Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, Sarawak Minister of Housing.

The planning of development projects meant for housing and commercial purposes in Sarawak must be first approved by the State Planning Authority (SPA), state housing minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said Monday.

He said, in coordinating with the SPA, his ministry took into consideration all aspects, including the site and soil survey, to ensure that such development was not built on water catchment areas or near industrial sites which are hazardous to human settlement.

“That is why developers complain about the delay (in granting approval) because we have to look at the proposal from all angles, especially when they sometimes do not give detailed information on the project components,” he told reporters after attending a sacrificial ceremony at Surau Nurul Muslimin in Kampung Sungei Bedil Besar, Petra Jaya here in conjunction with the Aidil Adha celebrations.

On Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had asked all state governments to review ongoing hillslope projects to avert landslides similar to Saturday’s incident at Bukit Antarabangsa in Hulu Klang, Selangor.

While expressing sympathy to landslide victims and affected residents in general, Abang Johari said it was easy to plan housing projects in Sarawak which was fortunate in not having hilly terrain, except for regions like Kapit and Song. — BERNAMA