Federal Hill landslide: A MNS member responds

Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) Selangor Branch is very alarmed to hear of yet another landslide that occurred on 23 October 2021 at Bukit Persekutuan, affecting houses in adjacent Bukit Bandaraya, Bangsar.  The Vibes reported on 24/10/21 that, “The (Fire & Rescue) Department has advised residents in the area to vacate their homes, saying the situation poses a danger.”  

As a key stakeholder with our MNS headquarters in Bukit Persekutuan, we urge the authorities to urgently provide a permanent solution to redress this matter, before a potentially bigger calamity occurs.

We would like to highlight two factors that must be taken into consideration:-

1) In July 2014, Unit Geosains, Jabatan Mineral dan Geosains Malaysia, Selangor/Wilayah Persekutuan confirmed the presence of a natural waterway in Jalan Abdullah, Bangsar, which is in the immediate vicinity to Bukit Persekutuan.  

a. Tampering with this can only pose serious adverse and dangerous consequences.

2) The removal of trees (especially mature trees) and vegetation will increase runoff during peak rainfall, increasing the risk of flash floods and landslides.  

a. Bukit Persekutuan is landslide-prone with two large landslides affecting parts of Jalan Persekutuan and Jalan Selangor occurring in 2012/2013. There has since been smaller incidents prior to this major landslide on 23/10. 

b. Jalan Damansara also has been affected by flash floods. 

c. Soil settlement has damaged Bukit Persekutuan roads eg. Jalan Kelantan.

d. Existing gabion retaining walls & slope nailing is evident for slope stability and to prevent soil erosion eg. on Jalan Negeri Sembilan.

We would like to reiterate that the remaining mature trees and dense vegetation is still worth preserving to control runoff during heavy downpour that can result in further landslides and flash floods. 

In context, Bukit Persekutuan only has a fragile green lung and can only handle low-impact traffic eg. cycling, walking. 

Hence, gazetting Bukit Persekutuan as an Urban Community Forest is a natural choice to avert any further potential dire calamities. 

Statement by MNS Member Foo Wai Leng

Endorsed by MNS Selangor Branch

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