “act of God”.

    But in the case of land slides which were triggered by human act – that is not ‘act of God’!

    Blaming the buyers? How many of the residents there are geologist?
    Probably none. If there is, probably he or she had studied in a wrong learning institution. Veterinary Doctors don’t study geology. Accountants don’t study geology. And singers(Siti Norhaliza is one of the residents at Bukit Antarabangsa) don’t study geology too!

    It is the government that have the departments in charge of the environment and experts to assess the suitability of the sites for development before granting the permits.

    Why the permits are granted? Is it incompetency of the people in the departments or corruption involved?

  17. #17 by jus legitimum on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 9:44 pm

    There is some truth in the claim made by the victims (both the landslide and the bus mishap) about looting.Just ask yourself how many black sheep you have encountered when you have dealings with our civil servants.I am sure SAR and the Bomba are like the police or the DBKL.They are all civil servants.If there are black sheep in the police and DBKL,obviously there are such culprits in SAR and the Bomba too.Probably such civil servants have the deeply ingrained attitude of getting reward with little input or no input.Unfortunately this is exactly the result of the almost 40 year old NEP and its products like what one of the commentators above puts it.No wonder we have so many hypocrites and munafiks everywhere.

  18. #18 by dapsupporter8888 on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 9:53 pm

    Don’t also forget the saliva dripping Shabery Cheek’s comment on The Star newspaper today. Makes everyone sick. He says we should not solely blame the developer and government for this. Buyers are to be blamed too.

    What nonsense is this?? He is adding salt to the wound. The victims have already suffer enough and he is saying this? Can you imagine how insensitive these UMNO goons are??

  19. #19 by de_Enigma on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 10:10 pm

    Looking at this whole issue, it seems like I can be the government. Even a 10 year old kid can be the government. Just approve everything, then when something goes wrong just say the following:
    – its ‘God’s act’
    – the developer build it, they responsible.
    – the buyer buy it, they should be responsible too.

    In this bolehland even idiots can run the government.

  20. #20 by rubini on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 10:38 pm

    To the Chinese community leaders, i ask of you only this; Do you all want to continue to support PIMP & PROSTITUTE politicians who just as gulible as their UMNO counterparts?

  21. #21 by Taxidriver on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 11:24 pm

    I wonder if the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide is caused by the land reclamation works in Singapore?? IF there is such a possibility, then mr ng ( nice guy ) must summon the singapore ambassador to putrajaya to explain. This will exonerate the govt & AJMC from all the acusations they are receiving right now.

  22. #22 by yhsiew on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 11:26 pm

    I think one way of solving this kind of landslide problems is to pass law to require the party responsible compensate millions of ringgit to family of the victim. It hurts when the party responsible have to dig deep into their pocket to raise cash for compensation.

  23. #23 by wanderer on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 11:48 pm

    It will also the Act of God the next GE, PKR will have a Landslide victory!

  24. #24 by monsterball on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 12:00 am

    Do we see the similarities?
    Mahathir chose 2.. so call….”yes man”..turned out to be gutless….brainless..corrupted munafiks{hypocrites}…going against him….and pleasing majority UMNO supreme council hantus.
    Ling Liong Sik….was more successful. He DID chose an idiot..faithful to him….but the voters in the 12th election…have enough of these nonsense….voting MCA out…one by one.
    OKTing ..was…MCA most loyal and faithful..yes man.. pimp to UMNO.
    OKChuan…proved he is an idiot…with no guts to face the music as the Minister of Housing & Development…by … resigning.
    He wants to play like Samy Vellu?? Who is he?
    Samy have tons of evidence to put few UMNO ministers into jail..if UMNO tries funny with him…..which he said that himself.
    Notice all UMNO minsters fear him?
    Hi..wrote love song to Mahathir and Dollah!!
    Don’t play play with this Samy.. fella!!
    Ong Ka Chuan…are you reading???….be a man…be like your roots…the great Chinese race…resign and don’t shame the Malaysian Chinese!!
    You can carry balls of UMNO..but at least have the decency to resign. After all..you are not wanted…nor qualified to hold that post anymore.
    Will he listen??….nay.
    Why should he listen? UMNO guys never resign for anything…and BN are their so call blood brothers.
    Most of them.. are gangsters….not politicians at all..trying to scare Malaysians.

