Sunday, March 20, 2005

JKR Slope Monitoring System

The New Straits Times report, page 6, Prime News

According to the report, more than 100 hillslopes had been identified by PWD as risky for possible landslides. The hillslopes are found predominantly in Fraser's Hill, Cameron Highlands, Genting Highlands (all in Pahang), Gunung Raya (Langkawi), Paya Terubung Valley (Penang), the mountain ranges in Ulu Kelang, Selangor, and several limestone hills in Ipoh.

This followed a recent survey by the department's slope engineering division following a series of landslides in recent years.

PWD deputy director-general 1 Prof Datuk Dr. Wahid Omar said today JKR Cawangan Jalan utilised the Slope Management and Risk Tracking (Smart) system developed from a comprehensive study of the landslide at the Tamparuli-Sandakan trunk road in Sabah last year.

"The identified areas are being monitored and remedial measures are being taken," Wahid said. "The affected slopes are a result of improper development around the areas which affected the stability of the soil."

The Government, he added, had approved a RM7 million budget to carry out a year-long study to collect data and formulate the National Slope Masterplan, which is expected to be ready by the year's end.

The study involves other agencies such as the Malaysian Centre for Remote Sensing, the departments of Geology, Drainage and Irrigation, Meteorology and Environment and the Public Works Institute.

"The study constitutes aerial photography and photogrammetry (used in topographical map preparation), geology, drainage, site history and engineering," he said during a one-day seminar on "Landslide Monitoring and Disaster Early Warning Systems".

The study, Dr. Wahid added, was in addition to the RM160 million budget allocated to the PWD to install the hillslope early warning system, which will monitor earth movements on hillslopes along federal roads and highways. The Government, he said, had taken a serious view of the threats and consequences of landslides.

Among the incidents that hogged newspaper headlines were the mudslides at Km303 of the North-South Expressway at Gua Tempurung near Gopeng, Perak, on Oct 12 last year, the Bukit Lanjan rockfall at the North Klang Valley Expressway on Nov 24, 2002 and the landslide in Taman Hillview, Ampang, Selangor on Nov 20, 2002.

Cheers to JKR for their dedication in performing their services to the public. If only all the other departments such as, State authorities and other public service authorities are doing what JKR were doing, we would not have the Bukit Cahaya fiasco.

Yesterday, in the NST, it was reported that there was zero monitoring of the development around Bukit Cahaya Seri Alam agricultural park by the Shah Alam City Council. That explains why seven developers were prepared to go-ahead with land clearing work even without approval from the local authority. That also explains why two developers did not follow a pre-approved schedule.

The Federal and State Ministers should take the blame if it was true that there is absolutely no monitoring of the development projects, particularly, on the environmental factors. How could the Mentri Besar of Selangor puts the entire blame on the statutory bodies when they are the Leaders who are fully responsible for all the actions and rules.

Pak Lah certainly needs more leaders in the like of Datuk Dr. Wahid, who is the key driver of knowledge management and competency building within JKR. He resembles the evangelist of "CHANGE MANAGEMENT", a leader who have no fear of politicians and one who will not give favor to curry politicians. But, I am afraid, our national system do not encourage people of this category to exist, and will not allow such talent to lead the change in the civil service system. These capable and maverick leaders will be punished and stepped-on to such low morals, because the politicians hate them and despise them. Politicians only wanted "YES-MEN" and "BODEK-MEN". So, with power in their hand, they will only select kleptocratic leaders and cronyist servants, who will offer to curry-flavor from them and will do what had or will be told, not what is right to do.

The Prime Minister talks loud and all too often of the need for a clean and efficient system, a good delivery system and a people-oriented administration. So far, after more than one year in power, we only hear what he says he will do, but nothing had been done or seen done. The corrupt officers and poiliticians are still holding powers (extremely powerful, infact more powerful than in Mahathir's era), the inefficient and incompetent civil servants continues to bully those who can perform, (one of such person who had to suffer is Datuk Dr Wahid), the delivery system is only "CAKAP SAHAJA", and all the ministries such as Works ministry, utilities (water & electricity) and various others are sweeping the rubbish back to their working places.

How long more would we be able to see change? Is it that our system is "CAKAP SELALU TAK SERUPA BIKIN?"

Pak Lah KEEPS REMINDING himself and his officers that the honeymoon is over, and he knows it is; but what can he do? He had a mulfunction system and incompetent officers, but he had no power to remove them or change them. He can only keep telling them, but, that won't produce the goals and objectives he had set out to do as promised. Maybe, the only solution is to consider appointing someone like Datuk Dr. Wahid to higher positions to lead the change.

If the PM is desirous of change, then he needs to put in place the "change masters"! There are a few change masters in the civil services, but they are strapped and silenced by the system administrators. Would PM knows about it? Or, is he sleeping with his enemies, the corruptors?????


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