Friday, December 12, 2008

Cabinet to stop Damansara Project 21?

Update: Cabinet has put a freeze on Project 21.

The word in Putrajaya is that the Cabinet would be ordering the developer of the controversial Damansara Project 21 to scrap the project. Not stop work but cancel the entire hillside project which has caused the residents in the area plenty of sleepless nights.

The developer, Selangor Dredging Bhd, has claimed spending about RM30mil to stabilise the slope to ensure the houses around the area.

But the residents of Medan Damansara are unconvinced. They staged a protest on Tuesday following the Bukit Antarabangsa tragedy. Another protest is also supposed to be held tomorrow and today, The Star quoted Medan Damansara Residents Association secretary Peter Raiappan as saying that they were not convinced that stability of the hill would not be affected. He questioned the rationale of the developer in wanting to build 21 massive five-storey bungalows, each with its own swimming pool, on a slope just over five acres (20,234 sq metres).

Federal Territories Minister Zulhasnan Rafique, who has made a few quiet trips there without the presence of the press, is scheduled to call a press conference in the afternoon. The likelihood is that he would have some good news for the residents. The only question is would the Cabinet be prepared to go all the way - that is, to scrap the project - or just issue a stop work order.

15 comments:

sinnersaint:saintsinner said...

Chun Wai,

Here's a quote ke ke ke the best i've ever heard.

"We do not want landslide tragedies to happen again because there is a lot of public anger" deputy prime minister.....

really, one would have thought it was due to the risk and human lives lost over the years.... well, i'll leave it to your own judgement

two-face said...

Simple economics - no demand means no supply!

But there are many stupid people with 10 - 15 mil. to buy the property.

My take to these people is go kill yourself if you wish but but thinklah a bit the people living at the bottom.

Jasonred79 said...

two-face has it exactly right... as long as there is demand, there will be supply forces at work.

Unless the government introduces laws against it.

(like with underage drinking and smoking)

charles said...

I think recent suggestion to amend the existing housing laws, so that all hillslope projects must subject to full E.I.A. assessment, before granting its approval to developer.

If the EIA finding impose conditions for "structure reinforcement", then the house buyer must pay the premium or "sinking fund" to facilitate the on-going regular inspection and slope repair-work.

If you travel to Korea or Japan, many housing estate are built on hill slope, with proper re-inforcement structure and on-going maintenance work. The related ministry must setup the right system and clear guidelines for effective enforcement.

Johnny Ong said...

its hard to blame the buyers. when they purchase it, its as if the property was delivered with approvals from the developer / relevant authorities

Anonymous said...

We should let the rich and powerful stay on hill slopes that has no poor fellas downhill... if they want to kill themselves by all means but don't take others along!

Anonymous said...

Chun Wai
I am surprised that you dare to talk about this project.Have you checked the owner's website?

Anonymous said...

It can be said that the root of the problem is not transparency. The problem in Damansara 21 is jealousy and that is the plain truth. Bkt Antarabangsa is a separate situation altogether. The geology of the area is different. The load stresses on that hill is different. To put both developments on the same boat is plainly unfair.

This is the dark side of capitalism. The ppl at the bottom don't quite like the ppl at the top. It's the same with the high income/low income comparison. The poor will resent the rich for having money. The rich pay their taxes and the poor don't pay as much but they still think that they are paying too much and wishes that the higher income bracket pays more.

If SDB can find 21 filthy rich millionaires to buy their property, you'd think that they (SDB) would do a smashing job not only on the aesthetics of the project but also on the foundation. After all, their millionaire customers have high expectations and even better lawyers. SDB's potential liability in handing over the properties to their respective buyers is even higher than the claimed RM30mil that they put in to strenghten the slope. A lot is at stake here that people don't fully comprehend.

We are now heading into what could well be the worse slump the world has ever seen. In this situation, any and every attempt to stimulate the economy must be welcomed. If the govt scraps this project, the property prices in Damansara Height and its surrounding areas will plummet. The residents don't know that now. A blanket ban on such hillside developments will in effect wipe out an enormous amount of value from such properties which will indirectly affect the prices of all EXISTING hillside developments in Malaysia. So before Joe Public goes on a protest to shoot themselves in the foot in the name of safety, a little bit of objective thinking is required.

Hey, in all honesty, if i had the money, i'd buy a house at Damansara 21 anyway and make sure that the developer and engineers do such a good job that my house would be standing for the next 100 years. And you would buy it too... if only you had the money, right?

NOTan ANONYMOUScoward said...

Dear Anonymous at 10.31am Dec 13,

I could hardly believe my eyes when I read your comment. Is there really a person who earnestly believes that the whole Dsara 21 protests is rooted wholly in jealousy? Just because you are one of those discontented people who wish they had better social standing/higher salary/bigger house, it doesn't mean the rest of us are. Honestly, normal, decent human beings would take the time and trouble and risk being sued to stage protests if they believe the lives of their family and theirs are at stake. But jealousy? Not this far, mate. And it is hard to believe that you are naive enough to think developers would do a "smashing job" with the foundation, aesthetics, etc, you obviously need a wake-up call. Really, have you at all learned anything about developers in Malaysia? House-buying/selling is considered a ONE time transaction for developers. This isn't buying a computer from Dell, where after-sales service is expected and provided. Whatever happens afterward, is, as they say, BELAKANG KIRA. What matters to developers is just the bottom dollar. How many cases of house-owners suing developers and winning have you heard of? Stop kidding yourself. Properties have better and safer chances of appreciating in value if Malls were built nearby.

Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

Why is it we are always cynical and distrusting of the government? We have been let down by the government time after time after time, that it has lost the trust of the people.

I think it is time that the PM, DPM, Ministers and the Cabinet take note.

Anonymous said...

If all developers are evil then i suggest we all live in tents, out in the open field, where it's safe from landslides, flooding and structural faults. No point borrowing money from the banks to buy houses. Most banks don't have the money to lend to you anyway and housing developers are doing such a shoddy job that it's just not worth the trouble.

Yes, we shall pitch some tents in flat open plains without electriciy and water because Tenaga cannot provide to us cheaply enough and Syabas cannot provide water that is crystal clear. The councils don't do a proper job maintaning the roads so we shall give up driving our cars. But we never had anything worth driving anyway since Proton's lineup of cars are centuries behind everyone.
Given these circumstances, we might as well move overseas to more 'developed' countries like the UK and America, 'The land of opportunity' and Australia. If I had the chance, I'd go.
But wait, I have a proper job here that pays a proper wage. Something that those 'developed' economies are fresh out of. So thank you Malaysia for providing me with a job!

~Wong~ said...

I would say that the first Anonymous that claimed Damansara 21 is not a low class owner, but from the side of the developer of Damansara 21 in defense of accusations against them. What not a better way than to disguise as a citizen?

Otherwise I see no rationale in his reasoning which defy all theory of business, A developer won't build a safer foundation just because people pay more for it. They'd rather cash it for profit.

Anonymous said...

Landslides have known to occur at shallow angles (<20 degs). Several factors contribute to it. 1) geometry 2) soil conditons 3) geomorphology 3) water regime 4)
water infiltration rate 5) climate
6) drainage and 7) adjacent developments etc. So in my opinion it is not right to define slope classification by angles alone.

Aryud said...

Wong, well said.

amoker said...

DBKL is keeping low and quiet. Zul is not the saviour but to rectify a mistake. Go there and you will see a small piece of land on top of the hill with 2 big water tanks. If the earth gives way and the water tank roles, the 21 millionnaires would loose more than their money. Simple logic that DBKL seemed to not understand.