  25. #25 by Johnny Cheah on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 12:09 am


  26. #26 by monsterball on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 12:16 am

    God is with truthful and righteous people.
    If not ..then ..there is no God!!
    But the world is dominated by Satanic followers…and God is ever forgiving and just.
    IT is not happy at all!!
    The signs are there….all over Malaysia….to remind us..to open our eyes and understand….we are not suffering because our country is rich. People keep dying out of no reasons…in this so call developed rich country..due to massive corruptions and mismanagements….by UMNO government.
    It’s the Malaysians…asking for it.
    As much as I sympathised with the victims of floods and landslides…I wonder how many voted for UMNO and BN.
    Just look at innocent children and helpless Malaysian …died for nothing.
    May those who keep supporting UMNO and BN….live with their sins …they created for their love ones.
    There is GOD!!
    It’s how you wish to interpret is….as Almighty or Way Of Life.

  27. #27 by dawsheng on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 12:16 am

    “I am shocked that the Housing and Local Government Minister, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan, who had been missing for the past four days of the disaster, has surfaced today to rule out human negligence as the cause of the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide disaster and to declare natural causes as the probable factor.”

    What??? After four days this is what he can come out with? Ong Ka Chuan is not playing the act of god, he is the god.

  28. #28 by gnustiy on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 12:33 am

    Really disappointed with the authorities. What has this country become? No wonder so many of us are travelling over the causeway in search for opportunity.

  29. #29 by gnustiy on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 12:52 am

    I think uncle lim is more qualified to be our Housing and Local Government Minister than the BN deuche bags. He was at the scene before OKC (I don’t even know if OKC went to scene or not). In fact, I think uncle lim should be our PM rather than those UMNO thugs. Not being racial here, imagine the government 100% in their hands, our country will rot to hell. Last time when SARS breakout, every country around us declared SARS cases except us. Then when the recent dairy products laced with melamine case, we are the first to declare all our product free of melamine and guess who found out that our biscuit is contaminated with melamine? Our good neighbour, Singapore. Malaysia government is really doing a slack job these days. How can the rakyat trust the government anymore? I don’t feel safe in Malaysia these days.

  30. #30 by pangwl88 on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 1:23 am


    I would like to share my thoughts on this:

    BIODIESEL A MANDITORY BY 2010 ~ News On CH502.

    I am aware of the benefits biodiesel can have, and also the darker side of it.

    I think, ME, as an individual can accept this government proposal to make it MANDITORY if and only if the price of BioDiesel is MUCH CHEAPER then the market pricing for fossil fuel diesel.

    AND i know that those who owns Licenses to operates ALL these BioDiesel Plants are all CRONIES of UMNOs.

    Don’t tell me its for the best of the environment, Malaysia does not cares about the Environment, so don’t bullshit about it, else the Government would not put up plans for a COAL FIRED ELECTRICAL PLANT in Sandakan, Sabah.

    SO, who gave permission to the Government to make it MANDITORY?




  31. #31 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 1:26 am

    Per OrangRojak’s comments Yesterday at 18: 15.09, Kit meant that even though Malaysians (as what PM said) “never want to learn from past experiences, they want good views while developers only seek to profit” – and therefore in part culpable in this sense – “government agencies and authorities…. 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”.

    There is essentially nothing nonsensensical in Kit’s statement.

    In a matter like this not one singular party but all relevant parties have played a part deserving a portion of blame. However some parties ought in good sense to bear more of the blame than the rest of the culpable….

    And the more cupable party than even blameworthy people who live on hillslopes for good views and developers who build on them for profit ” is the “government agencies and local authorities”…

    The fact that the laws make “government agencies and local authorities” more immune from legal suits in their breach of their duty of care than (say) developers’ case ought not to affect the equation on assigment of blame including who amongst the culpable is the most culpable of them all, at least morally if not legally!

  32. #32 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 1:30 am

    The reason for this is the unique expected role of government, government agencies and local authorities.

    It would be natural for some house owners who like elevated views to the extent of ignoring risks; and of course even more blameworthy are the developers who put them at risks by building on or near slopes.

