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Up to Cabinet to declassify landslide report

KUALA LUMPUR: Works Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor reiterated on Dec 2 that it is the Cabinet that will decide whether to declassify the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide report.

“When I wanted to classify the report, I informed the Cabinet. Now if I were to declassify it, why should I jump the procedure? Why should I melompat-lompat ?” he said when asked if he was going to declassify the report. The minister was giving a press conference after he closed the Ministry's “Hari Inovasi and Hari Bertemu Pelanggan” here.

Shaziman appeared to be irritated when he was asked why the report was classified in the first place.

“If I’m a doctor and I check you, should I inform people your sickness? Sure I diam sahaja, unless you allow me to do that… The (Selangor) state government is jobless. The jobs that they are tasked with, even though a minor one, have yet to be completed. All they can do is point fingers. Tell me, what they have done?” he replied.

Shaziman was referring to Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim’s repeated attempts to get the federal government to declassify the report which the Public Works Department had handed over to the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) in September. Bukit Antarabangsa comes under the ambit of MPAJ, in Selangor.

Khalid has also released a summary of the report and had announced that the full report would be made available when it was made known that he did not have the power to declassify the document.

The minister was also asked of his next step; given that legally he has the right to declassify documents under the 1972 Official Secrets Act Section 2(c). The said section is believed to allow the minister responsible for classifying a document, to declassify it, without going through Cabinet.

Shaziman replied that the responsibility of ensuring the safety of Bukit Antarabangsa residents lies with MPAJ and that it was the responsibility of the council to prevent, or at least to reduce, the occurrence of such an incident.

“MPAJ asked us to do the report – a technical report. Then in the report we are telling MPAJ the causes of the landslide. Now, it (MPAJ) has to ensure that such incident does not recur in the Bukit Antarabangsa area. They have to follow the suggestions of the report,” he added, without going into details.

Shaziman also turned at Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim who has urged the federal government to declassify another report, the Hazardous Map report on Bukit Antarabangsa. The minister said:  “It is illegal if Khalid declassifies something which cannot be declassified”.

The Hazardous Map report is a study of risk in residential areas including hill slopes, carried out by specialists appointed by the federal government.

On Dec 6 last year, the landslide at Bukit Antarabangsa claimed five lives, destroyed 14 bungalows and displaced the lives of many. As a result Bukit Antarabangsa residents are not sure if they are in any danger.

 

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