Time to get cracking
experienced three cyclical bust and boom periods during the last three
decades in the construction sector. It is enough to say that at present
there are good profits to be made in the housing sector. However, the
developers in their haste to make profits out of this giant upmarket craving
for homes have neglected to cater to the poor and those who can barely
afford homes of their own by building low-cost units costing RM25,000 each.
It was the perception of the Government that there was a tardiness among
housing developers to do something about the non- profitable low-cost
housing sector that it initiated the Special Low-Cost Housing Programme
where it envisaged the building of 80,000 low-cost housing units a year over
three years. The results were lamentable, to say the least.
Ban on hammer piling
CITY Hall is
to ban the use of diesel-powered hammer piles at construction sites to
overcome noise pollution. It will encourage other piling systems such as the
hydraulic pile, the pneumatic pile, and the bore pile, said City Hall deputy
director-general II Haji Abdul Ghani Mohd Rais.
Strata dialogue with flat dwellers
THE Seremban Municipal Council will hold dialogue sessions on the Strata
Title Act 1985 among flat dwellers to educate them on their legal
responsibilities. This follows problems encountered by the council and
developers in getting flat occupants to form management corporations to look
Still at work after 10pm
THE contractor of a condominium project in Jalan Klang Lama was caught
working beyond the permitted working hours when City Hall officials raided
six construction sites last night. The contractors were either issued
notices or warned for failing to observe City Hall's Street, Drainage and
Errant developers rapped
Developers Association has urged City Hall to be firm on errant developers
who cause flooding in the city. Its secretary-general, Mr Alan Tong Kok Mau,
said City Hall should issue compounds or a stop-work order on any developer
who fails to abide by the regulations of the local authority.
City Hall finds silt traps
at construction sites wanting
SILT-TRAPPING measures at several construction sites in the city have been
found to be inadequate and they continue to pose serious drainage problems.
This conclusion was reached by a task force on construction sites set up by
City Hall four months ago following an inspection of several construction
sites on Tuesday night.
About RM50,000 for a Penang medium low-cost
- The medium low-cost houses to be built under the State's affordable
housing scheme will have similar floor area and rooms as that of low-cost
housing but will cost double the amount. Malaysian Association of Architects
(PAM) (northern chapter) chairman Lim Hun Fang confirmed last night that the
floor area of a medium low-cost two-bedroom flat would be around 480 to 550
sq feet and consists of a living and dining room, a kitchen, a bathroom and
Stop building golf courses in Klang valley,
not be any more golf courses in the Klang Valley for environmental reasons,
according to experts engaged in a study on future development of golf
courses in the country. This is one of the recommendations made by
geologists, botanists and developers who make up the 10-member committee set
up by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) for the three-month study.
Builders no longer keen on golf courses
Government is planning to conduct a comprehensive study before deciding on
developing more golf courses in the State. Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri
Muhammad Muhammad Taib said though they would conduct the study, there was
indication that developers were no longer keen on opening more courses.
Seremban to prosecute 49 for illegal
THE Seremban Municipal Council will prosecute 49 houseowners who built
illegal extensions to their properties. Forty-one are from Taman Bunga
Blossom and eight from Taman Bidara.
Intensified checks at work sites
THE Seremban Municipal Council will step up checks at construction sites in
the municipality to make sure developers conform with earthwork procedures.
Menteri Besar Tan Sri Mohamad Isa Abdul Samad, who is council president,
said indiscriminate earthworks carried out by some developers had
contributed to the frequent flash floods in the municipality lately.
Greens should be developed far from
Fri. - Golf courses will not be detrimental to the environment if their
development is carried out away from ecologically- sensitive areas such as
mangrove swamps, catchment areas and forest reserves, a senior research
officer with the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) said today. Dr
Abdul Rahim Nik said golf-course developers could contribute to the greening
of the country by focusing their attention on other areas such as former tin
mining or idle land.
Clients' Charter gets full support from Muar
MUAR, Fri. -
Taxpayers, in particular, housing developers and the business fraternity,
today came out in full support of the Clients' Charter initiated by the Muar
South District Council. Under the charter, which took effect on Tuesday,
council staff will provide maximum service to reduce unnecessary delay and
cut red-tape in the issuance of licences, certificates of fitness of
occupancy and other services.
EIA regulations: Four firms to be charged
KUALA LUMPUR, Sat. - Four developers will be charged in court soon for the
first time for violating the Environmental Impact Assessment regulations
which came into force in 1988. The offences are related to two golf course
developments, one in Negri Sembilan and the other in Bukit Lancang, Selangor,
a resort development in Perak and the operations of a quarry in Sabah.
Selangor to solve housing woes 06/12/1993 BT
Government is taking various measures starting with its budget for next year
to step up the construction of low-cost houses to overcome the housing
problem in the state by 2005. Menteri Besar Tan Sri Muhammad Haji Muhammad
Taib said special emphasis will be given to densely-populated areas which
were facing critical housing problems. The budget will be tabled next week.
Speaking at the 20th anniversary dinner of Shah Alam Properties, in Subang
last night, he said the Government will ensure that the rights of low-income
earners to own houses are not ignored in all housing projects in the state.
He said several changes will also be introduced in the 1994 budget
pertaining to the maintenance system and the responsibilities of the local
authorities which will be working with the developers to ensure conducive
conditions in housing estates. He also said SAP will be listed on the Kuala
Lumpur Stock Exchange next year. - Bernama
`Set up watchdog committee'
committee to check shoddy construction works has been proposed by Petaling
District Councillor Datuk Yap Pian Hon following yesterday's collapse of an
incomplete mini factory - the second in the district in less than two
months. An Indonesian worker was killed and another injured when the
building in the Puchong Perdana light industrial estate crashed down.
`Bumi quota not meant for non-Bumis'
THE Kedah Government will not allow housing developers to give the
Bumiputera's quota of the houses to the non-Bumiputeras, State Housing, Housing
and Local Government Committee chairman Abdul Rahman Ibrahim said yesterday.
Signs of negligence
POLICE are zooming in on negligence and the act of causing grievous hurt in
its investigations into last Sunday's collapse of a mini factory block being
built in the Puchong Perdana light industrial estate. Petaling Jaya police
said initial investigations revealed evidence indicating negligence as the
cause of the incident in which the building with 10 mini factory lots
Buck up, MB tells housing developers
Mon. - The Master Builders Association and Housing Developers Associations
have been urged to hold talks with their members on safety measures. They
have also been told to ensure that buildings are constructed according to
specifications laid down by the authorities to prevent untoward incidents.
Developers, contractors rapped
Resources Minister Datuk Lim Ah Lek yesterday took to task some building
developers and contractors who cut corners on safety at construction sites.
"Safety measures are actually savings for the contractors or developers," he
told reporters after a site visit to the Puchong Perdana Light Industrial
Estate, where a row of factories under construction collapsed on Sunday. One
Indonesian worker was killed and another injured in the incident. He said
that the contractors and developers are the ones that will lose out in the
event of an accident at the work site. "Work could be suspended while
investigations are being carried out. This can be a huge financial burden to
the workers, contractors and developers, who may not complete the project on
time," he said.
