Media Statement by Loke Siew Fook in Petaling Jaya on
Tuesday, 9th December 2008:
The Federal Government must handle
the relief efforts in the Bukit Antarabangsa tragedy professionally and
It is very disturbing to hear that many
residents living within the danger zone at Bukit Antarabangsa refused to
move out from their houses although advised by the authorities for fear
of their belongings being stolen. This shows that the confidence level
to the rescue team in particular the police force is at a very low
point. Although the place is currently very dangerous and facing a
tragedy, the fact that the people there have no confidence in the police
to take good care of their properties and safeguard their interest
reflects very badly on the professionalism of the police force.
The Federal Government must view this concern seriously and immediately
direct the Inspector General of Police to give full assurance to the
public that the police will act professionally in handling the tragedy
and any wrongdoings or theft by any quarters will be taken sternest
action. DAPSY hopes that the residents will move out voluntarily for the
time being to avoid any mishaps and to facilitate all rescue efforts.
DAPSY expresses our sympathy to all the victims in the Bukit
Antarabangsa tragedy and we shared their sorrows and sadness. We urge
the government be it federal or state to provide all necessary
assistance to the victims and the affected residents.
However, the government must be seen as acting fairly and must not be
seen as giving double-standard treatment. We feel uncomfortable with the
suggestion by the International Trade and Industry Minister Tan Sri
Muhyiddin Yassin to provide free hotel rooms to the affected residents.
This is most unprecedented.
We would like to remind the government that if this is done for Bukit
Antarabangsa victims, then it will open a precedent for all natural
disasters victims in the future. Is the government prepare to provide
free hotel rooms for all victims whenever there is a disaster be it in
kampong or small villages? In other areas, the government has always
relocates the affected residents in community halls or schools as a
We have nothing personal against the residents in Bukit Antarabangsa but
the government must treat all victims in such tragedy fairly and
* Loke Siew Fook, DAP Socialist Youth (DAPSY) National
Chairman & MP for Rasah