The area affected by the landslide in Bukit Antarabangsa
Just 5 days short of the 15th anniversary of the Highland Towers tragedy, the nation is shocked again to hear of the massive landslide that has hit Bukit Antarabangsa, my former dwelling back in 1997. 4 people are dead, scores injured, and thousands have been evacuated from their homes.
After the Highland Towers tragedy
Since the collapse of one of the three towers at the Highland Towers complex on 11th December 1993, several more massive landslides have occured in that area alone. On 15th May, 1999, 10,000 residents of Bukit Antarabangsa were cut-off from the world when the only link was overwhelmed by landslides; 20th November 2002, a former army chief lost his wife and children after his Taman Hillview bungalow was flattened in a landslide at the foot of Bukit Antarabangsa; on 31st May 2006, four people were buried alive after a landslide hit Kampung Pasir and forced 16 families in neighbouring Taman Zooview to abandon their homes; and last before this tragedy, 4 cars were destroyed after a landslide caused a boulder to roll down a parking area at Wangsa Heights in Bukit Antarabangsa.
The 1999 landslide at Bukit Antarabangsa
Everytime that happens, someone in the local council will say “We will stop all hillside developments.” But since I left Bukit Antarabangsa in 1997, you have at least 3 more hillside developments on Bukit Antarabangsa itself, several more in adjacent Kampung Pasir area like Ukay Heights, Sering Ukay, Taman Hijau (which is still under development) and so on. In fact, right after the Highland Towers tragedy, the local authorities themselves said that they would bar all hillside developments.
Onlookers at the scene of the Bukit Antarabangsa tragedy
Have they? Does the local government have the moral and political will to stop these developments? Or will they give in to individual greed?
Someone should be held accountable. Starting with those who have made statements vowing to stop hillside developments.
Rescuers and searchdogs combing the tragedy area