Builders face action
TWO construction companies will soon be hauled to court for two common
offences that have hampered efforts to prevent worksite injuries. The
offences are: failure to inform the Factories and Machinery Department a
week before construction work starts; and non-notification of worksite
More low-cost houses for squatters
THE squatter problem in Selangor is expected to be resolved by 2003
through a plan to build 5,000 units of low-cost houses annually. The State
Goverment, through various government agencies and its subsidiary companies,
has so far built 47,735 low-cost units.
Flash floods: Need for new guidelines
A NEW set of guidelines for construction sites, with emphasis on flood
mitigation measures, is urgently required to ensure rapid development does
not lead to more flash floods in the city. Federal Territory Drainage and
Irrigation Department director Tan Jiak Kim said the input for the
guidelines should come from various agencies, including the Department of
Environment, the Forestry Department, DID and City Hall.
Lim shocked over workers' primitive living
Tues. - Human Resources Minister Datuk Lim Ah Lek today expressed shock over
the "primitive conditions" under which construction workers were staying in
the Puchong Perdana light industrial estate. Lim went there this morning
with officials to take a look at the factory block that collapsed while
under construction on Sunday killing an Indonesian worker and injuring
Favourable response from developers
THE move by
the State Housing Policy and Strategies Committee to encourage the private
sector to construct affordable low and medium-low-cost housing costing
between RM25,000 and RM50,000 per unit has shown results, the House was told
yesterday. In replying to oral questions by Dr Teng Hock Nan (BN-Kebun Bunga),
State Housing Committee chairman Zakaria Bakar (BN-Ara Rendang) said that
the move has garnered favourable response from several private housing
developers in Penang even though its implementation began on Dec 1.
Errant builders warned over requirements for
Government will take stern action against developers who fail to comply with
the requirements for low-cost units in their housing schemes. Selangor
Menteri Besar Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib also warned developers who
switched their low-cost units to medium-cost units without the prior
approval from the relevant authorities would not be spared.
Unit to tackle hazardous wastes
THE Kuala Lumpur Environment Committee will meet Datuk Bandar Datuk Dr
Mazlan Ahmad on the setting up of a special unit to deal with emergencies
resulting from spillage or dumping of hazardous and toxic substances.
Committee chairman Lee Lam Thye said he will see Mazlan or raise the matter
at the City Hall advisory board meeting on Dec 14.
Jaya Municipal Council (MPPJ) will carry out another operation to check the
conditions of kongsis in two weeks time. Council secretary Kamarul Bahrim
Datuk Abdul Raof said besides the building department, the enforcement unit,
urban services and health department personnel will be involved in the
Rent flats to low income group
density and squatter problem in urban areas due to rural migration can be
overcome through a concept allowing bachelors and married couples to rent
flats either owned by the State Government or private companies. Datuk
Miskon Sutero (BN-Jeram) said the State Government should promote the
concept among developers.
Short of manpower to carry out checks
Petaling have a free run in the way kongsis in their construction sites are
managed, no thanks to the Petaling District Council's manpower shortage. The
council is unable to spare officers needed to carry out spot checks on the
kongsis once developers get the permit to build these workers quarters.
Proposal to build cheap homes for the
09/12/1993 NST By R.V. Veera;
Annie Freeda Cruez
THE Selangor Government has been urged to offer houses for rental to
overcome squatter problems. State Assemblyman for Jeram, Datuk Miskon Sutero,
said the State Government should direct government bodies and private
developers to build houses which could be rented out.
Understanding joint venture pacts and their
AS the building and construction industry continues to move rapidly over the
next several years, the costs involved in the development of commercial
property is expected to soar. Even today, it is not uncommon to hear of
commercial projects costing hundreds of millions of ringgit and there are
already a number of existing projects which have breached the billion
ringgit price tag. As a result of this, developers intending to embark on
such large-scale and grandiose projects may be forced to look for partners
to relieve them of the huge financial burden which may be imposed on them if
they become the sole developer for such projects. Teaming up with other
developers is one way to get around the hurdle and this can be done in a
number of ways, such as through joint ventures (JVs).
Projects to prove low-cost housing viable
PENANG, Thurs. - Two pilot housing projects to be carried out in Terengganu
and Perak are set to disprove most developers' claims that low- cost housing
construction is not profitable. Housing and Local Government Deputy Minister
Osu Sukam said today two models of low-cost units developed by the ministry
and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) provided a slightly bigger built-up area
than present low- cost houses.
Council urged to probe Taman Midlands
Island Municipal Council (MPPP) has been asked to check whether there was
any irregularity in the Taman Midlands project in Pulau Tikus. Dr Teng Hock
Nan (BN-Kebun Bunga) said he was surprised at the speed with which the units
of Taman Midlands have all been sold out, especially as announced by MPPP
just a day after the Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the
directors of Pangkal Permata (M) Sdn Bhd and MPPP president Datuk Tan Gim
Developer of estate to face stern action
District Council will take stern action against the developer of the Puchong
Perdana light industrial estate if checks reveal workers there are living in
filthy conditions. A council official said the developer would be fined if
the workers were found living without basic amenities.
Expert: Do more for low-cost housing
PENANG, Fri. -
The public sector and private housing developers must be more sensitive to
the needs of the lower income groups. They should give priority to them
instead of focusing on the middle or high income groups if they were really
sincere in wanting to help overcome the shortage of low-cost houses.
Water tanks at flats will be replaced in
Government will replace a number of water tanks on high rise buildings which
are in need of repair, the State Assembly was told yesterday. State Housing,
Environment, Culture and SocioCivic Amenities Committee chairman Zakaria
Bakar (BN-Ara Rendang) said the Government planned to replace 12 water tanks
at the Rifle Range flats.
Act against the errant parties, urges Lee
Sat. - Former Bukit Bintang MP Lee Lam Thye urged the authorities to act
against errant consultants, contractors and developers involved in inferior
construction standards, resulting in building collapses. In a statement,
Lee, a member of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, said the
condominium tragedy was of utmost concern to the public as there had been a
spate of building collapses in the last two months.
Set up panel of experts,
IN THE wake of the collapse of a 12-storey Highland Towers apartment block
in Hulu Klang on Saturday, the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has
urged that a committee of experts be set up to study the construction of
high-rise buildings in the future. Its president Zainal Rampak, in welcoming
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's statement that agencies at
the Federal level and the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council will investigate the
incident, urged the Government to also set up a committee of experts.
Builders need clear-cut policy
should have a clear-cut policy on building condominiums on hillsides to
avoid disasters like Saturday's incident where a landslide caused a Highland
Towers condominium block to collapse. The policy should identify stringent
measures to be taken to ensure that any development of hillsides is done
with strict maintenance.
Factors behind collapse of apartment block
factors may have contributed to the collapse of the Highland Towers
apartment block last Saturday - besides a landslide that triggered it. Prof
Dr Ibrahim Komoo of the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia's Geology Department,
who had visited the site, said one of them was improper building design, a
factor which needed to be validated by the Public Works Department.
Call for more control over construction
DATUK Bandar Datuk Mazlan Ahmad wants City Hall to have greater supervisory
powers to ensure materials used in the construction of buildings were of
high standard. He said this would enable the authority to carry out
independent checks to ensure no shortcuts were taken during the construction
stage as these could have disastrous consequences later.
Dr M: We will review hill projects
KUALA LUMPUR, Sun. - The Government will review development projects on
hills, especially if they involve the clearing of trees, in the light of the
Highland Towers building collapse, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir
Mohamad said today. He said it was obvious that earth movement had knocked
down the base of the building, causing it to collapse.
