History Will Teach Us Nothing

The area affected by the landslide in Bukit Antarabangsa - Utusan Online
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.

The Highland Towers tragedy - MVFRA
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.

Bukit Antarabangsa landslide - May 1999 - picture JMG
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 - The Star
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 - Utusan Online
Rescuers and searchdogs combing the tragedy area

2 Replies to “History Will Teach Us Nothing”

  1. malaysian soil so susah nak jaga kot because of the amount of rainfall. we need more experts to avoid landslides like this. in japan, banyak gak landslides in summer. 😦

    p.s. bcoz of this article, i went to the star to check the news. one led to another and i came to this article about the handsome man who can’t seem to wait to make his way to Putrajaya. i tak suka orang buat speech yg dok pointing finger to the audience all the time. he seems to really love using his finger. :p

    sakit jiwa…boleh rasa my blood naik ke tengkok dengar dia cakap “in the name of God”. arggghhhhhh…..i hate to say this but rasa nak sepak muka dia.

    selamat hari raya to you and your family. 🙂

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