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Tanjung Bungah construction site on flat land, says Ramasamy

 | October 23, 2017

Penang DCM says it's wrong to call the site of tragic incident on Saturday a hillslope as the condominium was being built on flat land adjacent to hill.

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GEORGE TOWN: Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy said parties critical of a landslide at a construction site in Tanjung Bungah here were inaccurately saying the condominium was being built on a hillslope.

He said the affordable condo project was on flat land and the collapse of earth was from an adjacent hillslope instead.

This is following Penang Forum’s claim that the incident was due to construction at a hillslope and was labelled “hill development”.

“It is wrong to say that hillside development had caused this tragedy. The construction site is not on a hill but on flat land.

“The question now is if the consultant engineers followed the proper method in ensuring that these adjacent slopes were secure.

“Penang has a low tolerance for hillside projects. Projects above 76 metres are strictly forbidden. However, in other places like Kuala Lumpur there is high tolerance of 300 metres,” Ramasamy told FMT.

Ramasamy told critics it was best to leave the probe into the incident to the independent State Commission of Inquiry, which will be likely formally consented to by the governor this week.

“If I am not mistaken there are guidelines for the establishment of a buffer zone between the construction site and the hill slope next to it.

“I think the consultant engineers and the contractors must be held responsible for the tragedy.

“The question is whether those on the ground, the developer, the contractors and consultant engineers adhered to regulations on hill slope management,” he said.

Ramasamy said he also observed the media coverage for previous tragedies was not as much compared with how this incident in Tanjung Bungah has been reported.

“The media coverage for the collapse of the ramp of the second bridge and the concrete structure of Umno building was minimal,”he said, comparing Saturday’s tragedy where at least eight people died, to the collapse of the second Penang bridge while under construction where one motorist died, and the Menara Umno antennae fall which killed two people. Both incidents occurred one week apart in June 2013.

“Attacking the Penang state government for the wrong reasons is not the way the mass media informs the public.

“While the state government is affected by the tragedy, it will not run away from its responsibility to the people in Penang,” 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.

As of 7.30pm, eight bodies have been retrieved of foreign construction workers from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Indonesia and Pakistan.

A Malaysian site supervisor also remains missing at the time of writing.

The affordable housing condominium project being developed at the site by a private company was slated to be completed by June 2020. It was to consist of two 49-storey towers of 980 units.


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