Don't sacrifice safety, quality, Muhyiddin
tells developers 13/12/1993 NST
- Housing developers should not compromise on the safety and quality of
their buildings, Johor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today.
"Safety and quality, including all environmental aspects, must be taken into
consideration," said Muhyiddin when expressing sadness over the collapse of
the 12-storey Highland Towers apartment block in Hulu Klang, Selangor
Safety check on all high-rise buildings
ALL high-rise buildings and condominiums nationwide will undergo stringent
inspections to ensure they are safe for occupation. Buildings under
construction on hillslopes will also be checked. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk
Seri Anwar Ibrahim said although at present, some of the buildings are
confirmed to be safe, "we want to be doubly sure that they will still be
safe in the future".
Time to act
IT WAS the
mother of building disasters. Block A of the 12-storey Highland Towers in
Hulu Klang just crumbled on Saturday afternoon. At least 50 residents are
still trapped inside the debris and shell of a once proud tower. Authorities
hold out slim hopes for those trapped inside, who include former Deputy
Prime Minister Datuk Musa Hitam's only son and his daughter-in-law. Rescue
work has been going on during the last three days. Musa was a fine study of
grace under stress. The television cameras captured vividly the scene of a
distraught father waiting for news of his son and daughter-in-law. It also
showed him gently brushing aside reporters who wanted to ask him questions.
"Sorry, nothing to say, ask the officials," he said. The reporters and
photographers could not be blamed, too. They were just going about their
work. That is the hard part of press work. Reporters would be happier
recording the country's achievements like the successful staging of Lima 93
which just ended in Langkawi. However one cannot choose. News is news,
especially bad news, and the collapse of the block of luxury high-rise
apartments is really bad news.
State Governments taking steps to prevent
- The State Government has set up a committee to check on the safety of all
old and high rise buildings. Announcing this after a special State Executive
Council meeting at the State Assembly today, Chief Minister Dr Koh Tsu Koon
said the decision was made in the wake of the collapse of the Highland
Towers apartment block in Hulu Klang on Saturday.
Enforcement of building law
Government will ensure that housing developers, especially those involved in
the construction of condominiums, adhere strictly to regulations, Chief
Minister Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Tamby Chik said yesterday. He said in Malacca
the Municipal Council has been directed to carry out strict inspection
before issuing certificate of fitness (CF) for houses, especially
condominiums. The developers are required to engage qualified consultants to
supervise the construction of their projects to ensure that they are safe,
he said, adding that these measures are necessary to avoid tragedy like the
one in Hulu Klang, Selangor. However, Abdul Rahim said most of the
condominiums in the state are on flat land and none on hilltop. - Bernama
HDA plans to draw up blacklist
THE Housing Developers Association (HDA) plans to draw up a blacklist of
contractors, consultants and engineers who flout the law to ensure that
developers are in good hands when working on construction projects.
Secretary-general Alan Tong Kok Mau said this was decided at a meeting last
Saturday among HDA representatives from Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and
Effects of tragedy on condo mart to be felt
in 3 months
THERE will be no immediate effect from the Highland Towers tragedy on the
property market. However, the effects will likely be felt in three months'
time. "The repercussions of the incident will take time to surface in the
property market but around March next year, the outcome will be more
apparent," real estate company Domain Properties principal Che King Tow told
Business Times yesterday.
Developers in the dark
Selangor are continuing their construction activities although the State
Government had ordered a halt to high-rise developments, especially those on
hillslopes. Without an official directive, developers are uncertain what
type of construction activities are banned.
Talks on safety of buildings
Developer's Association (HDA) will organise a seminar to discuss the
responsibility of those involved in building highrise buildings. Association
secretary Alan Tong Kok Mau said the seminar will be held on Jan 3 on the
`Safety of High-rise Buildings'.
Guidelines on technical and safety aspects
technical and safety aspects of highrise building construction in hill
slopes in Selangor will be issued to developers in two days. The guidelines,
formulated by a high-level committee formed by the Selangor Government to
check construction of high-rises in hilly areas has defined a building above
five-storey as a high-rise building.
Way to ensure quality buildings
of independent judgement among parties involved in construction site work -
engineers, developers and builders - should be looked into to ensure quality
buildings. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health director Lee
Lam Thye said this situation came about because most developers have their
own construction company.
Verification by second consultant proposed
CITY Hall has
proposed that it be made compulsory for developers to appoint a second
consultant to verify whether newly-constructed buildings comply with safety
requirements and are fit to be given a Certificate of Fitness. Datuk Bandar
Datuk Mazlan Ahmad said all applications to build high-rise condominiums and
apartments, that have already been given a development order by City Hall,
have been frozen indefinitely.
15 housing developers will provide
Tues. - Fifteen housing developers carrying out projects on hill slopes in
Ampang have agreed to provide geo-technical studies on their projects to the
Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) in two week's time. This was agreed by
the developers who met council officials in an emergency meeting today to
discuss ongoing projects in the area in the light of the Highland Towers
apartment block tragedy in Hulu Klang last Saturday.
DOE: Change works and payment schedule 15/12/1993
Tues. - The Department of Environment (DOE) has proposed changes to the
existing schedule of works and payments in the construction industry to
arrest soil erosion problems. Its director-general, Datuk Dr Abu Bakar
Jaafar, said in an interview that the changes were to rectify the current
situation where mitigative measures to minimise erosion were neglected.
Checks on buildings in coastal areas
TERENGGANU, Tues. - Menteri Besar Tan Sri Wan Mokhtar Ahmad has directed the
Public Works and the Drainage and Irrigation departments to check the
structures of buildings in coastal areas. He said architects as well as
developers engaged in the design and construction of buildings should
co-operate with the authorities by providing building plans and other
Association to blacklist errant contractors,
Tues. - The Housing Developers Association plans to blacklist housing
contractors and professional consultants who neglect their duties and carry
out sub-standard work. Its secretary Alan Tong Kok Mau said today the
proposal was one of the resolutions made at a meeting between the HDA and
its Sabah and Sarawak branches last Saturday.
Now, condominium phobia
15/12/1993 NST By Peter B.
FOR someone who lives in the shadow of the condominium maze atop Bangsar you
can imagine the fears triggered by the collapse of Highland Towers and my
concern that the authorities and contractors will ignore the problems it
highlights. What this tragedy does do is focus on an apparent lack of
understanding on the part of our engineers and contractors of the forces of
nature, the danger involved in land clearing and hill cutting and the
inability of modern concrete structures, even retaining walls, to withstand
earth movements caused by water pressure building up below the surface.
Directive to housing developers over quota for Bumis 15/12/1993 NST
BUKIT MERTAJAM, Tues. - The State Government has directed housing developers
to sell 30 per cent of residential homes they build to the Penang Bumiputera
Co-ordinating Unit (UPBPP), said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Dr Ibrahim Saad.
These houses will be held in trust by the UPBPP until all of them are re-sold
to Bumiputera buyers.
No builder has applied for ISO 9000
NOT a single Malaysian construction company, including those which build
condominiums and other high-rise buildings, has applied for the ISO 9000
certification standard. Standards and Industrial Research Institute of
Malaysia (Sirim) Director-General Datuk Dr Ahmad Tajuddin Ali said thus far
only one building material manufacturer has come forward.
