KUALA LUMPUR — Oct. 24, 2018: The lack of coordination between agencies and compliance with laws by developers are among the causes of landslides involving hillside development.
According to environmental activist Amlir Ayat, although a project had been approved according to standard operating procedures, unwanted incidents are inevitable if guidelines and laws are not followed at the implementation stage.
“Every hillside development has its limits, depending on the degree of the slope. Nowadays many people want to get rich quick, do projects here and there quickly without addressing the environmental issues.
“We have many rules; the problem is non-compliance. I am confident that if laws are followed, this (the impact of a tragedy) can be minimised,” he said to Bernama, when asked to comment on the landslide in Paya Terubong, Penang, that killed nine workers and injured four others.
To avoid a recurrence, Amlir suggests that the government review some of the guidelines regarding development in hilly areas and existing water resources management.
Each state should have a body that oversees the management of water resources and environment to prevent unplanned development.
Pertubuhan Pelindung Khazanah Alam Malaysia president Puan Sri Shariffa Sabrina Syed Akil said the government needs to review every development in a hilly area that risks a landslide.
“Any development on hill slopes at risk of landslides should be stopped and the government should be serious about this,” she said.
The Paya Terubong landslide occurred last Friday, burying containers used living quarters for migrant workers.
Apart from the bodies recovered, one worker is believed to have been buried and has not been found.