    However it is overarching duty of government to protect its citizens whether house owners or developers from their own excesses, follies and stupidities.

    It is based on paternalistic role assumed by government. It asumes this paternalistic role when it passes laws to require motorcyclist to wear helmet, to wear seat belts.

    The government is expected to set minimum safety standards for factory workers to protect them against their own negligence; and to set standards for devlopment near hill side to guard against house owners’ own risk taking and developer’s greed.

    These things are better done by government with its resources to, for example, conduct survey soil testing, control drainage or other developments nearby that could impact on soil conditions…

    So if a govt that has paternalistic duty to guard its citizenry against their own follies fails in that duty or selectivbely discharges that duty, it is obviously most culpable of all.

    Esp when such a duty is discharged selectively depending whether there is profit, eg to enforce seat belts vigorously when some cronies got the plump job to manufacture seat belts or helmets or one gets a bribe when enforcing such a law, and to look the other way in indifference and lache of duty as far as slope safety is concerned because the profit is coming from the other direction of the developers.

  33. #33 by delon85 on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 1:30 am

    “Satu Lagi Projek Barisan Nasional” – the blame game.

    They never wanted to own up to their mistakes and oversight. I really wish Malaysia is run by good engineers, instead of hopeless thugs and puppet leader who shoves away his responsibility. Also if proper red-tapes are put in place and they have principles of doing good work, this would have never happen. Oversight in government department just because they want to be the first to be back by 5 just doesnt cut it. Lives are lost and irreversible damage occurs. Who is to blame if not the one in charge? Also landslides can be prevented unlike lightning or earthquake or tsunami. So giving the reason “act of God” just wouldnt do! These government servants just never think what would they do if these happens to their immediate family. Who cares?

  34. #34 by computation on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 1:51 am

    well we are all not surprised that ka chuan has
    declared “natural causes as a PROBABLE factor”
    i assume that he did indeed use the words “probable” as
    mentioned above in the article. why would he use the word
    “probable”? i SUSPECT it is probably because he knows that
    to be a lie. i SUSPECT he needs to be SEEN to be saying
    something without being caught with his pants down later,
    should somehow, having gone through the whole
    rigmarole of a government investigation (IF they is any in
    the first place) it is found that the catastrophe was
    due to human non-intervention.
    it was already reported in the papers that nearby residents
    had informed the relevant authorities of trees being uprooted.
    their so called “specialists” had been sent to do checks
    and the all clear was given.
    Now this raises extremely serious questions about the
    competence of these so called “experts” in the employ of
    i also suspect that ka chuan frankly is just quite out
    of his depth in dealing with such matters. where on earth
    was he educated? and what was his degree in, if any?
    is he competent and intelligent enough to understand
    technical reports on building collapse? soil movements?
    etc. etc…
    sadly i feel that politicians in malaysia are only limited
    to their politicking ability. they have no real capability
    to understand complex material. they are unable to understand
    how fast technology in the world changes. they are unable in
    fact to understand technology.
    as a serious result they are unable to make correct
    decisions affecting the future of the nation.

    the time for getting any tom dick and harry as a leader
    becasue of his “influence” in any community or political
    party is over. we cannot have leaders who are not
    educated and intelligent. whose only so claim to position
    and power lies in their “ability” to influence the uninformed
    communities. we must have leaders who are technologically
    sound. we must have leaders with degrees in engineering,
    math, and the other sciences.
    will ka chuan for heavens sake do the right thing and
    resign if you are not intelligent enough for the job??

  35. #35 by wahai kawan on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 2:31 am

    We have a screwed up combination – an irresponsible developer versus an immune municipal council. Nobody can change this fact!!!

    I am sure there will be more tragedies yet to come and more innocent lives to be taken!

    No point debating or writing good essays on the dead/ aftermath! Instead preserve the living by setting up task force to monitor all sites (not only hill sites but ALL buildings) that may pose a danger for collapsing!

    We can prevent this from ever happening again and if it does, our conscious will be clear – I have done what I could and that’s it…………………….

  36. #36 by HJ Angus on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 8:21 am

    Just imagine the FUN we will have once the nuclear power plant starts operating with that proud sign,
    “Satu Project Lagi dari Kerajaan BN”

    Probably there will be one last accident and no one left to make idiotic statements.

