Sunday, December 07, 2008

How many more Highlands Tragedies?

I got an sms from a friend which went: "How many more tragedies....?" I could detect the utter distress and anger in his voice.

Yet it is with deep regret that we still have to witness even more highland development tragedies like the one at Bukit Antarabangsa on Dec. 6, 2008, 15 years after the catastrophic Highlands Tower collapse.

For sure, lessons have not been learnt.
For sure, someones' going to start the finger pointing.
For sure, someone else is going to deflect that blame.
For sure, someone in some department didn't do his or her job.
For sure, someone has been on the take and someone else was being very "generous".
For sure, someone decided to prioritize profits at the expense of human lives.
For sure, someone decided to build/buy property in a landslip prone area....

And the list goes on....

Meanwhile, according to Malaysiakini, the Penang government has ordered an immediate inspection of landslip prone areas in the state. In a report 10 years ago, the Works Ministry had identified the Paya Terubong - Balik Pulau area as a landslide prone area unsuitable for high-rise high-density township development. Yet, Paya Terubong is jam packed with high rise residential and commercial buildings.

Tellingly, the Chief Minister cautioned that " just because Penang did not suffer from landslide tragedy, it does not mean there won’t be any."

For an eagle's eye view on the seriousness of the issue, go to Google Earth and type in "Bukit Antarabangsa Ampang" and see through satellite imagery just how much development has taken place in a fragile environment.

While Marina Mahathir alerts us about the need for volunteers for the Bukit Antarabangsa relief work. Hopefully, some of us will be able to lend a hand there.

And hear a very angry Patrick Teoh tear into the idiotic comments made by both our dear PM and DPM.

C.S. Lewis in his book "The Problem of Pain" says that "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world."

Every time such tragedies happen, I feel there's a message that God is trying to tell us. But it still seems that we are not really listening. Like how Dylan sings in "Blowing in the wind":

How many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died
The answer my friend is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing in the wind.


Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Jude Manickam,

You have a beautiful blog here and beautiful blogs elsewhere too. Blogosphere is blessed with you in it.

I am humbled with the knowledge that you put me on your blogroll. Thank you very much, kind sir.

I wish you and family God's blessing during this advent season and may the meaning of Christmas may ever so real in our hearts.

I covet your prayers too re my recent encounter and believe at the end of the tunnel,we can all declare - to God be the glory!

Take care and please keep in touch.

Thank you.

Jude Manickam said...

hi masterwordsmith!

thanks for your affirmation. it's good to hear that there are actually a few people who "enjoy" it!!! such is vanity no?!

thanks also for the christmas wishes. i wish the same for you and all your loved ones too.

i notice from you bio that there are quite a bit that ties us together - the choice of books, movies and songs, etc!! so, it's good to find a another like minded soul around...

i would love to keep in touch with you. my email:

p.s. what exactly is a "multi-tasking specialist?" i'm intrigued!!