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Landslide victims still feel the pain at memorial service
07/12/2009 The Star By JAYAGANDI JAYARAJ

KUALA LUMPUR: Residents affected by the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide still cannot get over the pain a year after the tragedy. Some who attended a memorial service yesterday to commemorate the Dec 6 tragedy wondered if they ever will.

The shared grief has bound the residents together and they have formed a committee looking into the landslide report, which was recently declassified by the Cabinet.

At the memorial service held at Impian Selatan Apartment in Bukit Antarabangsa, tears flowed freely among the 100-odd people present.

Victims Ungku Farid Ungku Abd Rahman, Datuk Shaharuddin Adnan, Lian Warn Jian, Dr K. Mohandas and Michael Soh related their experiences during the landslide at the service.

Ungku Farid, 55, gave an emotional account of how the tragedy caught everyone off-guard in the wee hours of the morning and how his family escaped by jumping out a high window.

“My sons and wife were scared, but they had no choice but to jump because the front door and grill were damaged. The rescuers helped my aged mother and aunt to get out,” he said, adding that he rushed back to the house when his son called to inform him of the tragedy.

The family lost their Indonesian maid Suenah, 32. The businessman now lives in Ukay Bestari, Ampang.

Businessman Shaharuddin, 63, said losing his son Shaiful Khas, 20, was so painful that not a day went by without the grief engulfing him and his family.

“I was preparing to let him take over my catering business when this happened. We were very close,” said Shaharuddin, who could not hold back his tears.

He and his family now live in Section 7, Shah Alam.

Dr Mohandas said the report on landslide meant the Government was aware of what caused the tragedy.

“Some of the residents may not have the energy, financial or mental strength to fight for what is theirs.

“So it will be good if the Govern-ment can just do the necessary, like how they came up with RM70mil for the slope strengthening works after the tragedy,” said Dr Mohandas, 58, who now lives at Shahzan Court in Jalan Ampang.

Soh, 55, appealed to the authorities to compensate for his loss so that he could get on with his life.

Lian said the Public Works Depart ment’s report on the landslide would help answer some questions.

Also present at the memorial were Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin, Ampang Umno division head Datuk Ismail Kijo and representatives of the various residents’ associations from the area.


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