Sunday, June 15, 2008

Guidelines will lead to scarcity - The Star

Jun 15, 2008

THE landslide victory by the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) in the recent general election created a new era for the Selangor State Government.

For the first time, Selangor is being run by the PR and the new state government has a lot to live up to and the people, both public and private sector, have very high expectations of them.

In a dilemna: Developers are now stuck with land they have already bought since the state government put a halt to development on Class 3 and 4 slopes.

We believe the new state government has a strong desire to improve Selangor because they have been the backbenchers for such a long time.

We understand their desire to improve Selangor, which resulted in, within a short period of time, several drastic measures.

Recently, Tan Sri Abd Khalid Ibrahim and Elizabeth Wong announced that land of Class 3 (gradient > 25%) and Class 4 (gradient > 35%) could not be developed, for fear of landslides.

We would like to clarify that the issue of landslides is not new and landslides happen everywhere in the world.

In the June 10 article in StarMetro, Dr Gue See Sew said landslides are not caused by development on hillslopes but, more often than not, are due to the design.

As such, we would strongly recommend the state government seek advice from independent technical professionals specialising in hillslope developments.

Dr Gue: Landslides are caused by the design of the development.

From a developer’s point of view, we strongly recommend that an independent body be set up to advise the state government on how to tackle this issue.

A blanket ban on development of Class 3 and Class 4 land would cause a serious scarcity of land in Selangor and we believe this will cause the price of housing to escalate tremendously, resulting in higher inflation.

We would also like to point out that in countries like Hong Kong and Taiwan, due to the scarcity of land and the nature of its contours, even Class 4 land is developed but these developments must adhere to stringent guidelines.

As developers, we feel that we have been treated unfairly.

When we purchased our land for development, we used guidelines provided by the previous state government.

With this new restrictions set by the new state government, we are left in a dilemma.

This creates a negative impact on us all, the very same people who voted for change.

This uncertainty may also deter foreign investors from investing in Selangor or to pull out their investments in totality.

We believe the new restrictions affect more than 20 local and foreign developers in Selangor. This uncertainty will hamper the economic growth of Selangor.

We understand that during this transitional period, time is required by the new government to come up with changes.

However, we sincerely believe new policies and guidelines affecting the development of the state must be practical and fair.

Before these changes are made, organisations and bodies affected must be consulted to ensure that the interests of all are protected.

Lately, there has been an outcry by the general public, objecting to hillslope development. We can fully understand their concern, but would like to clarify this misunderstanding.

To reiterate what Dr Gue See Sew had said “landslides are not caused by the hillslope development but the design and safety measures taken by the developers to maintain the slope.”

Finally, we urge Khalid to sit down with the people affected by this new guideline and clear the uncertainty.

We also hope the state and Federal governments can work together on a standard guideline for hillslope development in order to avoid confusion to developers.


Kuala Lumpur


observer said...

I believe the Decision by YB Khalid And Elizabeth Wong is in the interest of the people . We don't want to have a repeat of Highland Tower Tragedy where 100 over of innocent lives are lost. Those affected developers can be replaced by another piece of land, We must be firm in banning the usage of such hilly are from developing into residential or commercial area.

artic turban said...

for far too long these developers have been flaunting the laws by paying off the local councils and politicians to close one eye, well the time has come to pay for all these tidak apa attitude, I ask the writer of this article isn't it true what I have just stated, in your heart of hearts, you can give bullshit PUBLIC RELATIONS stories to everybody, but please lah don't lie to yourself, WE THE PEOPLE OF SELANGOR ARE FED UP WITH THESE CONCRETE JUNGLES, the amount of substandard work done by developers is a nighmare, the quality promised and received are 2 totally different stories, the malaysian developers taking shortcuts and not doing proper environmental studies on soil and erosion on land around the development are wvery much to be desired. you can bring some clown hillside specialist to give examples, well the rakyat also can find another clown hillside specialist to give a contrasting statement, you give an example of hong kong, but what you forgot to mention is hong kong sits on solid bedrock whereas majority of the hillslopes in malaysia are of limesone, me lame man no specialist but I also can give you a rebuttal. live with your fate, convert the hills to eco- tourism, and pay back to the rakyat for the destruction you greedy money grubbing parasites who have been raping our green lungs for far too long. your days of raping the environment are over, and for that matter wtf do I care whether your companies go bust or not. if you want to pull out you money from pakatan states, well the choise is yours not ours.