PETALING JAYA: Penang MCA has hit out at the state government over the repeated incidences of landslides, saying that it must “wake up” to the problems of hill overdevelopment.
Its state liaison committee chairman Datuk Tan Teik Cheng said the Penang government should start taking this issue seriously and investigate its root cause as quickly as possible.
“Is it truly an accident? Or is it due to uncontrolled development?
“The government has always handled development in an authoritarian way, disregarding the voices of its people as well as various groups,” he claimed in a statement yesterday.
Tan was responding to the latest landslide at a construction site in Jalan Bukit Kukus, Paya Terubong, which saw four people killed so far.
The government, he said, should ensure that erosion mitigation works were carried out and that contractors followed the standard operating procedures as well as put in place public safeguards.
The previous tragedy in Tanjung Bungah, Tan added, should have served as a painful lesson and precursor to start addressing the perpetual issue of uncontrolled development of slopes.
“Although natural disasters can’t be mitigated completely, it is still your duty as the government to take provisions to reduce this probability to its lowest by installing a culture of accountability and supervising responsibility,” he said.
Meanwhile, Penang Hill Corporation general manager Cheok Lay Leng said the Bukit Kukus accident served as a reminder to be more cautious with projects that involve slopes.
He said they had been working on stabilising Penang Hill slopes, repairing drains and roads following the Nov 4 and 5 storm last year.
“Even though it was raining heavily for the past few days, no landslide had been reported here.
“The bad weather only slowed down our slope and hill repairs since we do not allow any of our contractors and workers to work on rainy days for fear of accidents,” he said.
“We are afraid of our workers getting hurt, so we have engineers to monitor the projects when the contractors and workers are doing their work.”