Posts Tagged Disasters

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 »