Builders told to submit reports
building developers with projects in hilly areas are advised to submit
construction plans and relevant reports to the Selangor Government. This is
to enable a high-level committee to assess the project's technical aspects
Study to determine need for special SAR unit
PETALING JAYA, Wed. - Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the Government was
seriously looking into the possibility of setting up a special search-
and-rescue unit to tackle such disasters and tragedies as that of the
Highland Towers apartment collapse. The Prime Minister said a study would
have to be carried out first to determine its necessity.
Developers back City Hall proposal
DEVELOPERS have welcomed a City Hall proposal for newly-constructed
buildings to be verified by a second consultant to see if they are up to
safety requirements and fit to be given a Certificate of Fitness. Several
also agreed that developers should be held liable for building defects
because this would ensure that contractors do not use sub-standard materials
or resort to cost-cutting methods.
States take second look at projects
- The Pahang Government today announced the setting up of a committee to
take a "second look" at all on-going and completed development projects on
highland as well as by the sea. This is to ensure that all buildings
constructed in these areas are safe for occupation.
State planning to build 2,000 low-cost houses
- At least 2,000 units of low-cost houses will be built throughout the State
next year under a new proposal approved at today's State Executive Council
meeting. Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Tamby Chik said the low-cost
units would be located both in the town areas and in their outskirts.
Guidelines for developers
will be required to provide proper accommodation for their workers under
guidelines to be issued by the Human Resources Ministry. Its minister, Datuk
Lim Ah Lek, said the guidelines are being finalised and expected to be
completed within three months. On completion, the guidelines will be
submitted to the Cabinet before being enforced, he told reporters after
opening a conference attended by directors of the Manpower Department in
Port Dickson yesterday. He said the decision to come up with the guidelines
was reached two weeks ago by the Cabinet which viewed seriously the poor
condition of the construction workers' living quarters. Lim said developers
of existing projects will also be directed to adhere to the guidelines
although it will only be enforced on new projects. - Bernama
Check on high-rise projects
condominium projects in Bukit Bandaraya, Bangsar, came under the scrutiny of
City Hall building surveyors yesterday for site safety and possible
structural defects. The five projects - along Jalan Penaga, Jalan Kapas and
Medang Kapas - are among the 18 high-rise projects in the city which are
situated on hillslopes.
Stringent guidelines for high rises
ONGOING high-rise projects in Kuala Lumpur have to meet stringent new
guidelines set by City Hall in the wake of the Highland Towers apartment
building collapse in Hulu Klang, Selangor. Projects that fail to meet the
various criteria set by its Building Control section of the Planning
Department will be halted, effectively reversing the development order (DO)
initially given by City Hall.
Move to improve living conditions at
Thurs. - Developers may in future be required to provide proper
accommodation and sanitation facilities for construction workers before they
can embark on a project, Human Resources Minister Datuk Lim Ah Lek said
today. He said his Ministry had been directed by the Cabinet to draw up
guidelines on the matter in view of the appalling living conditions at
Making builders more responsible
KUALA LUMPUR, Thurs. - The Government is looking into the possibility of
imposing tax on developers who do not provide facilities for waste
management, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said tonight. He
said along with making profits, it was important to stress social
responsibilities as well.
Keep worksites clean, council tells builders
Dickson District Council will act against developers who fail to maintain
cleanliness at project sites. Council president Ramli Ibni Hajar said the
council would suspend their operations if they did not provide proper
accommodation and sanitation facilities for workers at project sites.
Four more hill condos checked 18/12/1993 MM
FOUR more condominium projects on hillslopes in the city came under
inspection by City Hall building surveyors yesterday. The four projects are:
Developer on rules for safe hillside high
condominium projects should not pose a danger to the surroundings if
developers observe proper measures during landscaping. This includes
chanelling run off water through a proper drainage system, according to the
developers of Gasing Heights - a luxury condominium project located along
the Gasing Ridge Green Belt in Petaling Jaya.
Act used to stop several projects on
PENANG, Fri. -
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Dr Ibrahim Saad said the State Government has
used the Land Conservation Act 1960 several times in stopping developers
from carrying out projects at hillslopes. He said this included the decision
to reject the application to develop Penang Hill.
Tree cutting by-law to come into force in
Ipoh next year
IPOH, Fri. -
Housing developers will not be allowed to cut trees from next year without
City Hall's approval, Datuk Bandar Datuk Ismail Shah Bodin said. At the
opening of the Jelapang Maju light industrial area, he said developers would
also have to submit a detailed survey plan indicating the number of trees in
the area and how many would be retained.
People who are involved
AT least 20
categories of professionals and tradesmen are involved in putting up a
building - be it a bungalow or a high-rise structure. While some groups are
highly trained, others pick up expertise on the job. There is also a problem
of coordinating the work of all these groups so that defects are eliminated
as the process moves from one stage to another.
The missing quality in building trades
URGENT corrective actions must be taken to stop the erosion of quality in
the education, training and attitudes of building industry personnel. The
Highland Towers disaster in Ulu Klang, Kuala Lumpur, should prompt
governmental authorities and professional bodies to insist on a greater
commitment by all industry personnel to the concept of total quality.
Ting: Suspension a sacrifice by condo
KUALA LUMPUR, Sat. - It is a sacrifice on the part of condominium developers
to temporarily suspend their projects, particularly those on hillslopes
although approval had been given. Housing and Local Government Minister
Datuk Dr Ting Chew Peh said this was necessary to ensure that safety was not
Hills stripped of forest cover to make way
for resorts, roads
development of our hills is fast gaining momentum. A drive around the
country unveils some rugged terrain stripped bare of forest cover to make
way for resorts and roads. As a RM318 million golf resort in Fraser's Hill
is taking shape, another one costing RM310 million is being built in Jelebu,
Negri Sembilan. In Genting Highlands and Cameron Highlands, more resort
apartments are coming up. Even Gunung Ledang in Johor is not spared.
Need for strict enforcement
WHY is there
rampant and uncontrolled clearing of hills despite laws like the Land
Conservation Act 1960 which serves to protect hills against soil erosion and
siltation? The crux of the matter, on which the Department of Environment,
soil experts and environmentalists unanimously agree, is the absence of
enforcement of the Act by State authorities and the Land and Mines
The danger of greed and folly
ONLY a miracle can now save the survivors trapped in the rubble of the
collapsed Highland Towers apartment block in Hulu Klang, Selangor. Eight
days have passed since the 12-storey building was swept off its foundation
by an erosion-induced landslide and collapsed face down, trapping or killing
more than 50 occupants.
Ipoh to enforce new by-law on cutting of
hills and trees
Council will enforce a new by-law on the cutting of hills and trees from
January to avert disasters arising from development projects. Datuk Bandar
Datuk Ismail Shah Bodin said yesterday offenders will be liable to a fine of
RM20,000 or RM500 for each day they ignored order to stop work on their
Mazlan clarifies stand on high rises in
DATUK Bandar Datuk Mazlan Ahmad said he has not declared that no more
condominiums would be built in Bangsar, but admitted the existing number is
too many for any one area. He said City Hall would scrutinise applications
to build high rise homes in Bangsar before approving more.
Builders act to reassure condo buyers
developers of upcoming high rise condominiums and apartments have begun
advertising that their projects are being built on flat land in a bid to
reassure buyers of the projects' safety. By stating that the projects are
being built on flat land, these developers also hope to stabilise the price
of high rise condominiums and apartments.
