Saturday, 6 December 2008

It was 3.47am.

In the silent of the night a rumble was heard, masses of earth moved, enveloped upon homes.

It was 3.47am.

They were sound asleep. Unknowingly to some of them, that was their final sleep.

Ever since I arrived home, all I see was development – high rise apartments and condominiums, new townships, more houses, and land clearing.

And all that I often said was ‘KL is over developed’, ‘Why nobody controlled these developments?’

Even the beloved Taman Melawati which had minimal or controlled development in the past was not spared. It is going through major developments and has even gone through a big change compared to my childhood days.

Do we need all these multimillion Ringgit projects? Or more of it?
Do we need more homes?
Do we need high migration?
Do we need more cars?

KL is getting more and more congested - with human and vehicles. Every home owns at least 2.5 cars. But public transportation has not improved much.

Are all these expenditure worth the lives who were buried under the landslide?

What about the lives that were lost?

What about the children who were looking forward to their school holidays?

What about the parents who had hopes, dreams, and aspirations for their children? For their family?

What about the people who were looking forward to a nice long weekend break?

What about their homes?

Did anyone realised the increased of developments caused more harm than good?

The influx of these developments has caused increased cases of flooding due to loss of water catchments areas.

Each time it floods in KL - our capital, home to the world tallest twin towers - The Petronas Twin Towers, it is a loss of tens and hundreds of thousands Ringgits.

These flooding prompted the government to spent RM1.9bn (USD514.6m) on the SMART Tunnel (Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel).

Has anyone ever put one and one together?

Has anyone ever thought of controlled development? Planning permission?

Yes, we could argue the benefits of all these projects - government spending, developing nation, reputational projects.

But do we want to be famous for the further loss of green areas?
Do we want to be known as a capital of flood?
Do we want to continue to waste more money during a flood?
Do we need a second SMART system?

And do we need further loss of lives?

Did anyone realise how much it costs for those rescue missions?

It was 3.47am.

The emergency services have been wailing its sirens periodically ever since.

Rescue efforts has been aggressive - the police, the army, the fire and rescue services, civil defence department, ambulances, local authority, SMART (Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue) team, helicopters, diggers, and even dumper trucks, rushed to the scene providing their best efforts.

Are we as smart as we think we are?

Is this another event where ministers come out to show their faces and sympathies?

Another event for hoo haaas - ‘No hillside development’, ‘Planning permit required’, etc.

Do they not understand it is not all about hillside development - it is about over development!

Did anyone remember that on 11 December 1993, a very high profile landslide tragedy happened not far down the road from here, caused a residential block - Highland Towers Block 1, to collapse and claimed 48 lives?

And what about the numerous landslides around the Ulu Klang area?

Or the various landslides that has been happening in KL of late?

It was 3.47am.

I woke up to the power cut.

It was 3.47am.

A landslide happened in Bukit Antarabangsa, destroying the homes and lives of many.

When will we ever learn?

All pics are from The Star Online Gallery, for more pics click here.

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