  37. #37 by mohd ali ismail on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 8:25 am

    Prejudices is the order of the day in Malaysia.The authorities will pick and choose who is wright and who is wrong.Anything that is to advantage to them they will own up, otherwise, their fingers will point at random and finally blame it to GOD.Even the death of the Mongolian woman was the act of GOD.God bless us all!

  38. #38 by negarawan on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 8:34 am

    I saw Ka Chuan making his comment on TV last night about the landslide not being man-made. First of all he came a few days late to the disaster scene, and as the housing minister, he is a disgrace and reflects on the mentality of MCA. Secondly, even before proper investigation has been carried out, he has made a premature and unfounded comment. It is a surprise he still has a job.

  39. #39 by alancheah on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 8:47 am

    Those comments are big shame to Malaysia again!!!

    Pakatan Rakyat, many rakyat still eargely want to see you all
    to form the next Federal Government!!! Please make that
    happen one day, either through cross-over or next election.

    We Malaysians really need to change the government!!!

    Enough is Enough!

  40. #40 by trublumsian on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 9:04 am

    umno must hv told ka chuan they got his back and to just go conduct “damage control” with the press conference, leaving him to hang dry at the outcome. sack the puppeteer and the puppet.

  41. #41 by veddy.lum74 on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 9:21 am

    ong ka chuan is trying to help his brother , PBT and TOYO !

    he was disappeared for the past 96 hours and now out of a sudden he exists like David Corperfield!

    the worst part is,he is almost blaming the act of god of dis tragedy,trying to put everything under the carpet,drag the investigation as long as possible,like dragging the LINGAM VIDEO-CLIP SCANDALS,these are BN’s tactics!

    we have to broaden our eyeballs here,look at the Bukit Antarabangsa (go to google earth)the projects there were like no obstacles at all,but we still hear PBT authorities were saying stringent policies are adopted for hillside project applications!!!???

    are they bluffing us or themselves?

    UMNO and MCA are the culprits of these tragedies!

  42. #42 by taiking on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 9:36 am

    48 people died in vain in highland towers. 5 died recently not too far away for the same reason. Their death too will be in vain. Developers are greedy. Buyers are demanding. So the umno government said. But in between the developers and the buyers lets us not forget that we still have the engineers and the umno authorities and the 48-death experience and the numerous similar slips after the 48-death experience.

    Engineering consultants could have put their foot down and not act for the developers. Perhaps some actually did. Then again the developers could just shop around for one that would act. There is nothing to stop them.

    And yes buyers’ demand means money to developers. So the poor developers are simply victim of economics. They are simply doing buyers a favour by safisfying their needs. I gather this must be what the umno government is saying as well.

    What nice illogical logics they are!.

    No matter what the buyers may demand, how greedy the developers can be which of course they really are, and how irresponsible engineers are, the fact of the matter is without approvals by the authority nothing can move. And didnt badawi declared that developers should not pressure or lobby the umno government for development of hillside projects? So isnt it clear that the umno government actually holds the key to the door.

    And have they forgotten that a door keeper actually has responsibilities. Otherwise we might as well have a doorless and therefore keyless system – in other words a free for all scenario – a do as you please situation. Anarchy is actually the proper word to use here.

    It is most unfortunate that the Federal Court so steadfastly upheld the immunity of public authorities from legal suits in the discharge of their public duties. Their decision is of course based on the argument that the umno authorities should not be burdened with the fear of liability in the performance of their public functions.

    Yeah. Yeah. That is perfectly acceptable. But upto a point only. Certainly not when we have repeated mistakes of the same kind taking place time after time and worse affecting the same area and worse still with lost of many lives experience. Can the umno authorities concerned still hide behind the blanket of immunity?

    I think the court really ought to put some large holes in that blanket immunity so that in appropriate circumstances, the recent incident is a good example, the umno authorities could be held accountable and responsible for their wrong actions or decisions. Besides, the fear of legal repercussion actually would make past experience more meaningful.

    Then again what more can we expect from a bunch of clowns who are pure breeds of the umno government’s (-)meritocracy policies.

  43. #43 by Kathy on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 9:47 am

    The politicians should keep God out of all these mess that they created themselves for being so greedy. Buyers will buy properties that are available to them. The onus is on the developers, local councils and federal agencies to ensure that strict regulations are being followed and enforcement are implemented.

