MPAJ plans to demolish rest of Highland Towers


MPAJ officers and the police visiting the site. — Photos: Courtesy of MPAJ

THIRTY years after the Highland Towers collapse, the two abandoned blocks at the site in Hulu Kelang, Selangor can finally be brought down by year end.

Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) is initiating a process to demolish the remaining blocks, following multiple complaints by neighbouring residents.

Its president Dr Ani Ahmad said the process would start with MPAJ issuing a notice to the property owner to demolish the structures.

“The notice will be sent to Highland Properties Sdn Bhd as the site owner, and Malaysian Department of Insolvency as the company’s liquidator.

“Should the company fail to take action (to demolish), MPAJ will initiate a court process to obtain a court order to carry out the demolition,” she said after chairing the council’s full board meeting yesterday.

Ani said the notice was expected to be issued by April.

She added that due process would be carried out according to Sections 87, 88 and 89 of the Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974 (Act 133).

These relate to nuisances (Sections 87 and 88) and demolition of a house unfit for habitation (Section 89).

A haunting view of Highland Towers in Hulu Kelang. One of its blocks collapsed in December 1993, leading to evacuation of residents from two neighbouring blocks resulting in abandonment of the site. — FilepicA haunting view of Highland Towers in Hulu Kelang. One of its blocks collapsed in December 1993, leading to evacuation of residents from two neighbouring blocks resulting in abandonment of the site. — Filepic

“If there are no challenges for MPAJ to obtain the court order, and should the court agree, we expect to carry out the demolition sometime after August.

“We estimate it will cost between RM6mil and RM7mil for the demolition works,” she said, adding that MPAJ would claim the cost from the owner.

On Feb 15, MPAJ, along with the police, made a site visit to Highland Towers.

“We received many complaints from nearby residents about trespassers and the place being used by drug addicts.

“It is also an eyesore and affects the value of surrounding properties,” said Ani.

On whether there were plans for the site post-demolition, she said this was yet to be determined.

Two blocks still stand at the abandoned Highland Towers site.Two blocks still stand at the abandoned Highland Towers site.

On Dec 11, 1993, one of the three Highland Towers blocks collapsed, killing 48 in the nation’s worst housing tragedy.

Residents of the two remaining towers were evacuated for safety reasons and eventually, the area was abandoned.

In 2018, then Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said the site would be turned into a recreational park after demolition of the remaining towers as the area was unsuitable for any structure.

However, this failed to materialise.

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