Thursday, December 11, 2008

99 hillslope projects approved by Khir Toyo, says S'gor MB - Malaysiakini

By Pathma Subramaniam | Dec 10, 08 9:05pm

A total of 99 hillside projects had been approved by the Selangor government under then menteri besar Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo, Parliament was told today.

Selangor Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim (PKR-Bandar Tun Razak) said of the projects approved, 64 are on-going, 21 have yet to begin construction and three have since been abandoned.

According to Khalid, 21 of the on-going projects are under the jurisdiction of Ampang Jaya Municipal Council, with 10 in Bukit Antarabangsa - the upmarket suburb which was hit by a deadly landslide on Saturday - and 11 in nearby Taman Melawati.

However, he said that since the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition took over the state government in March, no hillside development project has been approved.

Khalid revealed the information today during the hour-long debate on an emergency motion proposed by the opposition in the wake of the deadly Bukit Antarabangsa landslide.

House speaker allowed debate

Earlier today, House speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia, in a rare move, accepted the motion tabled by Azmin Ali (PKR-Gombak), who is also the state assemblyperson for Bukit Antarabangsa.

In tabling his motion this morning, Azmin said the previous BN-led Selangor government leaders should be held responsible for the latest tragedy and argued that Parliament is the best venue to debate the matter.

The massive landslide which occurred at 4am on Saturday buried 14 bungalows in Taman Bukit Mewah and Taman Bukit Utama in Bukit Antarabangsa, near Hulu Kelang.

Between 3,000 and 5,000 residents were forced to evacuate after the incident.

During the debate, both opposition and government MPs expressed their dissatisfaction with Housing and Local Government Minister Ong Ka Chuan's explanation on the tragedy.

Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) said that the 48 lives lost in the collapse of the Highland Towers in 1993 were in vain because of the government “sheer negligence has continued unchanged in the past 15 years”.

Lim called for the establishment of a royal commission of inquiry to probe Saturday's tragedy and examine the reasons why the authorities have failed to learn from the Highland Towers incident.

Dr Hatta Ramli (PAS-Kuala Krai) demanded all projects be stopped until investigations are completed to ensure that the construction of houses in the area abide to existing guidelines.

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