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Guan Eng hints at negligence in Tanjung Bungah landslide

 | October 22, 2017

Penang chief minister says something must have been wrong at the construction work site because there had been no rain for days that could have caused the slope to collapse.

lim-guan-eng-landslideGEORGE TOWN: Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng today said professional negligence could have contributed to the landslide on the condominium construction site at a hillslope in Tanjung Bungah yesterday which claimed 11 lives.

He said while this was just a suspicion, the state’s commission of inquiry (CI) into the incident would reveal more details.

He said the building contractor and consultant experts of the project will be blacklisted for the time being by the Penang Island City Council (MBPP), until the CI clears them.

“Whilst we do not wish to speculate, strong suspicions remain of professional negligence, defects in monitoring and non-compliance with work safety procedures,” he said in reading a prepared statement to reporters at the site.

“Something must have been very wrong during the construction work site (incident) because there was no rain for the past several days that could have caused the slope to collapse.

“Until the CI completes its work and issues its findings, the developer will not be allowed to start work on the affordable housing project,” he said.

Lim said MBPP had been directed to check all construction sites, especially slope-related ones to ensure structural safety guidelines are met.

“I will also be recommending that the commission of inquiry shall be empowered to investigate all ancillary matters related to the project,” he said.

Search and rescue officials told reporters that a total of 11 people were feared dead in the heap of earth which collapsed from a hillslope at the site near Tunku Abdul Rahman College in Tanjung Bungah.

Seven bodies have been retrieved of foreign construction workers from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Indonesia and Pakistan.

A Malaysian site supervisor and four others remain missing at the time of writing.

Lim expressed his condolences to the countries that had lost their nationals in the incident.

“The Penang state government wishes to extend our deepest condolences to the Malaysian family from Penang, as well as to the governments of Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and Myanmar,” he said.

“We also wish to thank the fire and rescue services department (including their SMART team), civil defence department, the police, local government agencies and Buddhist NGO Tzu Chi for their assistance in conducting rescue and relief work.

“While we thank the public for their concern, we hope they can give space to the affected families to grieve and allow rescue or relief work to continue unhampered,” he added.

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