Wong: Safety the
issue, not money
24/09/2009 The Malay Mail By TEOH EL SEN
THE Selangor State government is prepared to provide more funds to the
Ampang Jaya Municipal Council to conduct slope rehabilitation works around
the Wangsa Heights condominium in Bukit Antarabangsa.
State Tourism, Consumer Affairs and Environment Committee chairman
Elizabeth Wong Keat Ping said yesterday the council should also begin
long-term plans for the slope and not restrict rehabilitation works to
just around the Wangsa 7 area.
Wong also disagreed with the estimate made by the Ampang council president
Datuk Mohammad Yacob yesterday that it would cost RM1 million to undertake
slope rehabilitation work around Jalan Wangsa 7, where the rockfall took
place last Saturday evening.
“It would definitely cost more than RM1 million. Besides, the expertise it
is seeking have all gone to the private sector.”
On Mohammad’s assertion that the local authority would be hard pressed to
raise the funds for the purpose, Wong dismissed this claim and said that
the council is located in a major growth centre.
“It has the funds, especially from assessments it collects from
condominium dwellers and others. If the local authority is facing funding
problem, it could put up a proposal to the State government which will
assist with the budget.”
Wong also said that the local authority ought to start finding ways to
increase its coffers, like imposing development charges on developers for
new projects approved in the surrounding areas of Bukit Antarabangsa.
The Petaling Jaya City Council has already implemented this practice. She
also said the Selangor State government wants the Ampang council to start
slope rehabilitation works quickly.
“The local council has the funds. It must take responsibility for the
projects it approved over the years. It gave all the planning approvals
(to the developer) so it has to do it (slope restoration work).”
Meanwhile, the local council issued a statement yesterday that it would
initiate periodical monitoring and technical inspections with other
agencies like the Minerals and Geosciences Department, Kumpulan Ikram Bhd
and Public Works Department to ensure the safety of Wangsa Heights
Residents, are advised to contact the local council on 03-42968100 or the
natural disaster number on 03-42809050 for further details.