By Dharmender Singh, The Star
Residents affected by last Saturday’s landslide at Bukit Antarabangsa have decided to sue the relevant government authorities for compensation.
A taskforce set up to represent residents affected by the landslide feels it has enough grounds to sue as the authorities failed to act in time to avert the tragedy that has taken four lives so far.
Taskforce chairman Datuk M. Muniandy said the committee had engaged lawyers to prepare the lawsuit and identify the authorities to be named in the suit.
“We have strong evidence to back the suit because residents had reported several incidents from about two years ago that seemed to point to problems in the stability of the slope.
“Because of the hilly terrain, residents were always alert and cautious and reported any cases of landslides and even repeated sinkholes with the third one at about six metres deep,” he told reporters after a meeting with Selangor police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar here on Tuesday.
He said the sinkhole was filled the first two times but it extended under the structure of a nearby house when it appeared a third time at around the same spot, and officials from the Public Works Institute (Ikram) visited it but no action was taken.
The taskforce’s secretary Raymond Jegathesan claimed that residents also complained when trees started to fall but the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) simply attributed it strong winds and continuous rain.
“Over 20 years ago a block of houses that were 80% complete collapsed near the area of Saturday’s landslide, and no action was taken to strengthen the slope following that.“Now lives have been lost and people have lost their entire life’s savings because signs that appeared over several years were ignored,” he said.