Stop projects, say Bkt Bandaraya folk
KUALA LUMPUR, Sun. - The residents of Bukit Bandaraya want all condominium
construction on the hill to be stopped immediately as they feel it is
already "overloaded" with such blocks. They also want City Hall to appoint a
competent and independent consultant to conduct a study on the safety of the
existing condominium blocks.
Don't be too hasty, councils told
KLANG, Sun. -
Local and district councils in Selangor are reminded not to be too hasty in
approving plans involving development projects as they should look into the
safety measures proposed by the developers and study the location of the
proposed projects. Selangor Deputy Menteri Besar Datuk Abu Sujak Mahmud said
local authorities should strictly follow the guidelines before approving
project plans especially if they do not want to have a tragedy such as that
in Hulu Klang.
Safety checks must be an on-going exercise
IT HAS taken another tragedy to jolt the nation to realise how important it
is that we must never compromise on safety when it comes to the building
industry. The Highland Towers tragedy and the recent spate of collapses of
buildings under construction have revealed certain weaknesses and
shortcomings of those involved in the building industry, beginning with the
authorities who approved the projects and the builders who put them up.
Stand up for your rights, consumers told
THERE is no virtue in suffering in silence when facing a violation of
rights. In fact, it can be dangerous. This is the lesson learnt from the
recent Highland Towers condominium collapse tragedy, said Selangor Consumer
Association legal advisor Ramdas Tikamdass in his paper, Effective
Complaint, at the seminar on Consumers Protection and Complaints Handling
Freeze on hillslope projects
KUALA LUMPUR, Mon. - The Government has suspended new approvals for the
construction of all condominiums and buildings on hillslopes, Deputy Prime
Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today. He said the Cabinet would
decide on the approvals already given before the Highland Towers disaster.
Proposal to check all phases of building
- The Housing and Local Government Ministry plans to introduce a new ruling
to make it compulsory for each stage of construction in housing projects,
especially condominiums and flats, to be monitored and certified by
qualified engineers. Its secretary-general, Datuk Umar Abu, said today that
under the proposal, after every stage of construction, including earthworks,
the engineers would have to certify whether works were in order.
RM600m scheme to build flats for the very
TWO-room flats will be built for very poor families in major towns facing
acute squatters' problem under a RM600 million programme. Deputy Prime
Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim told the Dewan Negara that the low-cost
flats would be rented out to the poor families at the cheapest possible
Inspection of buildings questioned
TECHNICAL and maintenance inspection systems done on buildings by local
councils were brought into question by a Government backbencher at the State
Assembly yesterday. Chang See Ten (BN-Gelang Patah) said the "strange
practice" in which a building put up by experts like a qualified architect
and a qualified engineer is inspected at Local Government-level by a
technical assistant with a diploma qualification.
Review plan to build city in sea, says DAP
condominium collapse tragedy in Hulu Klang, Selangor was raised in the
Assembly yesterday by a member who argued against the proposed development
of a RM4 billion "floating city" in the Straits of Tebrau along the main
Johor Baru coastline. Mr Pang Hock Liong (DAP-Bekok) said the State
Government should learn from the disaster and review the plans to build the
massive project, which involves the construction of high-rise buildings on
raised platforms off the seafront.
Vision needed to handle growth-related
problems 21/12/1993 NST
TODAY, a nation grieves over the Highland Towers tragedy with a once proud
building now lying humble, a stack of rubble with bodies trapped inside.
Another block sends signals of faltering. In the aftermath, probably the
most staggering revelation was that the building (and many others in the
country) were actually built in contravention of laws discouraging highrise
structures on hillslopes.
THE best solutions to some problems are sometimes the simplest. Just ask
local businessman Mohd Noor Shamsuddin. He has found a quick and reasonably
simple way to curb soil erosion. Given the calamity caused by the collapse
of Highland Towers, his suggestion is worth considering: a fibromat made of
straw with polypropylene netting which is laid on bare ground to prevent
rainwater from removing the top soil while protecting the surface and
allowing new grass to take root under the mat.
Developers not to blame, says HDA 21/12/1993 NST-CITYX
THE Housing Developers Association feels developers should not be held responsible
for building defects, because they were financiers and land owners "who know
nothing of construction". Its president Alan Tong Kok Mow disagreed with the
views of several developers who said recently they were willing to take the
blame, if it was established that there was no fault in design or structure.
Get some answers before adding rules
REFERRING to the Government's intention to introduce new rules for the
construction industry in the wake of the Highland Towers tragedy, I would
like to comment particularly on the proposed ruling requiring independent
consultants to approve the plans of the project consultant. We should study
this proposed ruling careful lest we bark up the wrong tree and add more
rules to the already red-tape dictated industry.
Proposal to look into building projects
A COMPREHENSIVE approach to look into all aspects of ongoing construction
projects in hilly areas will be proposed at the Cabinet meeting today.
Meanwhile, the Government announced that no new approvals will be given for
Don't stop on-going hillslope projects,
Tues. - The Housing Developers' Association (HDA) today appealed to the
Government not to freeze on-going construction projects on hillslopes. Its
executive director, Mr Yin Ee Kok, said approval was given to a developer
only when the relevant Government authorities were satisfied that all safety
and environmental aspects had been fulfilled.
Negri Sembilan adopts Federal freeze on
Tues. - The State Government has decided to freeze all applications for new
hillslope projects in line with a similar decision by the Federal
Government. Menteri Besar Tan Sri Mohamad Isa Abdul Samad said today that
local councils would be directed to defer all decisions on applications by
developers of such buildings.
Firm defies council, carries on work 22/12/1993 NST
CUKAI, Tues. -
Perwaja Steel Sdn Bhd will continue construction work to complete its staff
housing complex near the Terengganu-Pahang border despite the order from the
Kemaman District Council, received two days ago, to stop work immediately.
The housing complex is already 75 per cent complete and due for occupation
Pitfalls in our concept of development
IN one of the most honest appraisals of the recent condominium tragedy,
Kadir Jasin (Other Thots - New Sunday Times, Nov 19) expresses the hope that
"the setting up of the Cabinet committee will end with a big boom. Otherwise
we are doomed". It is true that if we do not remedy the pitfalls in our
concept and practice of development, as a matter of utmost urgency, we may
be heading towards a colossal catastrophe.
Builders told to carry out turfing
- The municipal council has directed developers of on-going development
projects on hills, hillslopes and ex-mining land to carry out turfing and
piling works to prevent soil erosion. Its deputy president Abdullah Sani
Abdul Hamid said failure to comply with the call could result in a directive
to suspend their projects.
Penang freezes approval for condos on slopes
- The State Government has frozen approvals for new applications by
developers to construct condominium and high-rise buildings on hillslopes in
Penang. Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Dr Ibrahim Saad said the decision was
made yesterday at a meeting by the special committee which was set up by the
State Government to look into the safety aspects of condomoniums and high-
rise buildings at hillslopes.
City Hall inspects 18 hillside projects
KUALA LUMPUR, Wed. - City Hall has completed its preliminary inspection of
18 hillside condominium and apartment projects, concluding that some
projects showed signs of soil erosion which may pose a danger in the future.
City Hall assistant director (Press) Zarina Ahamad Osman, however, would not
name the "troubled" projects and said that an action plan would be announced
after receiving reports from all developers.
