Wednesday, 8 October 2014


From: Sheikh Moqhtar *********************
Date: 29 September 2014 19:14:53 GMT+8
To: Rajiv Rishyakaran <>
Cc: ******************************************************
Subject: Re: Substitute rescue pit

Dear YB Rajiv and All Concerned Residents

I have had the opportunity to be a witness of the poor sewage construction works of Mangkubumi for the last 4- 5 months, highlighting their poor and shoddy laying of sewerage pipes via pipe jack methods which have left Road 14/15A damaged , gates and concrete fences and internal foundation of houses in this cul- de- sac Road cracking and damaged , residents experiencing noise pollution, inhaling toxic diesel fumes generated from huge machinery resting by the road side in conflict with EIA guidelines for three months , draining of underground water into the drains even up till now although the machinery and workers have left the work site and drains all clogged up and looking messy and in a shitty state.

As late as last week my neighbour's automated gates just collapsed as they were shutting the doors behind them. What lies ahead of us is indeed frightening? All in the so called excuse of the Mangkubumi development or the D47 Greater KL project sanctioned by the Government. How the state of things will be line in future is a hefty Question mark,  more so as it has not even been commissioned or put on trial run. The stretch from Entrance of Road 14/15A to the pithole near Road 14/32 was halted because of a boulder/ huge rock along Road 14/15 and now excavation works and sheet piling to remove the underground boulder is in progress so as allow the pipe jack activities to be activated again. The earth in this part of Road 14/15A remained exposed during the night and traffic poorly manned and news has it that some machine got stuck in the process as there are telecom cables and Syabas water pipes laid just below the road. The boulder is located at 30ft depth, if I am not mistaken.

Was this communicated in the dialogue on the D47 development? The line is now being moved from the originally approved lines.  Definitely  a big NO! But who is even calling to explain to the poor residents living along this stretch of pipe jacking activity of the safety and health issues. Who? MBPJ  has a duty of care to all residents in the affected area. When it comes to rates collection , they are super fast but not when the interest and safety of residents are at stake.

So YB Rajiv, is it all good to just call for the issuance of MBPJ compound against Mangkubumi who's been issued on so many occasions because of this development in the D47 work area? YB may wish to affirm this with MBPJ. To Mangkubumi the paying of summonses is pittance. Should we not the least be entitled to a second briefing and explanation as to why there has been such a protracted delay in the laying of underground pipes in this worksite? And what additional safety and health concerns had been put in place to safeguard the interest and security of the poor residents living along Jalan 14/15 and Lorong 14/15A???

I do not think it is fair to say the least that it is a Federal project and that remedial lines can't be put in place if it becomes apparent that the interest and safety of residents as well as road users are at stake.

Appreciate your kind action on this subject matter.

Thanking you in anticipation .

Best regards
* Lorong **/***
46100 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan.

Friday, 8 August 2014


I showed a safety advisor with a main contractor for the Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (SMRT) extension project my blog about the cracking of houses on Lorong 14/15A due to work on the Petaling Jaya North Sewer.

His job is to make sure that his company's sub-contractors abide by the safety regulations, abide by best practices, take the necessary precautions and so forth.

He said that the damage to properties on Lorong 14/15A is inevitable with any major underground construction, even in Singapore which has solid granite rock underground, and in some cases, the costs of restoration has eaten into the contractor's revenue and in some cases has made the contractor or sub-contractor bankrupt.

Thus, it's imperative that contractors must make every effort to minimise the occurrence of such damage, which is what part of his job is to ensure.

He also said that especially where the water table below is close to the surface of the ground, pumping out the water will cause soil subsidence and cracking due to sinking of the ground above.

Looking at the picture of the vertical, circular, concrete lined shaft, he estimated that the diameter of that concrete rings is not much smaller than the diameter of SMRT tunnels, which are around six metres, and that in the case of the SMRT tunnels, if studies of soil conditions, soil stability and the water table are not properly conducted, the water will try and flow through any crack or crevice and typically can damage buildings within 100 metres on either side of the tunnel, and result to loss of value of property, such as in the case of Wharton Estate in Singapore.

It's important to have a thorough analysis of soil conditions, soil stability and so forth before any underground work such as tunnelling is undertaken. The work most preferably be approved by a relevant authority, which in Singapore is the Ministry of Manpower, and managed by competent supervisors.  He also doubted the soil stability so close to a river, as in the case of Lorong 14/15A.

He also explained the pipejacking is normally done in soft soil, where the pipe is just pushed through the the soil without the need to bore a hole through the soil first.

He advised that affected residents on Lorong 14/15A should get permission of the relevant authorities to allow them or a qualified person to go down the vertical shaft to inspect what's at the bottom. 

