Press Statement By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In Penang On 22.10.2017.
Penang State Commission of Inquiry
The Penang State Commission of Inquiry into the tragic construction site accident in Tanjung Bungah yesterday will be established by the Penang state government pursuant to our powers under section 2(3)(d) and 3(1) the Commissions of Enquiry Act 1950. The establishment and the Terms of Reference will be worked out and approved at the coming Penang State EXCO meeting next week.
This Penang state Commission of Inquiry will be set up according to the same lines as a previous Penang State Commission Of Inquiry set up in 2013 into the collapse of a section of the Second Penang Bridge on June 6 2013 that killed a motorist passing through, and the collapse of the tower at Menara Umno along Macalister Road on June 13 2013 that killed two members of the public.
11 lives of construction workers were lost, all belonging to one building contractor company, one Malaysian construction site supervisor and 10 foreign workers. 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.
The Penang State Commission of Inquiry will conduct a full and independent investigation to determine the cause of this work site accident and take action against those responsible. I would also be recommending that the Commission of Inquiry shall be empowered to investigate all ancillary matters related to the project.
Something must be very wrong during the construction work site because there was no rain for the past several days that could cause the slope to collapse. Whilst we do not wish to speculate, strong suspicions remain of professional negligence, defects in monitoring and non-compliance with work safety procedures.
Until the Commission of Inquiry completes its work and issue its findings, the developer will not be allowed to start work on the affordable housing project. The building contractor undertaking the construction works, shall be blacklisted by MBPP, together with any consultant experts directly involved, pending the outcome of the Commission of Inquiry.
Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang(MBPP) has also been directed to conduct immediate checks and take action on construction building sites, especially slope-related, to ensure that the guidelines are complied with to ensure not only building safety but also structural stability. We also wish to thank the Fire 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. Whilst 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.
LIM GUAN ENG