Friday, June 02, 2006

The Circus Is In Town...send in the clowns

(Laura doing her impression of a Malaysian local councillor in full regalia)








Friday June 02, 2006: I am still reeling in disbelief after reading today's newspapers, The Star and The New Straits Times reports on the killer Ulu Klang landslides. There were excuses flying around, fingers pointing in all directions, bucks being passed. All accompanied by what the NST called "Another round of rhetoric, recriminations, accusations and stern warnings." But even without having to read too closely or between the lines we all realised that nothing good is going to come out of this circus performance. Nobody is taking responsibility. Nobody is making plans to stop this from happening again. And both our Big minister and his ultimate boss, Pak Lah (quite frankly, I am beginning to not want to address him as Pak anything anymore) have not learned the difference between giving warnings and using the extent of the law to protect lives and property. In page 7 of NST, this Prime Minister of ours continues to "hope", suggest, advise. I think he should kick some sorry asses and use the big stick. This pussy footing is killing innocent people.

Well, the story did report that he has directed the Public Works Department to carry out regular inspections of hillslopes and riverbanks. This is tragic because I seem to have heard this line before. Many times. The more people die, the more regular inspections are carried out. What happens after those inspections nobody knows and more will be carried out to commensurate with the body count at the next disaster.

Read this quote from the NST..."I hope the PWD will immediately start conducting regular inspections, especially during the rainy season. If this is done, appropriate follow-up action can be taken to strengthen the affected areas."

Anything wrong? Yes. 2 things.

First it is only the PM's "hope". And we all know how those having been going south recently.

Second, the follow-up actions hoped for somehow never happen. Ask any of the victims of all the landslides. Oh, sorry they can't answer you cos they're dead.

Elsewhere in the NST it is revealed that the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council had been warned about the unstable areas that are prone to landslides. But this finding was not made public because some quarters feared that it would cause a drop in property prices!!! And so the land did slide and with it all property prices around the area. So what's the nett result? Some innocent people died. But that's okay. We got more.

In the same story, the accused developer denied any responsibility. I almost cried when I read this quote from the CEO of the company. "We were not required to build the retaining wall in our original layout plan which was approved by the authorities but decided to do so out of goodwill upon a request from the authorities." You know that the area is not safe. You continue to build and sell properties there. And a safety feature to you is just a good will gesture to satisfy some 'authorities'???

The CEO goes on to point the finger at another development which she claims is the cause for the land becoming unstable. Okay, so the other guy did it. But isn't it your corporate and human responsibility to stop work and stop selling once you made that discovery and also start actions to report and or rectify the situation?

But one 'good' thing did happen in today's NST. The Big minister obviously got his P.R. people to do the right thing. The NST published a photo of him in his "upset" mode. Yesterday, he was fuming. Remember? But the photo of him in profile didn't really give the rakyat the proper impression. And so today...

"I'm UPSET. You hear?"
Actually, looking at his teeth he might have made a fairly decent dentist. Pity.

17 comments:

Maxforce said...

All this CYA tactics. Damn!

KSCheah said...

Patrick, I have lived in Ulu Kelang for many years and thought much of the greens around the limestone hills were government owned forest reserves. You are right about the rapid development (since the late 90s actually) that came with the opening of the MRR2. The question we also should ask ourselves is; who did the government alienate the parcels of land to before the developers came in with their earthworks equipment?

harnniann said...

Patrick, I am so sad. But I am not angry.

I am tired. I can't find a word stronger than "disappointment" to describe my feeling right now.

You can write in this blog about your dissatisfaction. Your readers can echoe your sentiments by commenting on this blog.

But the next morning, we wake up to the same Government, the same MB, the same Minister, the same Municipal Council, and the same attitude and mentality.

I am afraid this may not be the final landslide of this country. But our leaders will survive anykind of landslides for during the last election, they have won by "landslide" victory.

I am tired and numb. Too numb to even type out any grievances...

bongkersz said...

"But this finding was not made public because some quarters feared that it would cause a drop in property prices!!! "

This same reasoning they used when decided against publishing API reading during haze period, this same reasoning why they critised they paper for publishing too much crime stories/news. FEAR that when the tourists read about it, our tourism industry will suffer. Apa bodo bangang reason, like when they actually came here they can't see for themselves what's happening? And how to answer them at that time? FEAR.. bullshits!

gunnena said...

"I'm UPSET. You hear?"
Actually, looking at his teeth he might have made a fairly decent dentist. Pity.


Isn't he a dentist?

sherrina said...