    Greed is the main cause of all these horrible incidents. I think those giving the approvals and those actually building these housing estates without much thought of safety should be given continues nighmares by GOD every waking moment of their lives.

  44. #44 by Kathy on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 9:53 am

    Developers and their sub-contractors merely in there for the money. How many can any of us say that they build the houses and the surrounding areas with all the safety and security features required in place? Maybe 1, maybe none.

    Known a case where the engineer actually quit a project when the developer insists on constructing a building that they ignore a serious safety feature. How many morally correct minded engineers, developers, humans do we have in Malaysia?

  45. #45 by Bigjoe on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 9:54 am

    Honestly I fell off my chair when he made the comment that incident is NOT due to human negligence i.e. that there has been a lot of rain… Hello? we live in a tropical country. Rain is EXPECTED? In his mind there is always a definition to avoid responsibilities for people’s pain and suffering. So vommitting to see someone copy Samy Vellu. Now Samy Vellu can say, you see, I am not the only a**hole around…

  46. #46 by Mr Smith on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 10:02 am

    Malaysians are paying with their lives for the sins of the government – landslides, bus accidents, snatch thefts deaths etc.

  47. #47 by ktteokt on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 10:03 am

    If this incident is an Act of God, then the GE12 tsunami was an even greate Act of God. Come GE13 and we will see the wrath of the gods in totally sweeping out BN! Stay tuned!

  48. #48 by undergrad2 on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 10:52 am

    But I think BN’s God of Money will be victorious! The opposition’s Money Goddess is too poor.

  49. #49 by undergrad2 on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 11:03 am

    “Ong should not be a second Samy Vellu with excuses of “acts of God” KIT

    God is very unhappy with MCA for using his name!

  50. #50 by k1980 on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 11:19 am

    Dollah’s sacking by umno an act of god, too!
    Altantuya’s demolition by C4 oso an act of god!
    The global financial meltdown an act of god also!

  51. #51 by izrafeil on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 11:26 am

    Uncle LIm,
    A bit off topic – on the landslide issue and the ARMY’s instant bridge. WTF the bridge has to be brought in from KLuang’s base. I would expect that we have at least 20 of those, we are sooooo unprepared for self defense….. where has the money all gone!

  52. #52 by kim low on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 11:49 am

    It is not that our government never learn from experience but they just dont know what to do, how to do and dont know where to start from. This is the result from………. never use the brain on the right things.

  53. #53 by frankyapp on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 12:51 pm

    I just could not believed that the minister of Information blamed the developer,buyers and least the government for the bukit antarabangsa disaster .And some idiots put the blame on God as act of God.All these are ridiculous answers which would not help prevent future disaster and lost of human lives.This disaster is another scandal by the UMNO/BN government. An investigation or a royal commission of investigation will definetly open up the canful of worms within the government authorities,and the developers. Those buyers are the victims of the scandal.They can sue these guys in court .As for those government idiots who blamed God,let me tell you guys to be careful with what you said as the Almighty God is watching and will deliver His judgement on you. What God made is perfect.It’s human greediness that caused God’s perfection into disaster .

  54. #54 by shortie kiasu on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 2:00 pm

    It seems that human life is dirt cheap here in this country under this government, judging from the varied, dumb, unsubstantiated, layman-typed, and many statements, opinion, comment etc… given or expressed by the local politicians and civil servants, since the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide tragedy.

    There is no antidote for all these substandard expression by all trying to project themselves in the eyes of the public.

  55. #55 by shortie kiasu on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 2:02 pm

    There is similarity between Ong Ka Chuan & President Bush: persona non grata.

