Statement by Parliament Opposition Leader and DAP Secretary- Genenral, Lim Kit Siang, on Monday, 18th July 1983.
A full public report on the causes of the cave-in to the $90 million Kuala Lumpur- Seremban highway should be made public following the shocking disclosure by the Geological Survey Department that it was not consulted before work on the highway commenced.
The disclosure by the Geological Survey Department that it was not consulted by the Public Workds Department before work on the $90 million project started in 1975 has thrown a completely new light on the cave- in and damage to the highway, 22 kilometres from Kuala Lumpur.
The Geological Survey Department has said that if it had been consulted, it would have alerted the PWD of the limestone bedrock beneath the highway causing sink- holes and cave- ins.
This means that the cave- in at the 22 kilometre point is also likely to take place at other sections of the highway because of the underlying limestone formation beneath the highway.
This is most shocking and unthinkable because it means that before work on the $90 million highway was started, there had been no geological studies made and the damages to the highway is due to poor, inefficient and incompetent planning.
The Minister of Public Workds, Datuk Samy Vellu, had tried to throw a red herring in putting the blame for the highway cave- in on lorry operators and even on hawkers. He even wanted to use the cave- in as an excuse to increase the toll charges when in actual fact it was his ministry that was responsible for the cave- in.
I still remember that in the last bdget session, I drew Datuk Samy Vellu’s attention to the poor condition of the K.L.- Seremban highway and that there was at least 100 places where there were potholes or uneveness. Datuk Samy Vellu pooh- poohed the idea.
It is now clear the reason why the highway often developed unevenness in various strctches, causing threats to the lives and limbs of road- users is due to the underlying limestone bedrocks lying under the highway causing the road surface to sink or crack.
Datuk Samy Vellu should make a full public report on the K.L.- Seremban highway and also to state what steps are being taken to save the highway from regular cave- ins and damages.
The DAP is opened to any increase in toll charges for the highway for the people should not be made to pay for bad planning of the highway. If compensatory action is to be taken, the government should institute legal suits against the consultants and engineers responsible for the siting of the highway over limestone formation without proper survey.