TASEK GELUGOR, Oct 21 2018 : The Penang government today urged non-governmental organisations and the public to cease making speculations on the landslide that has so far claimed the lives of six foreign workers at a construction site in Paya Terubong.
State Public Work, Utilities and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari said the state government’s focus and efforts were now on the search and rescue of victims who were still buried in the landslide.
He said investigation to identify the cause of the landslide was being conducted by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) and the relevant quarters.
“The focus by the state government now is to help the authorities in the search and rescue operation. At the same time, investigation will be conducted to determine the party responsible for the incident,” he told reporters after a working visit to Permatang Berangan and Sungai Dua here today.
The landslide which occurred at 1.56 pm last Friday has killed six foreign workers and injured three others, with four others are still missing and feared to have been buried under the rubble.
Zairil, who is Tanjong Bungah State Assemblyman, said the state government would not hesitate to take action against the contractor involved, if report showed negligence on its part.
On assistance for families of victims in the landslide, Zairil said the state government would discuss the type of aid to be given.
The landslide at Paya Terubong was the second to have happened in Penang.
Prior to this, a landslide occurred at a construction site of an affordable housing project at Lengkok Lembah Permai, Tanjung Bungah.
The incident which occurred last year claimed tii lives, comprising a local, five Bangladeshi nationals, two Indonesians, two Myanmar nationals and a Pakistani.
Meanwhile, Wanita Umno has urged the state government to re-evaluate and postpone the mega projects under the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) following the recurrence of landslides in the state .
Its vice-president Datuk Norliza Abd Rahim said projects planned under the PTMP would involve risky and environmentally sensitive areas such as forest exploitation and marine fishing.
“We are surprised and saddened by the recent tragedy of landslides that killed foreign workers at Jalan Bukit Kukus, Paya Terubong on Friday. More sadly, the incident occurred almost a year after a similar disaster at the Tanjung Bungah construction site killed 11 people on Oct 21 last year.
“The status of PTMP now raises concerns among the people regarding their safety aspects following the recurrence of the landslide tragedy in the state,” she said in a statement, here today.
PTMP is a state government initiative involving an estimated cost of RM46 billion, involving the construction of underwater tunnels connecting parts of the island and mainland, highways, light rail transit, monorail and extensive bus connectivity, whose funding depends on property development on three proposed man-made islands, known as the Southern Penang Reclamation Scheme (PSRR).
Norliza, who is Penang Wanita Umno chief, said it was inappropriate for the state government to disregard the people’s concerns in the state and continue with the PTMP project. – Bernama