Saturday, 7 December 2019


Following shortly on the heels of broken down lifts and escalators at the Klang Valley's LRT and monorail stations. recently. there were some "exciting" incidents in Kuala Lumpur involving sinkholes and burst water mains below roads which are said to have caused some of the sinkholes.

Whilst Kuala Lumpur, a federal territory, is not part of Selangor state, however these involve SYABAS (Pengurusan Air Selangor Sdn. Bhd) as Selangor state government owned water supply company, so is relevant to this Selangor Scheiss blog.

A Total Of 3 Sinkholes Have Appeared In KL And Were Caused By SYABAS' Burst Pipes

It's world news now.

Third sinkhole appears in KL 

On 24 November 2019,a sinkhole appeared after a Myvi car drove over it on Jalan Maharajalela in Kuala Lumpur, just before the gantry with the road signage and just after the Maharajalela monorail station, heading towards Jalan Loke Yew.

Notice part of the road divider sank in too

Now turning to Google Maps, I estimate that the location of the sinkhole is roughly indicated by where the black dot is.

Zooming out on Kg Attap, you can see massive construction work and property development taking place in the area bordered by Jalan Belfield which loops around it, adjacent to Jalan Maharajalela and the monorail station.

On the same day - here is the taxi which fell into the sinkhole on Jalan Pinang, Kuala Lumpur near to the Twin Towers, which was caused by a burst water main under the road. Since the road was flooded, the taxi driver did not see the hole.

The sinkhole appeared on the side of Jalan Pinang across from the Grand Hyatt KL hotel just after the KLCC-Bukit Bintang elevated walkway.

And here is the sinkhole where you can see what looks like a burst water main.

A third sinkhole appeared outside Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka

The New Straits Times reported:-

Third sinkhole appears in KL
By Veena Babulal - November 26, 2019 @ 10:03am

KUALA LUMPUR: Kuala Lumpur City Hall announced that "another sinkhole" had surfaced on Jalan Dewan Bahasa Pustaka due to a underground burst pipe.
The sinkhole in front of the DBP main gate is located on the stretch heading to the Loke Yew and Hang Tuah traffic light intersection.
The statement on its Facebook page advised road users en-route to Jalan Imbi to use the overpass above the road as it was closed to facilitate Syabas contractors' repairs.

This is the third sinkhole that has appeared in as many days. All three incidents were attributed to Syabas' burst underground pipes.

Yesterday, a sinkhole appeared on Jalan Pinang and caused traffic delays in KL's already congested golden triangle.

However the sinkhole was patched up by Syabas on Tuesday morning.

The first incident was when a car fell into a sinkhole at Jalan Maharajalela heading towards Jalan Loke Yew here.

Pictures of the car tethering nose first into the 3sqm gap have also been making its rounds on social media.

The above article referred back to an earlier NST article with pictures here:-

Car falls into sinkhole; driver unhurt

By Nurul Hidayah Bahaudin - November 25, 2019 @ 9:15am

KUALA LUMPUR: A car fell into a sinkhole at Jalan Maharajalela heading towards Jalan Loke Yew here last night.

Kuala Lumpur Traffic Investigation and Enforcement chief Assistant Commissioner Zulkefly Yahya said initial investigation found that the incident occurred at 11.35pm and involved an area of about three square meters at the location.

"In the 11.35pm incident, a Perodua Myvi driven by a 42-year-old woman fell into a sinkhole. However, the driver, a private company employee, was not injured," he said in a statement.

He added that further investigation is ongoing in accordance with Rules 10 LN166/59.

"Repair works at the location are being done by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL)," he said.

On 2 October 2019, a burst watermain under Jalan Universiti in Petaling Jaya, resulted in a sinkhole into which a car fell in.

Notice the construction site in Section 17, fenced off beside it, and there is an an ongoing commercial development project going on nearby across Jalan Universiti beside the Jaya One complex.

A friend in Bangkok who had spent much of her growing and schooling years in Kuala Lumpur asked: "How come so many holes in kl roads? Used to have excellent road surface".

I explained that basically, any major disturbance of the ground can cause soil movement underground in the vicinity of the works,as happened in my neighbourhood in 2014 due to laying of the PJ North Sewer. There also were frequent instances of watermain bursts in my neighbourhood whilst work on the PJ North Sewer was going on. I learned that there were large rocks underground their cutting machines had a hard time cutting through, and any soil movement can causes pipes nearby to burst or sinkholes to develop. 


According to a safety advisor in Singapore to whom I showed the above blog post to, he explained that cracks did appear in properties up to 100 metres from construction of the Singapore MRT line underground.


This recent article by New Straits Times describes possible causes for burst pipes, including vibration from pounding at construction sites nearby, which jives with my explanation.

Detailed investigation on sinkholes done but why still a mystery?

By Veena Babulal - November 27, 2019 @ 1:13pm

KUALA LUMPUR: Air Selangor has done a detailed investigation to establish the cause of its burst pipes that led to three sinkholes in the city centre in as many days.

However, the utility giant, officially known as Pengurusan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd is not stating is findings or why its underground pipes burst.

In a long overdue statement today, its Corporate Communications Department head Halem Mat Som said that as of now, it has completed repair works in all three affected areas.

He said that a "detailed investigation has been conducted to determine the exact cause of the incidents, particularly within the 48 hour period".

Halem however said there are various factors that could cause the bursts.

"Among them are the movement of soil caused by vibration or hard pound. This is usually the case when the pipe is not far from a construction site or the pipe position is right below the road surface," he broadly hinted.

Halem also said soil movement can also be caused by groundwater flow due to rain which causes the soil structure to soften and result in broken pipes due to soil erosion that no longer holds the pipe.

"Pipe bursts can also occur due to high water pressure where the pipes cannot handle pressure, especially old asbestos cement (AC) pipes."

He however stated that Air Selangor has taken pertinent steps to avoid such incidents from repeating.

"Relating to the incident involving a sinkhole on Jalan Maharajalela, Air Selangor will carry out the redistribution of water pressure until it reaches optimum levels."

"This includes installing an endcap on the pipe at the side of the road and carrying out tapping relocation for 10 customer premises receiving water from the affected pipeline."

On sinkholes in Jalan Pinang and Jalan Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP), Air Selangor found that a 300mm asbestos cement (AC) pipe had burst.

"As an immediate action, Air Selangor installed a pressure logger to analyse the pressure profile to stabilise the water supply system in the area. In the meantime, valve control was carried out immediately as well as pressure monitoring at the 'target point'."

Halem said the pipes in front of Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) are also asbestos cement (AC) pipes that have been around for over 30 years.

"In addition to heavy vehicles and high traffic on this route, vibrations or movement of soil from the development in the surrounding area can also cause the aged water pipes to break."

He said Air Selangor's long-term plan is to replace this asbestos cement pipes and has identified approximately 438km of such pipes to be replaced, and to date, 365.16km of such pipes have been replaced.

Air Selangor will continue to monitor the optimal distribution of water to all users in the city centre without putting pressure on existing pipes.

Three sinkholes appeared in Kuala Lumpur, two within 700 meters of each other on Jalan Maharajalela and the main gate of Dewan Bahasa Pustaka on Sunday night and Tuesday morning respectively. The one on Jalan Maharajalela that appeared first was 3m and partially swallowed a car. The driver however escaped unhurt.

The other sinkhole appeared on Jalan Pinang on Tuesday morning.

Welcome to "Malaysia Baru"! ("New Malaysia")

Yours truly


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