Monday, February 16, 2009

Royal Commission on Bkt Antarabangsa tragedy - Malaysiakini

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Bar has called for the immediate setting-up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Dec 6 Bukit Antarabangsa tragedy.

It also strongly called for the removal of the immunity of local authorities and officers under Section 95 of the Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974 and its repeal.

It has asked for appropriate action or sanction to be taken against the parties identified as being responsible for the Bukit Antarabangsa tragedy, which claimed four lives and caused substantial injury and destruction to property.

It also asked for relevant authorities to sanction the immediate discontinuation of all on-going hillside development projects which did not meet the minimum requirements of safety and/or have not complied with the applicable laws, regulations and guidelines.

“As a precautionary measure, all hillside development on gradients exceeding 25 degrees should be banned until proper laws are passed,” said the Bar Council’s task force in its report on Bukit Antarabangsa.

The task force was appointed by the Bar Council in December last year’ among others’ to find solutions to prevent or minimise future landslides in or around hill slope developments.

The six-member of the task force was led by chairman Roger Tan.

The Bar also called for the relevant authorities to conduct an immediate safety review of all existing hillside development.

“The Malaysian Bar strongly call for an immediate review of all existing approvals at the cost of the developer,” it said.

Among others, the Malaysian Bar also called for the relevant authorities to set up a monitoring team immediately to provide monitoring of all hillside developments and to detect any signs of danger.

In a press release, Malaysian Bar president Datuk S. Ambiga said the Bar Council was deeply concerned about the recent announcement by Works Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Zin Mohamed that there would not be a blanket ban on hillside developments.

“It is particularly alarming that this statement has been issued at a time when the many controversies surrounding hillside development still remain unresolved, without proper explanation by the authorities.

“It is also understood that the Federal Government’s Commission Investigation report into the cause of the landslide at Bukit Antarabangsa, which has been completed, has yet to be made public,” she said.

On the task force’s report, Ambiga said it identified the key likely contributory causes of landslide tragedies, including the lack of competent expertise in design, construction, site supervision and maintenance and communication during the construction proce

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