Bukit Antarabangsa tragedy...Ada fulus, terus lulus!
Each time there is a landslide at the Ampang area, we get statements from Government officials and politicians that development in the hilly areas will be prohibited permanently.
But who are we kidding? A couple of months after such tragedies, we see cranes and tractors moving in to work on new projects.
Why is the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council allowing this? Shouldn't it be held responsible if the projects that it approves cause such tragedies? It reeks of corruption. Surely, there must be some form of incentive which encourages officers to approve these projects although they are not supposed to. Otherwise, will developers continue to get the necessary approval for projects in the hilly areas? Money, it seems, can buy all forms of approvals. Ada pulus, terus lulus!
The highlands in Ampang serve as water catchment areas. This simply means the level of rainfall in these areas is high. If we chop down the trees, we won't have enough greens to absorb the water. If the water is not absorbed, it remains on the ground and loosens the soil. The soil then begins to move and cause landslides.
So many lives have been lost, so many properties destroyed, landslides after landslides have occured, but trees are being chopped down indiscriminately and developments at the hilly areas continue.
My name is Mohd Ashraf Abdullah. I was born and raised in Tampin, Negeri Sembilan. I am a journalist at heart. I served the New Straits Times as a journalist for 17 years, beginning as a cadet reporter in 1988. I was trained to be a political writer. I served the NST in various capacities including as Staff Correspondent of the Kuantan Bureau and London Correspondent. I resigned as News Editor in 2004 to join Golden Hope Plantations Berhad as Deputy General Manager, Group Corporate Affairs. Two years later I was made General Manager, Group Corporate Affairs. When Golden Hope and Kumpulan Guthrie Berhad were merged with Sime Darby Berhad in November 2007, I chose not to accept the offer of employment by the merged entity. I was a scholar of the British Government and possess a Masters Degree in International Studies and Diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. I am also a Jefferson's Fellow of the East West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.