The Highland Towers tragedy in 1993 that killed about 48 innocent lives including former Deputy Prime Minister Musa Hitam’s son was almost forgotten until now. If you remembered correctly when the Highland Towers tragedy occurred about 15-years ago the nation was not prepared to handle it and most of the precious time was wasted thinking what to do next. The SMART (Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue) Team, mirroring Singapore’s DART Team was formed. Right after Highland Towers’ sad incident the federal government, state government, local authorities and dozens of politicians almost swear on their mothers’ grave that there would be no more hillside development.
Just like stock markets the greed soon caused the excessive hillside construction to retaliate and punish these greedy people. The balance of nature has been disturbed and it’s no surprise that mother nature decided that enough is enough. Ironically the death of many high profile politicians’ very close family members failed to stop the greed or to be precise “corruption”. You don’t think the greedy developers can just build without the green right from the local authorities and other corrupt agencies, do you? But then the local authorities might argue that if the top ministers are equally corrupt why can’t they?
Therefore you can’t blame entirely opinions by certain people that those politicians who lost their loves one actually deserve it because they never did anything in their power to preserve and respect the geographical landscape and Mother Nature. Surprisingly even after they lost their loves one, they still have the cheeks to go about with their normal routine as if there’s nothing happen. Without political will the greedy developers will continue to show the corrupt politicians the money and the next hillside development will be granted in no time. Hence people like Prime Minister, deputy PM, Ministers, politicians etc should stop showing their crocodiles’ tears whenever such tragedy happens.
The fact is even if the PM was somehow buried alive by a landslide his successor will not issue permanent instruction to stop such hillside development simply because the “profit” is too lucrative to be given the “pass”. That’s the depth of corruption culture in Malaysia. Get prepare with many more nice-to-hear “freeze on hillslope projects” in the next couple of days by government agencies and authorities and take it with a pinch of salt. If you think the government has miraculously awaken from the latest landslide at Bukit Antarabangsa that killed four people then you can be forgiven for living in the caves. In Malaysia no lives are more valuable than millions of dollars to be made from hillslope projects.
Furthermore you can easily blame it on rainy season and acts of God to justify the death of innocent people. In addition, what are the chances that every hillside development will end up like Highland Towers or Bukit Antarabangsa? When tragedy happens it won’t be too late for developers (mostly are politically-linked itself) to come running to the politician(s) affected and offer some money as compensation. Almost all the time such strategy works and it’s back to business as usual. Will the government and developers ever learn from 1993 Highland Towers and 2008 Bukit Antarabangsa tragedies? Over my dead body!
Other Articles That May Interest You …