  56. #56 by hellsbells on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 2:11 pm

    Dear Uncle Lim,
    An assurance company’s plan to develop 149 bungalow lots and 460 units of 10 storey offices along the slopes of Ukay Heights surely must now be even more remote since the tragic event of the Antarabangsar landslide on Saturday 6th December.
    Constant re-submissions by developers and numerous public hearings with MPAJ seem to be designed to wear down officials and various residents associations to the weary acceptance of proposed developments, amongst other incentives.
    If the project had been allowed to proceed, it would have forever changed and degraded the landscape, the beauty and tranquility of Ampang Heights and Ulu Klang area.
    It would have disrupted lives, endangered those living along and below the hill-slopes such as the residents of Taman Hijau, added to traffic overload and congestion on existing roads, and much more.
    What’s perplexing is that the project had been approved by previous MPAJ administration prior to March 2008, in spite of existing Laws that prohibit hillside developments on slopes above 25%, on class 3 and on 4 soils (above 35%).
    Surely this constituted an illegal act of approval by the previous MPAJ administration, and rendered the decision to approve null and void, which by its own analysis stated that approval was given due the ‘sheer magnitude and monetary value of the project’- hundreds of millions of Ringgits.
    I was not aware that existing Laws of Selangor could be compromised in this way and rendered ineffective?
    Why are the officials who approved the (illegal) project in the first place not dealt with via the due legal process?
    What is going to happen about this controversial matter?

  57. #57 by OrangRojak on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 2:36 pm

    “So if a govt that has paternalistic duty to guard its citizenry against their own follies fails in that duty or selectivbely discharges that duty, it is obviously most culpable of all.”

    Where do you live Jeffrey? I can be there by sometime this evening. I will kill* you with a blunt instrument on my arrival in plain view of the public. The government has access to this blog, and has read my declaration. Since the government is obviously most culpable of all, I expect to suffer little penalty for my action, and look forward to LKS’ readers’ condemnation of the government for failing to stop me ending, in a most brutal and bloody way, your most eloquent contributions to this blog. I don’t intend to try to avoid justice, I’m a white man, wear glasses, in my forties, about 70kg, normally resident in Negeri Sembilan. This evening you’ll be able to find me, covered in gore, adding a triumphant comment to LKS’s blog in an Internet Cafe not far from Jeffrey’s broken body.

    Who can be more culpable than the actor? I think in the UK there’s an ‘automaton’ defence, but I’m assuming it’s very rarely employed. I’m not well-read in law, so I’d appreciate any light you can shed on this subject. I read the Highland Towers judgements online (Plaintiffs Steven Phoa Cheng Loon & 72 Ors), and the judges seem to me to have been quite reasonable in assigning liability (15% in the case of the local authority) for the pure economic loss of the blocks 2 and 3 residents. I can’t find any report of a case, criminal or otherwise, regarding block 1 – was there one?

    * I have no intention of hurting anybody, least of all Jeffrey – even if our morals don’t seem to be a perfect match. I won’t be travelling to Jeffrey’s location, even in the unlikely event he provides it. If he does suffer any harm this evening or in the foreseeable future, it will have nothing to do with me, and government agencies have my full support in their prosecution and punishment of the perpetrator. Have a pleasant evening, Jeffrey.

  58. #58 by kcb on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 4:57 pm

    The Housing and Local Government Minister Ong Ka Chuan said that if the landslide at Bukit Antarabangsa was due to human negligence, it would have happened one to two years after the completion of the project.

    All I can say is that Ong KC has a simple mind!

  59. #59 by kcb on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 5:14 pm

    And the comments of that saliva dripping Shabery Cheek in The Star newspaper is absulutely heartless.

    Hey, Mr. Saliva Dripping, please remember that house buyers are no experts in hill-side development. They have relied on the governemnt who approved the project!!!

  60. #60 by ReformMalaysia on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 6:03 pm

    When we buy medicines, we look for the ‘Health Ministry approval label’ as it is implied that the medicine is safe for consumption. We don’t do our own clinical test to make sure that it is safe for consumption -as we rely own the government assurance that it is safe.

    Likewise, when we buy a house , we ensure that it have CF. With the Certificate of Fitness (CF) which is issued by the government agency is was both expressed and implied that the house if safe for dwelling. The people are relying on the government assurance through CF that the house is safe to live in. So can the statements by Pak Lah, Ong Ka Chuan and Shabery Cheek blaming on buyers and denying any negligence involved can be acceptable?

    You issued CF -we thought you are reliable, so we relied on your assurance that the house are safe! Issuing of CF like guaranteeing that the house is safe for dwelling .

