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Batang Kali landslide victims hit out at Amirudin, call for new MB

They are demanding transparency and accountability from the Selangor menteri besar over the tragedy that killed 31 people last year.

Staff Writers
2 minute read
Families of the Batang Kali landslide victims hold a protest during the recent state election campaign.
Families of the Batang Kali landslide victims hold a protest during the recent state election campaign.

Families of victims of the Batang Kali landslide last December have criticised Amirudin Shari's handling of the disaster, saying he should not return as menteri besar if he cannot deliver his promise on announcing the outcome of an investigation into the incident.

"We, the affected families and concerned citizens, are uniting to demand transparency and accountability from Amirudin Shari. We are urging the Selangor MB to uphold his responsibility to the people.

"If the investigation report is not delivered promptly and transparently, we are calling for the Selangor MB to step down from his position, allow someone more credible to oversee the situation, and ensure justice for the victims," a group representing the victims said in a statement.

They said families had been let down many times despite promises by both the state and federal governments, including by Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, who promised that the report on the incident would be completed by January.

They said that in late May, Nik Nazmi informed them that the report was in the hands of the Public Works Department.

This was followed by Public Works Minister Alexander Nanta Linggi saying the report would be completed by June and later saying it had been submitted to the state.

"It baffles me that the Selangor MB said the report was ready and then did nothing and kept mum about it. No reporting, no accountability, nothing. It has been nine gruelling months. My wife and I had all been very traumatised and saddened by the loss of our 7-year-old son.

"We just need a closure, and the previous Selangor leadership has failed to deliver. We are counting on a new leadership who will be more forthcoming," said Loh Teng Shui.

Eng Lee Cheng, the brother of another victim who died in the tragedy, said the safety of residents in Batang Kali was now a concern.

"We could not undo what had happened, but at least we can try to find out the root cause and try our best to avoid similar tragedies happening to others," he said.

The landslide at the Father's Organic Farm in Batang Kali on Dec 16 last year killed 31 people, including 13 children, and was the country's second worst disaster in terms of fatalities, second only to the Highland Towers condominium collapse in 1993.

It was earlier revealed that the campsite had been operating illegally. Some 100 people were at the campsite when the landslide struck at about 2.20am on Dec 16, 2022.