Cabinet: Halt hill projects
KUALA LUMPUR, Wed. - The Cabinet today approved 16 main recommendations
pertaining to the construction of high-rise buildings in hilly areas,
including the immediate stoppage of all construction activities at on- going
projects. Developers can only resume work after they obtain endorsements
from other accredited consultants that their projects are stable and safe.
These developers have one month beginning today to provide these
Now freeze on 11 housing projects 23/12/1993 MM
projects near where the 16Km Jalan Puchong collapsed have been ordered to
stop work immediately so as not to aggravate the situation. Two of the
developers whose development work is believed to have contributed to the
collapse may have to foot the bill to reconstruct the damaged road.
EIA needed for hill slope projects
ENVIRONMENTAL Impact Assessments (EIA) will now be required for all
development projects on hill slopes. This includes the construction of
roads, buildings and recreational facilities. The Environmental Quality Act
1974 will be amended to provide for this. For this purpose, hill slopes will
be defined as any land where the slope is 20 degrees or more.
Sweeping new rules on high-rise projects
SWEEPING new rules were announced by the Cabinet yesterday to curb improper
construction work in hilly areas that can endanger both people and the
environment. This includes putting on hold all ongoing and pending
condominium and high-rise projects in these areas until their safety and
stability have been verified by certified consultants.
No repeat of highland disaster
must be spared a repeat of the Highland Towers tragedy and the shock and
grief that came with it. The Cabinet decision to adopt the recommendations
of the Special Cabinet Committee on the disaster should be the first step
towards achieving this objective. The most visible effect will be the
immediate cessation of all construction activities on high-rise buildings in
hilly areas pending endorsements from independent accredited consultants
that the projects are safe. Projects which have been approved but have not
commenced work are to be suspended until a firm decision on the matter is
made by the Government.
Checklist of `unsafe' buildings
complaints from the public, City Hall is compiling a list of occupied
highrise buildings in the city suspected to be unsafe. In the wake of the
Highland Towers disaster, the local authority received many calls, letters
and photographs from concerned parties who feared certain buildings might
suffer a similar fate.
City Hall keeping close watch on several
CITY Hall is keeping several existing condominiums and high-rise
buildings under close observation following reports from the public and
professional bodies that they pose a danger and are liable to collapse.
Datuk Bandar Datuk Dr Mazlan Ahmad said following investigations, officers
from City Hall's planning control department share the same view as the
public and professional bodies on the matter.
`Pick consultants on rotation basis' call
PROJECT management consultant
Kemasrunding has recommended that the Government adopt a rotation system in
appointing independent consultants to verify the safety of building
projects. Its chairman, Dr Mohamed Noor Hashim, said the Implementation
Coordinating Unit at the Prime Minister's Department has a list of
independent consultants engaged by the Government.
Action, action, action 24/12/1993 BT
been quick action since the collapse of a block of the Highland Towers
condominiums with the loss of close to 70 lives. Whether any more lives were
lost we will never know. The rescue operation mounted on December 11, the
afternoon of the collapse, has come to a close with all those involved, the
Singaporeans, the Japanese, the French and the local units calling it quits
after 12 days. And on Wednesday even before the rescue work ceased, Deputy
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced a comprehensive set of
guidelines for existing high-rise buildings on hill slopes, on hills, in
fact, all high-rise buildings. That the Government has moved so quickly to
ensure as far as possible that such a disaster is not repeated speaks well
of it and our hope to enhance the quality of life between now and our Vision
2020. It is indeed strenuous, dedicated work on the part of the high-powered
Cabinet committee on the disaster chaired by Anwar himself which is
responsible for this quick and detailed look at measures to prevent such
disasters. Guidelines in just 12 days, in truth, less than that when you
consider when the committee was set up, and its main work is already done.
This is really fast forward action by the committee, which should be
commended for mapping quick, comprehensive, preventive measures.
Landslips, floods threaten Jalan Puchong
Fri. - More landslips and flooding are expected to occur along Jalan Puchong
due to the rapid development taking place along the hillside. "Unless there
is close co-ordination between the local authority and other government
agencies like the Drainage and Irrigation Department and the Department of
Environment, we fear a recurrence," said Serdang State Assemblyman Datuk Yap
Builders under fire
SEVERAL developers along Jalan Puchong have defied a condition by the
Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) to build a proper drainage system
before starting work on their projects. Their non-compliance has resulted in
frequent flash floods and severe erosion near their project sites - problems
that led to the collapse of 16Km Jalan Puchong before midnight on Monday.
Work still going on at condo site 25/12/1993 MM
WORK on the Pantai Panorama condominiums on the hillock of Bukit Angkasa in
Kampung Kerinchi is still going on despite a Cabinet decision to halt work
on high-rise buildings in hilly areas. When a Malay Mail reporter visited
the site yesterday, workers were seen working on pillars while a huge crane
on top of a block was used to transport equipment from the ground.
`Investigate other factors'
of Bandar Puchong Jaya, in admitting land clearing in their area partially
contributed to the collapse of 16Km Jalan Puchong, said there are other
factors that should be investigated. Pilihan Mega Sdn Bhd, the developer of
the project, said the authorities should look into possibilities like the
direction of water flow, capacity of retention ponds in the area, outlet
from the ponds to Sungai Klang, work at the nearby quarry and rapid
development of the Puchong area.
New rules on high-rise projects welcomed
THE Board of Engineers Malaysia has welcomed the Cabinet decision requiring
developers to verify their construction of high-rise buildings on hilly
areas with an independent consultant. Its secretary Haniff Mohamed Ariff
said yesterday the board supports the move and believes that "getting the
views of two consultants is better than depending on only one opinion."
Hopes of starting a new in ruins
Lumpur and the surrounding areas have had more than their fair share of
buildings collapses in the past year, the Highland Towers Block A tragedy in
Hulu Klang has brought the issue sharply into focus. Previous incidents,
such as the factory collapse in Puchong Perdana, have been put down to
negligence or use of poor construction materials.
Poor law enforcement is to blame
AS much as we would like to help the grieving families of the victims of the
Highland Towers condominium tragedy overcome their sorrow and great sense of
loss, we will continue to ask what had gone wrong that led to the Dec 11
catastrophe. The tendency to hush up things unpleasant so that we can
quickly overcome our sorrow and anger does not help.
DOE to act against resort developer 26/12/1993 NSUNT
IPOH, Sat. - The Perak Department of Environment (DOE) plans to take action
against the developer of Meru Valley Resort for carrying out construction
work without approval. A department spokesman said it had completed
investigations and sent the investigation papers to the DOE headquarters in
Kuala Lumpur for their views and instruction before proceeding with legal
Ending the defiance
Sat. - The Housing and Local Government Ministry will issue a directive on
Monday to all 143 local authorities to monitor high-rise projects on
hillslopes and projects on ex-mining land to ensure that the Cabinet order
for all such work to stop is complied with. Its Minister, Datuk Dr Ting Chew
Peh, said today the directive would also require the local authorities to
issue written notices to all developers to halt work until the projects are
certified safe by independent consultants.
