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After fatal Batang Kali landslide, Cabinet to hear new campsite guideline requiring operators to renew licence yearly

Publish date: Thu, 30 Nov 2023, 12:58 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — A proposed guideline for campsites nationwide will reportedly be presented to the Cabinet tomorrow as a result of the fatal Batang Kali landslide last year which killed 31 at a campsite.

Local Chinese-language paper Sin Chew Daily quoted Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming saying that the proposed guideline will require campsite operators to apply for a permit from the local authorities in order to operate, noting that this will close the loophole of unregulated campsites nationwide as revealed by the Batang Kali tragedy.

Sin Chew Daily reported Nga as saying that such camping site licences will have to be renewed every year.

Nga noted that Malaysia has 155 local governments without any standardised fee for campsites. He said his ministry would propose a fee but leave it to the respective local governments to decide.

He reportedly said that this proposed campsite guideline is aimed at ensuring the public's safety and not to earn money, and that operators who have obtained the licence would be able to operate without worrying about enforcement action while campers would also be assured.

If Cabinet approves this guideline, Nga said his ministry plans to implement a one-stop process for the application of campsite licences during the 2024 to 2026 period in order to shorten the application process.

Sin Chew Daily reported Nga as saying that high-risk campsite licences currently take 32 days to approve, while the proposed plan is to shorten this to 14 days.

Unlike low-risk areas, Nga said those applying to operate campsites in high-risk areas such as those near waterfalls, rivers, slopes and the sea would need consultation with the relevant government technical bodies.

In the same interview, Nga cited zoning laws when saying that commercial camping activities cannot be carried out in residential areas.

For the proposed new guideline which took 10 months to draft, Nga reportedly said there is no need to draft a new law to implement the guideline, as it would be introduced based on existing laws.

According to Sin Chew Daily, Nga will bring the guideline to the Cabinet tomorrow for approval and is expected to subsequently hold a press conference regarding the guideline.

There were a total of 92 victims at a campsite in the Batang Kali landslide in Selangor on December 16, 2022, with 61 survivors found in a nine-day search operation while the other 31 died.

The Natural Disaster Management Agency on October 18 released its report on the Batang Kali landslide, saying that it was principally caused by natural failure potentially influenced by rainfall and geological factors.

The full Nadma report can be found here.

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