7 November 2012

The National Slope Masterplan in Malaysia

Posted by Dave Petley

In 2004 Malaysia suffered the latest in a series of landslide incidents when a large rockslope failed and collapsed onto the New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE) on the edge of Kuala Lumpur at Bukit Lanjan.  This remarkable landslide, pictured below, closed the motorway for many months,inducing huge costs, although fortunately no-one was killed:



In response, the Malaysian Government formed the dedicated Slope Engineering Department within the Public Works Department, in order to manage slopes and to reduce the loss of life associated with landslides. One of the key actions of the Slope Engineering Department was to commission the development of a comprehensive plan for the management of slopes across Malaysia for the period 2009 to 2023.  I was fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in this project in a small way as an expert reviewer – it was one of the most enjoyable tasks that I have undertaken in my professional career.  The resulting document is large and very comprehensive, covering everything from hazard assessment through loss estimation, training, regulation and emergency response.  In my view it is one of the most comprehensive national plans for slope management available anywhere in the world.

The document is now available online here (and there is a media report about it here).  It is well worth a read, and deserves greater attention as a model for the ways that other countries might tackle their slope problems.  There is a huge amount of detail in the report. For example, the document provides an assessment of landslide losses in Malaysia in the years leading up to the study:


And in Appendix B (NB PDF) it even provides an inventory of significant landslide loss events across the nation.