Writ to stop work
developers and building contractors put plenty on the line in the slow but
high-spinning turnover of their businesses. Reaching the crest of a rebound
in a risky business cycle, what would it take for a handful of closely
scheduled, tightly inventorised, elaborately financed and fully onstream
multi-million ringgit construction projects, running just-in- time, to
suspend work? Not a regulatory authority, certainly not a moral compunction,
nor a contingent safety reappraisal, in the wake of a disaster, not even the
Federal Cabinet. Until manual enforcement arrives at the doorstep, it
appears that no directive from above is persuasive enough to quell the
Some tips on making high-rise buildings
safer 27/12/1993 NST
MALAYSIA is indeed a blessed country. We escape the volcanic belts, we do
not experience earthquakes except some minor tremors once in a while, we do
not experience typhoons or hurricanes except strong winds (the tail end of
the north-east monsoon in the east coast), we do not experience tidal
(tsunami) floods on the scale experienced by some countries (so much so when
the Klang River overflowed its banks more than 20 years ago, we called it a
national disaster), and we are so blessed that nobody died of starvation and
hunger even in the worst of times during the Japanese occupation.
Lee: Set up panel to ensure RM1.4b housing
Sun. - A special committee should be set up by the Housing and Local
Government Ministry to monitor the implementation of the RM1.4 billion
low-cost housing package announced by Finance Minister Datuk Seri Anwar
Ibrahim in the 1994 Budget. National Consumer Protection Advisory Council
member Lee Lam Thye said the committee should be chaired by the Ministry's
secretary-general (Datuk Umar Abu) and it should ensure that there were no
hitches in implementing the programme which is aimed at addressing worsening
housing problems among the lower income groups, especially in the urban
False sense of security shatters 27/12/1993 NST-CITYX
RECENT events with its tragic consequences have cruelly exposed our
propensity to lock the stable door after the horse has bolted. For a long
time, we have smugly cocooned ourselves in the the belief that we were
somehow shielded by some divine blessing while everyone else in foreign
lands had to contend with regular bouts of doom and disaster.
`Make geological report on site mandatory'
geological studies should be a mandatory prerequisite for approval of
high-rise development projects, especially those located on hilly terrain.
The Geological Society of Malaysia, in making the proposal, said the
Highland Towers tragedy could have been minimised, if not averted, had
sufficient geological studies been conducted on the site and surrounding
Shortage of experts
THE lack of competent professionals in local governments is a contributing
factor to the ills plaguing the country's construction industry. It is
learnt that many of the smaller local authorities do not have competent
engineers, architects, geologists, or building and land surveyors to verify
Too many British standards 27/12/1993 MM
Malaysian Code of Practice for Earthworks, currently being drafted by the
authorities, has not gone down well with the Public Works Institute of
Malaysia (Ikram). "The drafting committee adopted British standards almost
wholesale except for obvious details like things related to icy conditions,"
said Ikram head of geotechnical division Dr Nik Ramlan Nik Hassan.
Impose greater accountability on civil
TOLERANCE is a trait that Malaysians are much admired for. It is a trait
that is difficult to acquire and which many other societies lack. Tolerance
is one of the strengths that has enabled Malaysians to overcome a lot of
hurdles, difficulties and challenges. It is among the ingredients that help
give character to the nation, that contribute towards the uniqueness that is
Malaysia. But have we carried this trait a bit too far? Has tolerance been
carried beyond the bounds of moderation? These questions are begging to be
asked in the wake of the collapse of the 12storey apartment building just
outside Kuala Lumpur on December 11. At least 72 people are said to have
been killed, but no one will ever know for sure the exact number. It has yet
to be firmly established what caused the earth movements that resulted in
the 11-year-old building falling on its face, and an adjacent one to tilt
and crack up to the extent that it has been rendered unsafe to be occupied.
Malacca to examine proposals to build condominiums: Rahim
THE Malacca Government will scrutinise all applications
for the construction of condominiums in hilly areas and by the beach, Chief
Minister Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Tamby Chik said yesterday. He added that the study
is important to ensure condominiums are safe structurally and geophysically.
Several companies had submitted applications to build condominiums in hilly
DPM: We will act against those who defy
order 28/12/1993 NST
Mon. - The Government will not hesitate to act against developers who defy
the Cabinet's decision to suspend construction work on high-rise buildings
on hilly areas until declared safe, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar
Ibrahim said. To ensure the Cabinet directive was strictly observed, he said
all local authorities had been directed to submit reports on the conditions
of projects on hillslopes and hilltops to their respective State
Builders cool to Sirim's call to employ
Mon. - The construction sector has responded poorly to the Standard and
Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia's call to employ the ISO9000 to
improve quality in the sector. Sirim director-general Datuk Dr Ahmad
Tajuddin Ali said today since its proposal to the construction sector to
participate in the scheme in January, no company or individual had submitted
applications for certification to improve the quality of their development
`We lack experts'
AT least two councils in Selangor where several high-rise building projects
are underway have conceded they do not have competent staff of their own to
ensure that projects being carried out in the district are being done to
specifications laid down in the plans. The Gombak and Hulu Langat district
councils both said they depended on "outside help" when the projects are
tabled for discussion during their monthly planning committee meetings.
Councils issue directives
Jaya Municipal Council has started issuing stop-work orders to developers of
condominiums on hilly areas and its surrounding areas. The council has also
despatched its enforcement units to conduct checks to ensure developers did
Bare hills aplenty
NOTHING, not even the Highland Towers tragedy, has stopped hillslope
land stripping work from being carried out in some parts of Selangor and
Negri Sembilan. Housing developers, including an investment arm of the
Selangor Government, and their panels of engineers and architects are
content in leaving these hillslopes bare and turning them into potential
Builders hope to meet DPM to clarify matters
parties in the construction industry hope to meet Deputy Prime Minister
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to clarify matters on the construction of buildings
on hill slopes. Housing Developers Association (HDA) executive director Yin
Ee Kok said yesterday they hope to restore confidence in the construction of
perketat lulus projek rumah 28/12/1993
BH By Hassan Ahmad
ALOR STAR, Isnin - Kedah memperketatkan kelulusan projek perumahan dengan
memastikan hanya pemaju yang benar- benar mampu diberi peluang berbuat
demikian pada masa depan. Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Perumahan dan Kerajaan
Tempatan negeri, Abdul Rahman Ibrahim, berkata langkah itu bertujuan
mengelakkan masalah projek terbengkalai dan pembinaan rumah tidak bermutu.
Guidelines given on ways to stop errant
LOCAL authorities in Selangor have been given guidelines on how to enforce
the Cabinet's decision to stop that developers stop all work on condominium
and high-rise highrise development projects in hilly areas until they are
deemed certified safe. Deputy State Secretary (I) Mohamad Napis said these
guidelines spell out what the developers need to submit to the local
authorities before their projects can be allowed to continue.
Greed rears its ugly head
corruption and a yen to make quick profits lead to many misadventures and,
what is worse, can affect the lives of many innocent and unsuspecting
individuals. The collapse of the Highland Towers condominium block and the
blatant disregard for the Cabinet directive to stop all work on highrise and
hillside buildings until they are declared safe cannot be condoned by anyone
in their right mind. Land may be a State matter but it does not mean that
the various developers and local authorities can ignore the well-intentioned
decision. Does it require the long arm of the law before any more deaths and
disasters the likes of the Highland Towers are avoided? Surely the
businessmen, contractors and developers must have the moral responsibility
and the conscience to ensure that the safety of everyone is ensured. This
does not require laws; it only requires a caring attitude, people with moral
responsibility and righteous attitude.