9 August, 2014: Singapore

Monday, 28 July 2014


Residents of Lorong 14/15A (Lane 14/15A), Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia are up in arms over serious cracks which have appeared in the floor and walls of their houses, their driveways, front yards and garden walls of their houses due to construction work of the massive, deep, concrete-line pits which are mid-points in the Petaling Jaya (PJ) North Sewer project. Following are shocking scenes of the damage to their homes since construction began.
The project's website describes the PJ North Sewer accordingly:-
(To view, click on the image below and those following to enlarge)

Section 14, Petaling Jaya covers an area of rather undulating terrain and Lorong 14/15A is located at one of the lowest points. It's a cul-de-sac (dead end) which joins the main road, Jalan 14/15 a.k.a. Jalan Dato' Jamil Rais at one end, whilst the other end is on the edge of the Sungai Penchala (Penchala River) river reserve. At this point, Sungai Penchala can hardly qualify as a river, not even a stream but is more aptly a glorified storm drain but that's another story. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, below is a satellite view of Lorong 14/15A as seen in Google Maps.
This part of Section 14 is also former mining land, where the soil stability is in doubt and residents fear that such massive digging and boring work will cause soil instability. There are also fears that since the water table is pretty close the surface in this area, the laying of massive pipes underground could divert sub-soil water flow, resulting in underground erosion and sink holes, like what happened recently at the intersection of Jalan Pudu and Jalan Imbi in Kuala Lumpur.
I visited the area in question on the 5th of July, 2014 at 10.00am and the affected houses and the damage was shocking. Construction of a mid-point of this sewer partially blocks Jalan 14/15 and the entrance to Lorong 14/15A. Below is the construction site at the junction of these two roads.
This is a project of the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water and the contractor is Mankubumi Sdn. Bhd, The signboard below speaks of the "greening" of Petaling Jaya but one look at the picture above and you can see what nonsense it is. Our sewerage system in Petaling Jaya has worked fine for many years, so don't quite understand the need for this massive project.
Heck! It's not as if we've been using a bucket system all these years or pit latrines like the one below.
However, the PJ North Sewer employs a technology implemented in Taiwan which converts the methane from the sewage into either fertiliser or water.
Anyway, below is the circular, concrete lined shaft which is one of the mid-points of the system.
Workmen are doing some work at the bottom of this huge shaft, so you can appreciate the size of it.
The worst affected of the houses is No. 2, a corner house adjacent to this massive shaft. For starters, look at the cracks in the cement and drain on the outside of its garden wall, nearest to the construction site.
This is what it looks like on the other side of the garden wall. You can see the large cracks which have formed between the wall and the cement cracking up.
The next three pictures show you how deep you can insert a stick between a crack in the cement paving of the front yard.
The stick went in about six inches, which indicates the gap below the cement and the soil below it, which suggests a cavity is forming below the cement, which could soon crack and sink.
Look closely and you'll see a wider gap between the first row of tiles and the second, compared to the others, so the roof is sagging.
Below you can clearly see a crack which has formed between the cement and the front wall of the house.

As you enter the house, you can clearly see a crack in the floor.
If you look closely below, you'll notice a vertical crack in the wall running up to the ceiling. As this house is part of a row of four link houses, if the ground beam breaks, they most probably will be uninhabitable and will have to be demolished.
Below, you can see the mis-alignment between the two leaves of the front gate.
And the door in the front gate can't close properly due to the warping.
The cement driveway is also badly cracked and there are fears that the driveway could collapse when a car drives over it, since the drain runs below it.
There is a similar shaft at the dead end of Lorong 14/15A. This is a short lane with two rows of four link houses on either side.
Here is the shaft at the end with a huge circular concrete cover over it.
Beyond it is the river reserve and the top of the concrete lining of Sungai Penchala below.
House No. 11 at the end of the row opposite No. 2 has also suffered considerable damage to its driveway and front yard.
There are serious cracks in the cement around the corner of its garden wall.
In the front of the garden wall and outside drain.
On the inside of this front garden wall as well
And in the garden wall beside the river reserve and the cement of the front yard as well.
There's also a crack between the front wall of the house and the cement of its front yard.
Worse is a crack running up the front wall as well
Fortunately, No. 8, opposite No. 11 and at the other end of the row from No. 2 farther from this pit but being a corner lot, has a fairly large garden compared to the rest and its garden wall which is adjacent to this shaft has suffered serious cracks as well and part of it looks like it could collapse.
Here's another shot showing the cracked wall, the second shaft and the river reserve beyond.
Residents of Lorong 14/15A want the authorities to stop construction work immediately, and proper studies be conducted on soil stability, soil condition and a proper environmental impact assessment conducted to ensure it's safe before construction of the sewer is allowed to continue.
They also fear that any further damage or collapse of their homes would adversely affect the value of their properties.
These homes were built over 50 years ago and many of these these residents of mixed ethnicities have lived here a long time. Some are retirees and and many are elderly, so don't need such hassles in their golden years.
Journalists Siraj Zaini of Harian Metro and Prema of Streets of the New Straits Times graciously came to meet the residents and see for themselves that morning.
Below is Siraj's report in Harian Metro.

It's in Malay and the headline says "Cracks really bad".

No sign of Prema's report in Streets online just yet but look out for it over here.

Thank you Siraj and Prema.

I hear reporters from other papers are coming later this morning.

Here is Brenda Ch'ng's article in The Star. Thanks, Brenda.

Yours truly