    If the government is not reliable, rakyats need to choose a more reliable government. Selangor people has done that…. but a bit too late… Many problems that the present PR government facing are inheritted from the previous administration. And the ex-chief minister of the previous government now become chief-trouble maker, try to sabotage the present government whenever there is an opportunity.

  61. #61 by FY Lim on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 7:29 pm

    The bottom line in this tragedy is :

    1. CORRUPTION & GREED – Approval for development on hillside not according to guidelines. Both the approving authorities ( MPAJ ) and the developers are liable.

    2. COMPETENCY of officers at the approving authority level ( MPAJ ). Clearly there is insufficient competent officers in local authorities to vet and review projects on hillslopes based on the guidelines. The State government should seriously look into this important aspect by approving more technical posts with the view to protect public safety.

    3. CONTINUOUS MONITORING ,MAPPING and REVIEW of high risk areas with high regards for public safety. This can be delegated to a third party for such tasks if the local councils is short of manpower but the third party must be held accountable.

    6. The MONITORING PARTY to be well defined in the act. eg. the local engineer or his assistant and proper records of monitoring kept for future reference.

    5. The local council’s laws and regulations relating to hillside development be reviewed to ensure more ACCOUNTABILTY, and RESPONSIBILITIES and LIABILITIES of the officers and the council are more defined. Notes of discussion before approval be properly minuted and kept for future reference. The above should go beyond the tenure of the officers and the guarantee period.

    6. REPONSIBILITIES and LIABILITIES of developers and contractors should be defined as well and this should go beyond the guarantee period.

    7. Sincerity and commitment of all the stakeholders, the approving authority and their officers , consultants , stae governments , local political reprensentatives , the buyers and resident associations in order that the SAFETY of the residents is paramount and taken care of.

    Precious lives lost cannot be repaid in kind and this has to be uppermost in everyone’s mind.

    The above will ensure that no finger pointing will happen as the responsibilties are well defined.

    Last but not the least is that there must be political will to ensure all the above are carried out.

  62. #62 by waterfrontcoolie on Friday, 12 December 2008 - 12:07 am

    Some may want to keep the CREATOR out of such incidents, but maybe for all the Corruptions and Sins the leaders have had created and the fact that we Malaysians have had supported them for all these years, this could be our KARMA!
    And if we continue to continue all these ‘Sins’ the next karma, like Hj Angus said could be the nuclear power station that we gonna build!!

  63. #63 by Richardqed on Friday, 12 December 2008 - 12:18 am

    It is not surprising to hear OKC coming out with stupid statements like that, as it is totally in sync with his very low intellect.

    People like him who never fight for the interest of the rakyat should be handed defeats wherever they intend to contest. Whether it is a battle for the MCA vice-presidency or presidency, or a battle for a parlimentary constituency, voters must ensure to bury his political career to make sure he can no longer waste the rakyat’s time and money. If the MCA persists in giving him a political lifeline, then voters must ensure the MCA is wiped out as well.

  64. #64 by AhPek on Friday, 12 December 2008 - 12:37 am

    That Ong Ka Chuan won in Tanjong Malim is simply because of Malay votes (Tanjong Malim constituency: Chinese population 41.33%vs Malay population 40.88%). That is why he bolted off from cili padi’s Batu Gajah.
    His brother Ong Ka Ting also depended on Malay votes.That is why they are so beholden to UMNOPUTRAS,the most well behaved lapdogs in their stable of

  65. #65 by undergrad2 on Friday, 12 December 2008 - 1:33 am

    k1980 Says:

    Yesterday at 11: 19.32
    Dollah’s sacking by umno an act of god, too!
    Altantuya’s demolition by C4 oso an act of god!
    The global financial meltdown an act of god also

    Dollah’s sacking? No, that is the work of Najib.
    Altantuya? No, that too is the work of Najib.
    The global meltdown? No, that is due to Republican Congressmen and U.S. Senators lining their pockets.

    But they happen on God’s watch.

