The Housing and Local Government Ministry plans to build a housing project for the B40 group at the site of the Highland Towers condominium which collapsed 25 years ago, said its minister, Zuraida Kamaruddin.
She said the proposed plan could be implemented only after the affected land had been acquired, and legal issues, as well as with buyers of the condominium units, had been resolved.
"The first meeting of the Committee on Re-development of Highland Towers will be held at the ministry tomorrow and will be chaired by chief secretary Datuk Mohammad Mantek," “ she told a weekly media conference at her office in Putrajaya today.
Besides the Housing and Local Government Ministry and its agencies, she said the committee would also have representatives from the Finance Ministry, Selangor government, Economic Affairs Ministry, Works Ministry, Environment and Natural Resources Ministry, Land and Mines director-general, Mineral and Geoscience Department, Drainage and Irrigation Department and the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council.
According to Zuraida, the site of the Highland Towers condominium is a prime land in Kuala Lumpur and should be fully utilised, instead of leaving it idle.
On Dec 11, 1993, one of the three blocks of the Highland Towers condominium at Taman Hillview, Ulu Klang, collapsed, killing 48 people.
Asked on the risk of developing a housing project at the Highland Towers site as it is a hill slope, Zuraida said the development would be carried out according to the required specification.
On another development, she said, the ministry would review the existing policy on the duration for the government to take over abandoned housing projects in the country.
"If the time period stated in the existing policy is too long, there might be a need to shorten it,” she said, adding that they were currently 257 abandoned projects, with the highest number in Selangor and most of them were by the private sector.