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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Developers: Govt’s cooperation needed to avoid future mishaps

KUALA LUMPUR: The Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) Selangor has urged the Government and developers to work together in getting to the bottom of the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide.

“The Government shouldn’t jump the gun in restricting hillside development while developers should cooperate with the authorities and offer a helping hand in search and rescue efforts,” said branch chairman Datuk FD Iskandar Mohamed Mansor.

He was commenting on the Government’s call to review all existing developments near highlands following the landslide on Saturday.

“Various parties have offered explanations for the cause of the landslide.

“But as long as we don’t have a technical report on the incident, let’s not speculate,” Iskandar said.

The association would email its members feedback regarding their hillside projects. But for now, people should offer their sympathy to the landslide victims and not point fingers, he said.

Housing developer Datuk David Kong Hon Kong said issuing a stop-work order on all hillside development was not fair to developers.

Datuk David Kong Hon Kong

“It is fine for local governments to penalise developers who do not comply with regulations.

“But it is unfair to pull the plug on other developers who have already obtained approval from the authorities.

“Imposing a blanket ban on such projects would also reflect negatively on the nation’s construction sector and erode the confidence of investors,” he said in an interview.

“The landslide in Bukit Antarabangsa should not mar the entire sector because other developments such as that in Genting Highlands and Damansara Heights did not encounter major problems.”

He said the Government needed to step up monitoring at construction sites to avoid any mishaps.

The local authorities should also find ways to improve construction work at hillsides instead of closing down such development, Kong added.

By The Star

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