This malaysiakini article suggests Hillside developers 'abuse' their power and the MCA Deputy President alleges
"some hillside developers have abused their power to get approval from the local authorities to proceed with their projects" in the article.
The above graphics gives some indication of what could have happened.
It seems that some of the houses at the center of the landslide were part of an abandoned project and if you look at the graphics, you can make the logical conclusion that these decaying structures (abandoned for more than 10 years) could cause ponding and a water-logged surrounding.
So it does not really make sense for trying to suggest that property owners need to get a structural engineer to inspect your site every 6 months. Those bungalows that were destroyed below the slope failure would have passed the inspections.
I believe there are enough by-laws with the local authorities to enter abandoned properties and do appopriate maintenance works such as grass-cutting etc. In this case it would have also included the maintenance of the drainage of the abandoned houses and then bill the owners.
I suggest the state should amend land laws so that properties abandoned for more than 10 years should revert back to state ownership.
Assessment rate for hill-side properties should also be higher so that the local authorities can be held responsible for the overall integrity of the drainage systems.
But the malaysiakini article does not give exact details and I wonder how developers can "pressure" local authorities to get approvals?
Graphics: Thanks to NST