Govt warns errant developers of stern action
THE Government has warned of stern action against developers who have defied
the Cabinet directive for construction work on high-rise projects on
hillslopes to be halted pending verification of the safety of both buildings
and the adjacent environment. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim
said to ensure that the Cabinet directive is adhered to by developers, all
local authorities will be asked to immediately submit reports on development
projects situated on hillslopes to the respective state governments.
Call for soil reports to set up database
Tues. - All branches of the Housing Developers Association of Malaysia (HDAM)
have been advised to submit soil investigation reports of projects
implemented to the Geological Survey Department to help the government build
up a database on soil characteristics in the various areas. In a Press
statement, HDAM executive director Yin Ee Kok said the association took
cognisance of the governments concern for the need to strenghten the various
Acts and Building By-Laws from time to time so as to provide proper
Landslide caused collapse, says council
KUALA LUMPUR, Tues. - Block A of the Highland Towers apartments collapsed
because of a landslide, according to the preliminary findings of the Ampang
Jaya Municipal Council. The findings were compiled by an inquiry committee
set up by the council to look into the Dec 11 tragedy which claimed the
lives of 73 people.
MB: No need to set up special committee 29/12/1993 NST
- Menteri Besar Dr Abdul Hamid Pawanteh today said it is not necessary for
Perlis to set up a special committee to determine the safety standards of
buildings in the State as existing procedures are already sufficient. He
said there were very few applications from developers to construct high-rise
pinda Akta KWSP 29/12/1993 BH
TUARAN, Selasa - Kerajaan Pusat disaran meminda Akta Kumpulan Wang
Simpanan Pekerja (KWSP) bagi membolehkan pembeli yang terbabit dalam
projek rumah terbengkalai membuat pinjaman bagi memulihkan projek itu.
Permintaan itu dikemukakan oleh sekumpulan pembeli rumah projek
terbengkalai di Taman View Point, Inanam yang dikenakan bayaran tambahan
antara RM7,000 dan RM9,000 bagi memulihan projek berkenaan.
Builders support call for ISO9000
support the call by a government agency for those involved in the
construction industry to apply for ISO9000 certification for quality
management in major building projects to minimise failures. The Standards
and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia (Sirim) had urged them to do
so as this would lead to efficient project implementation, better control
over costs and schedules.
Anwar makes surprise check on condo resort
DEPUTY Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim made a surprise inspection of
the Desa Hill Condo Resort in Petaling near Kuala Lumpur yesterday to check
on reports that certain developers are defying the Cabinet's directive to
stop work on high-rise projects on hill slopes until the safety and
environmental aspects of the construction are verified. The order was issued
last Wednesday after the Special Cabinet Committee on the Highland Towers
condominium collapse, headed by Anwar, made its recommendations.
Appoint your own consultant engineers,
KUALA Lumpur City Hall and the Selangor Government will not provide
developers of high-rise projects on hilly areas with a list of consultants
to choose from to certify the safety of their buildings. City Hall assistant
director (Press) Zarina Ahmad Osman said as developers are required to
submit the safety report, they themselves have to appoint the consultant
Making high-rise buildings safer through
IN our recent development, we are witnessing indifferently
environmental abuse, exhaustion of natural resources and harmful alteration
of nature's balance. It is not always possible and is rarely easy to know
what the environmental consequences are in certain developments.
`Repair' fund for builders
DEVELOPERS with new projects in Gombak will soon have to contribute to a
fund to finance major repairs in the wake of development-related disasters.
The Gombak District Council will meet today to propose the setting up of the
fund called the Improvement Service Fund.
In the dark over `freeze'
UP to yesterday afternoon, contractors for at least three of the five
hillside development projects which were issued stopwork orders by City Hall
on Tuesday were in the dark about the directives. However, it is learnt that
this was clarified when the local authority met the developers at a meeting
Three withdrawn from freeze list
CITY HALL has
withdrawn three low-rise projects from the list of 23 hillside development
projects issued with stop-work orders in the wake of the Highland Towers
apartment tragedy. It is learnt that City Hall changed its mind because
these projects involved construction of buildings below five storeys.
Revamp building sector before more disasters
Jacobs FOR want of a nail, a horseshoe was lost, for want of a horseshoe, a
horse was lost, for want of a horse a soldier was lost, for want of a
soldier, the battle was lost, for want of a battle, the war was lost. And
all for the sake of a horseshoe nail. Which all goes to show that some of
the worst disasters are triggered by small and seemingly unimportant
incidents. Such as the seemingly unimportant and inconsequential piece of
legislation, namely, the Land Conservation Act 1960, which seems little more
than a cosmetic embellishment for all the importance that has been placed on
Bring back sound values or we destroy
I REFER to the letter under the heading "Condo collapse shows our
weaknesses" (NST, Dec 25) by Syed Hussein of Ampang and wish to add my
observations. It is probably no big boast to say that the written laws of
this land could fill up a significant part of the public library. In the
past two decades, not many people can keep count of how many new laws have
Don't abandon projects, builders told
developers, especially those whose projects are on hillsides, have again
been reminded not to abandon the project sites. The stop-work ruling is only
meant for them to stop construction activities.
Proposal for fund to pay for repairs
THE Gombak District Council has proposed the setting up of a contingency
fund to pay for repairs and maintenance on damaged infrastructure in
newly-built housing projects. It will be called the Development Services
Fund and will be administered by the council with contributions from the
respective housing developers.
Petaling to seek outside expertise
THE Petaling District Council, affected by several mishaps over the past two
months, has sought the assistance of independent engineers to review the
"problematic projects" in its area to avoid a recurrence. Three mishaps have
hit the council. A factory block collapse, the collapse of three floors of
building under construction and a road cave-in have raised the concern of
the local authority while the recent State Government directive has
emphasised the need for checks on approved and ongoing highrise buildings.
More high-rise projects
THERE is a big
increase in high-rise building projects in Port Dickson in the past three
years but only one engineer to vet building plans. Nine projects are being
constructed and another six waiting for approval.
`Firm had stopped work on project'
of the Bukit OUG townhouse-condominium project in Jalan Klang Lama, MBf
Property Services Sdn Bhd, had denied that construction work on the
high-rise project is still on. A spokeswoman said the company had stopped
work on its hillside project after the Cabinet directed developers of
high-rise buildings on hilly areas to stop work until their projects are
Burden fear in `repairs' fund
THE Gombak District Councils proposal to set up a Services Improvement Fund
made up of contributions from new developers for repair work on their
project could become a burden to the council. Expressing scepticism over its
feasibility, a Selangor State Executive Councillor Datuk Saidin Tamby said
that based on the working paper, all developers, including those involved in
the construction of only one bungalow, have to pay a certain rate.
MBAM wants Govt to set up building tribunal
THE Master Builders Association of Malaysia (MBAM) has asked the Government
to establish a tribunal that will review building contracts to ensure fair
sharing of risks and obligations in the construction industry. The Joint
Contracts Tribunal (JCT), similar to one in practice in the UK will comprise
representatives from all sectors of the construction industry.
Builders need time to obey directives
could not immediately obey the Cabinet's directive to stop work on hillside
projects because of the time needed to secure the construction site and due
to contractual obligations. Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM)
president Kong Yee Peng said contractors were faced with a dilemma when the
Cabinet ordered that all work on ongoing high-rise buildings on hilly areas
be stopped until their safety can be verified