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Cabinet agrees to declassify Bkt Antarabangsa landslide findings
05/12/2009 The Star By SARBAN SINGH

TAMPIN: The Cabinet has agreed to declassify the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide report which claimed the lives of five people exactly a year ago.

Works Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor said the government agreed to this following an application by the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) that the report be made public.

"We have decided to make the report public to safeguard the interest and wellbeing of the residents in the area.

“It is also my hope that the MPAJ will take remedial measures to ensure such an incident does not recur especially in the current rainy season," he told reporters after a gotong royong at the Air Kuning Selatan new village in Gemencheh near here.

The MPAJ had written to Shaziman on Nov 25 asking that the report be made public as the document was then still classified under the Official Secrets Act 1972.

Council president Datuk Mohammad Yacob said once the report was declassified, copies would be made available to the public at a cost of RM80 each.

Fourteen bungalows were totally destroyed in the incident which occured at Taman Bukit Mewah in Bukit Antarabangsa in the early hours of Dec 6 last year.

It also caused millions of ringgit in damage and forced the evacuation of hundreds of residents.

Shaziman said the Cabinet's decision had nothing to do with the findings being uploaded onto the internet.

"We are merely following the set procedures. The report was made for the MPAJ and we could not make it public without their knowledge.

"So, when they wrote to me asking that the findings be made public, I agreed after consulting members of the Cabinet...that is the procedure," he said.

Shaziman said the federal government did not make hasty decisions like the Selangor government.

"We have nothing to long as the procedures are followed, we will make the information available to the people.

"It is also my hope that the Selangor government would from Monday work on the proposals set in the report which include cleaning the drains and strengthening the slopes in the affected area...don't just keep the report and do nothing about it," he said.

Asked about the report being leaked to the internet, Shaziman said his officers had lodged a police report on Wednesday. "The report was ready some time ago and was kept by my officers and the Public Works Department. However, the report was uploaded to the internet after it was handed over to the MPAJ," he said.

He said his officers decided to lodge a report as the document was classified when it was handed to the MPAJ.

Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim had declassifed the same report two weeks ago.

He said the state government decided to do so as the report touched on land issues and this came under the purview of the state.

Khalid had said that the exco was fully responsible for the declassification of the report and that other state government officials were not involved.

He said the presence of active water supply pipes along abandoned houses was the main cause of the landslide.

However he later said that report he made public was just "a general statement and not part of a classified report".


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