  66. #66 by Navinda on Friday, 12 December 2008 - 9:51 am

    The utterances by people like Ong Ka Chuan reflects the poor grasp of the situation by the government of the day. It is the standard reply prepared for all ministers in the government I suppose. Is OKC an engineer or geologist to come out with a firm statement such as his, I beg to know? The position he holds doesn’t give him that benefit.
    The CPO of Selangor too, pronounces that everything is ok as where security of the properties of the house-buyers is concerned. There is no looting. There is no theft. This assumption is false as the people who really know the situation are those who have lost their valuables to ‘thieves’ within the security personals who are there to secure safety. Can’t he take the necessary action to safeguard and to act against those onvolved i the theft and misuse of their authority instyead of protecting the wrongdoers.

  67. #67 by hellsbells on Friday, 12 December 2008 - 10:27 am

    The MAA assurance company’s application to develop 149 bungalow lots and 460 units of 10 storey offices along the slopes of Ukay Heights must now be unsustainable since the tragic event of the Antarabangsa landslide on Saturday 6th December.

    Constant re-submissions by developers and numerous public hearings with MPAJ seem to be designed to wear down officials and various residents associations to weary acceptance of proposed developments amongst other incentives.

    If the project had been allowed to proceed it would have forever changed and degraded the landscape, the beauty and tranquility of Ampang/Ukay Heights and Ulu Klang area.
    It would have disrupted lives, endangered those living along and below the hill-slopes such as the residents of Taman Hijau valley, added to traffic overload, congestion on existing roads, and much more.

    It is perplexing is that the project had been approved in the first place by previous MPAJ administration prior to March 2008, because of existing Laws that prohibit hillside developments on slopes above 25%-35%, on class 3 and on 4 soils which apply to this case.
    Surely this constituted an illegal approval by the previous MPAJ administration, thus rendering the approval null and void; by its own analysis the MPAJ stated that approval was given due the “sheer magnitude and monetary value of the project”, worth hundreds of millions of Ringgits.

    How can the existing Laws of Selangor be compromised in this way and rendered ineffective?

    Why are the officials who approved the project in the first place not dealt with via the due legal process, and what is going to happen about this controversial matter?

    Will it eventually be rendered to being another Bukit Antarabangsa fiasco where officials who gave the go ahead avoid any responsibility, offering another “Act of God” for their pathetic explaination?

  68. #68 by taiking on Friday, 12 December 2008 - 10:54 am

    Strangely Ong Ka Chuan is wrongly correct with his statement that if negligence is the cause, failure would have happened years ago.

    The houses stood well and firm for a good decade or so didnt they? So where got negligent?

    If I were a pure product of umno government’s (-)meritocracy system I would lift both my legs up in agreement. But I am not. Not that I am marvelous but I believe that I am a little bit better than a typical product of umno government’s (-)meritocracy system.

    If a plane were to crash down and damage the houses, what have we got? The whole incident must have something to do with the plane or its pilot. Between the two there must lie an element of fault. Obvious. Isnt it?

    In other words, the nuthead forgot that the damage is due to an extraneous factor – the slope that failed.

    Alright. Alright. I know. The slope stood for a good many years. So where is the fault?

    But slopes do not fail and cause a landslide without a reason. Two possibilities. One, its God. Two, its man.

    Between God and man, I trust God more. But that is another issue.

    Its an act of God and heavy downpour is one such act. The mudflow very probably was triggered by heavy and continuous rainfall.

    What do you do when you cross the road? Yes look out for on-coming traffic and that is because you want to avoid an accident. But what told you to do so? Cow sense of course. Its a road for goodness sake. And roads have cars. And fast moving cars can be very dangerous. The logic flows naturally and nicely doesnt it?

    Look my point is, rain is not unheard of in malaysia. We all knew well that they happen all the time over certain (more or less fixed) periods in a year. We all knew well that they can be really heavy and relentless. Ask around and see. Only fools and foreigners can be excused for not knowing this.

    So what do you do? Take care of course just like when you are about to cross the road. And can you describe something so absolutely predictable an act of God? The recent tsunami is an act of God. A tornado in our country would be an act of God. A sudden rise in sea level resulting in massive flood would be an act of God. The daily occurance of rain and sunshine are to be expected. Are they acts of God? No.

    So rather oddly ka chuan is wrongly correct.

  69. #69 by AhPek on Friday, 12 December 2008 - 12:13 pm

    Well,isn’t Ong Ka Chuan expected to say what he has said? After all he is currently the most well behaved lapdog in UMNO’s stable of lapdogs,and he has every reason to be one.

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