Monday, February 7, 2011

Ulu Klang Double Disasters - Ruins Revisited

1993 catastrophe - Highland Towers Collapse. (
2008 nightmare - Bukit Antarabangsa Landslide.

December 1993 and 2008. Dates remembered by Malaysians for the calamities it had created. News went wild about landslides struck Ulu Klang which had razed an apartment called Highland Towers and bungalows at Bukit Antarabangsa, killing 48 and 5 people respectively. An area so close to my home, I swore I could feel tremors at the moment it happened...

Now after 18 and 3 years, I took the time off during this Chinese New Year to go back to the site and see how the aftermaths have turned up. The trip was unnerving since a lot of lives had perished there plus I ventured into the realm of the dead all alone... Nevertheless, let the journey down the memory lane begin!

First, a stop at the infamous landslide...

What the site looks like today. Tidier, greener slope.

"(Beyonce) I'm a survivor!", the house.

Barren landscape, a reminder of nature's wrath.

"The landslide has got nothing to do with me", another house.

One man against nature - resistance is futile.

Next, to the top of the action. Had a few conversation with an Indonesian worker maintaining a house. A few 'FOR SALE' signs. He told me the price of whopping RM 1 million. A big sum and what will you get in return? The feel of how fragile you would become.      

A closer look to where it all began 3 years ago.

Nice view to look forward to every time you wake up, and lucky to be alive.

Faraway site of former bungalows.

One of the abandoned house, waiting to be restored to its former glory...

Second, the site of the fallen apartment. People avoided this place due to urban myth of paranormal things but the junkies find their sanctuary here. It was completely covered with overgrown bushes,  making the site more of a hidden settlement rather than a spooky one.

A madam living nearby told me it was OK to go. I readied my knife as I moved into the unknown, prepared for whatever surprises might be stored for me there...   

Behold, the forgotten Two Towers.

This view gave me chills. Certainly not for the faint-hearted.

With a gut as big as KLCC, I went inside...

Display of once celebrated home, now doomed for its existence.   

Former parking lot. Mud covering the tarmac, littered with untold debris...

I'm going up there. I'm not kidding.

For safety concerns, dwellers evacuated the remaining two towers. After a few deliberations, I started to walk upon the steps to discover what happened inside after 18 years of abandonment...

My paths were slow and careful. My blade was ready. Indeed, emotions ran wild like I never experienced before...  

The apartments were stripped of their materials. Surprisingly, this marble wall was exceptionally well-preserved.

A graffiti of an unknown entity. 

Another well-preserved ceiling decoration.

A view from the 3rd floor. Notice the banana plantations up front . That is the site which claimed 48 lives...

Remnants of kitchens. No more cooking in these ones...

A hidden Pond of Oblivion. Compare to what it used to be during its heyday. 

Free vacation in the jungle, anyone?
After trudging steps, finally I was up there at the top of the Tower! Certainly I was not the first person but I took personal pride for overcoming the fear and went for it after many years of seeing it from afar.

Glad to be alive, and here I am telling the tale...  

Adjacent apartment in sight.

This must be where they used to have rooftop parties. Not anymore.

Former penthouse now lies in utter ruins.

Picturesque view of whole Klang Valley from the penthouse.

Deep hole used to place an elevator.

Transformer station no longer meets the eye.

At the very top of Highland Towers. This is what you see from the MRR2 road.

In awe of the nature's beauty, and fury.

I ran down quick and straight to my ride without looking back. Yet somehow I heard a faint, distant cry whispering to my ear. "Tell Malaysia what have happened here..." Maybe it was my imagination, but who knows, it might be the voice of the 48 souls still stuck in the pile beneath the banana plantations...

Humans are entrusted to take care of Mother Earth as the ultimate species ever walked the land. We just messed with the nature. Sooner or later, we have to pay the price.    



  1. Looking back at the 1993 photo of Highland Towers
    i wonder how such a solid building can come tumbling down and yet today we continue to build even higher and on more dangerous slopes.
    who's to be blamed next,mother earth?god????
    i would say point all the fingers at ourself.

  2. pak ali the MAN! which untreaded path u're going next?

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  4. yaaaaa, Emri my man! ur territory in ganu of course!

  5. thomas bro, well said. ur an engineer rite? sure u know ur stuffs!

  6. Like i said...this one is awesome :D