Jagdeep: You can kick us out - but get your facts right

Family members of landslide victims crying in despair at the construction site in Tanjung Bungah Penang

"If all of us can comply then why can't the federal (side) adhere to it", he asked at a press conference after conducting a spot check at the affordable housing project site in Teluk Kumbar.

The right of local NGOs to kick out the state government, which they blame for the deadly landslide that killed 11 workers in Tanjung Bungah last Saturday, does not have any objection from Penang state executive councillor Jagdeep Singh Deo.

SINCE 2008, the Penang government has rejected several applications by federal agencies and private developers for projects on hill land that failed to comply with its regulations.

The Penang government today urged critics to stick to the facts of the case when slamming the state government over the recent landslide tragedy.

"He said the state also rejected applications for housing under the 1Malaysia Civil Servant Housing (Perumahan Penjawat Awam 1 Malaysia - PPA1M) because the federal programme "appeared not to understand" the strict guidelines that banned developments on hill land".

He said at least 28 high-rise projects on hillside above 76m were given the green light by the previous administration particularly from 1985 to 2008.

"Are these units unsafe to be inhabited?"

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He pointed out those projects have been inhabited by thousands of residents so irresponsible statements on how unsafe such developments are will only instill fear in the minds of these residents.

Jagdeep said certain quarters that are asserting their rights were "exploiting" the tragic construction site accident that took the lives of one Malaysian and 10 foreign workers.

He said the federal government's guidelines on the subject allowed hillside development up to 300m.

Jagdeep refuted claims made by unscrupulous parties that the project in Tanjung Bungah was a hillslope development as totally untrue.

"This construction site accident is an important work safety issue, and to deny or ignore this as a work site accident, will have legal consequences in terms of financial culpability and responsibility for the 11 construction workers who died".

"We hope the CI will also look into other related matters, including the approval of the project by the Penang Island City Council", he said.

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