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Stop greed. Save Bukit Gasing


Media Statement
by Ronnie Liu


(Petaling Jaya, Monday) :  About 400 residents and representatives of various organizations gathered at the foothill of the only green lung of Petaling Jaya at 4.30pm on Sunday, November 19,2006.


The chairman of the local joint action committee Victor Oorjitham was there early to lead the demonstration. The residents there were determined to preserve the Bukit Gasing. Their lives are now being threatened should the DBKL went ahead with its plan to allow a developer to cut the hill for 140 bungalows.


DAP was represented by Lau Weng San and I. We were there to lend our support to the residents of Petaling Jaya in saving Bukit Gasing. Some PKR leaders like Sivarasa and Shamsul Iskandar were also there together with Elizabeth Wong of Hakam, Yap Swee Seng of Suaram, Residents Association chief Eddie Lee and lawyer Derek Fernandez and several students from DEMA. The State assemblyman Dr Lim Thuan Seng of Gerakan was also there but he is non-committal in the struggle as far as I know. He quickly told me that only the hill on the side of DBKL will be cut. I told him that he should still stand up for the Bukit Gasing people because the development would certainly affect and threaten the lives of the local residents living on both sides of the hill. I also reminded him that he cannot wash his hands because his party, Gerakan, is after all part of the Federal Government coalition.


We managed to climb up the slopes together with Karam Singh of TV3 and other journalists from The Sun and other Chinese dailies after reasoning with the Pak Cik who was employed by the developer to block the access road to the hill. I challenged the old man whether he has any evidence to show that his boss actually owns the hill. He panicked and certainly do not know how to respond to my request but to give in to us.


We found that the developer has started clearing the hill and the residents would have act very fast to stop the works. The works carried out so far has been quite extensive. We certainly have to lodge our report and demand for a stop work order immediately from the DBKL, the Ministry of Federal Territories and other relevant authorities immediately.


The Government has ruled that slopes which are steeper than 15 degrees will not be allowed to be developed into residential area. The Government must honor its rules and reject the application to clear the hill immediately. Besides, there is a reservoir on top of the hill, holding some 2.4 million litres of water for the residents in and around the Bukit Gasing area.


Yes, we certainly do not want to witness another Highland Towers Disaster.  The Mayor of Kuala Lumpur Roslin Hassan will be leaving office in December this year. He will not be there to accept any responsibility should any mishap takes place just like what has happened to the Highland Towers Disaster some years ago.



*  Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew, DAP CEC member and NGO bureau chief

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