Did you know that previously there was a plan to build a golf course behind the Zoo Negara? Another bloody golf course? Luckily the plan had been cancelled. But there are many itchy hands out there wanted to tear off the Ulu Klang area. There are still green area which can be turned into gold pot. Many many itchy hand. I hope God will help to protect this place.

p/s: MPAJ, if you are reading this. Please start do something with the Ulu Klang river in front of my house. The next heavy rain and thunderstorm, sure flood again. I'm tired of cleaning the house after flood :(

Anonymous said...

aiyah why so angly mr kee huat radio? now got immunity so can start to blame people for landslide(provided of course not one ownself) i vely happy now do not say my act. god(dess)

Anonymous said...

rmember the milli vinilli song ? " blame it on the rain, blame it on the stars, shitever u do dont put a blame on you blame it on the rain yeah yeah"
..is their favourite song...

hehehaha said...

haiya... they will sure spin us around 1... at the end of the day either we see a goat being sacrificed or suddenly the news dissapear 1... *poof... worldcup coming wei...

Anonymous said...

malaysians being malaysians, we'll soon forget about all the injustices, as it's been proven time and again. after all, we're a tolerant & forgetful bunch of people what....

patrickteoh said...

harniann, we don't have to always wake up to the same shit and take it. As long as we care enough to make our voices heard and are prepared to take things forward to a conclusion. I guess you're right. Too many of us just complain and do nothing else. Write to your MP, write letters to the press, call your local council etc. etc. etc. But...no la. My MP? Who that ah? Sure they won't publish one. Local council? Aiyah they won't do anything one la. And so we just go back to just complaining. Until the next disaster happens. Then we complain somemore. See any similiarities between us and them? scary isn't it? Want to do something about it now?

Gunnena, yes I know he is a dentist. "He would have made a pretty decent dentist. Sigh. Pity." Get it?

Sherrina, share with us what you have done to get your flood problem rectified?

Ya la you're right hehehaha and anonymous. Those flers only have to put up with the scrutiny for another few days. When the World Cup starts all will be forgotten.

sherrina said...

Patrick,
Endless letters to the MPAJ, to the newspaper (several times published since I was in secondary school). Plenty of phonecalls to MPAJ, to the YB. And now, we just pray hard and prepare ourself for the flood which could strike at anytime.

patrickteoh said...

Hey sherrina. It would be interesting if you could give us chronological details of your efforts to get service from MPAJ, your MP and the newspapers. Unanswered letters to MPAJ should result in noisy visits to the office of the MPAJ President's office. Did you all try that? If the YB you helped to elect into office does not respond to your calls and letters march into his office and demand to see him personally. I know la. Sometimes it all seems so futile. But we got to keep at it to make change. Keep the faith, Sherrina. BTW, praying hard for alleviation just puts more strain on the Big Guy in the sky and we know how much he's got on his plate already. Courtesy of our politicians.

obefiend said...

pussy footing? who are you kidding. Uncle Lah lah is a pussy! relexlah... takpelah..... biarlah.. ALLAH marah!

thats him! PAK LAH.. funny that this guy was so full of ideas when he was sworn in. now he is a joke.

u know ur in trouble when Mahathir and Nik Aziz both agrees that ur a failure!! i lost respect for him now. he never moves his ass when the going gets tough. trying to call for calmness in the eye of the storm is foolhardy

like you i am getting tired of the whole

" kami sudah lama memantau...."

what memantau? i saw how they work. they put the nifty yellow geomantik telescope thingy on the road. ask a slave labour indonesian to put a long metal stick on the ground.. and began teropong-ing the area. i have a strong suspicion that he is teropong-ing the houses instead.. then this is followed by 4 hours of smoking and drinking teh tarik under a small tree..

memantau?
more like meman***

Anonymous said...

Guys, give this fler a break... he was trying to pose for that one Kodak Moment la... he is upset.. my foot, prolly he had a few properties there and that the value of his asset will be reduced to nothing and for that he is UPSET

bongkersz said...

I don't understand. I really don't. How the government attend to the matter above? They came up with MORE rules. 4 new EIA (Enviroment Impact Assessment) laws to be introduced. Are they farking blind? The issue here is not we are lacking of laws or what so ever. It's the enforcement! Enforce the law, tighten it. Make it compulsory, no 'close one eye'. Now every single issue, our magic solution is 'form committee to investigate, propose to have more laws..' all this, we don't even need in the 1st place if we have capable people at the implementation stage. Damn, these people are so damn bodo..It's the IMPLEMENTATION and ENFORCEMENT that fails, not the issue whether we have enough laws or guidelines. No point to have so many guidelines and laws if there's nobody oversee it.

Maxforce said...

I think they re trying to divert ppl's attention and trying to give an impression that they re doing something (which they obviously are not - they're just thinking how to Cover Their Asses!!!)