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Landslide tragedy beyond control, says Abdullah

KUALA LUMPUR, 9 Dec 2008: Housing developers and all relevant agencies had taken necessary measures to ensure the safety of the houses at Bukit Antarabangsa, where a major landslide destroyed 14 houses and killed four people on 6 Dec.

“The tragedy was something that we regret very much and it was something that was beyond the control of all the parties concerned, although they had considered all the possible risks involved,” said Prime Minister Datuk Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

“What happened was most regrettable and we have to learn from the lesson. Let it be a lesson because this is the third time that such an incident had occurred. That’s why Datuk Seri Najib (Razak) and I had decided that there should be no more approvals for housing development in such areas (hillslopes with risks),” he said.

Abdullah was speaking at a media conference after chairing the Barisan Nasional (BN) Supreme Council meeting at the Putra World Trade Centre, here.

“I assume they [the developers] would have taken into account of the soil stability and all the technical studies would have been done. It’s something they cannot ignore, they are aware of our concerns, about building houses on these hills in such areas, especially on hillslopes, and those who are responsible for building these houses will have considered all these factors,” he said. 

He was responding to a question from the press concerning the intention of the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide victims to sue certain parties as they believed the tragedy occurred due to negligence by these parties.

Abdullah also stated his agreement on the steps taken by the various government leaders concerning the construction of houses on hilly areas and near hillslopes.

He hoped the other states would also give emphasis on houses built on hillslopes or on hilltops before a similar tragedy struck. — Bernama


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