DOSH charges Bukit Kukus paired road contractor over dangerous Penang work site

A general view of the construction site where the landslide occurred at Bukit Kukus in Paya Terubong October 25, 2018. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
A general view of the construction site where the landslide occurred at Bukit Kukus in Paya Terubong October 25, 2018. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, July 2 — The contractor of the Bukit Kukus paired road project, Yuta Maju Sdn Bhd, was slapped with three different charges under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 over a fatal landslide incident that occurred last October here.

Yuta Maju was first charged with failing to employ a competent person to act as a safety and health officer at the place of work.

It was charged under Section 29(2) of the act which carries a fine not exceeding RM5,000 or a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months or both.

The company faced a second charge for failing to ensure safe worksite procedures when moving beams using a crane, causing the beams to fall from the span on October 11 last year.

It then faced a third charge of failing to implement proper engineering procedures by a registered engineer to conduct backfill earthworks for the temporary slope that led to a landslide on October 19 last year.

Both charges were under Section 15 (1) of the act that stipulates every employer must ensure the safety, health and welfare at work of all his employees.

Those found contravening the provision will be liable to a fine not exceeding RM50,000 or imprisonment of not exceeding two years or both.

Finally, the company director, Lai Sin Kian, was also charged with failing to implement proper engineering procedures by a registered engineer to conduct backfill earthworks for the temporary slope that led to a landslide on October 19 last year.

However, he was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal due to documentation issues while the court ordered the prosecuting officer to register the case again.

Yuta Maju, represented by counsel Kanesh Sundrum, claimed trial to all three charges.

Sessions Court Judge Mazdi Abdul Hamid fixed July 16 for mention of the case.

The landslide occurred during construction of the Bukit Kukus elevated paired road project, killing nine foreign workers living on the site.

The paired road project, part of which was undertaken by the Penang Island City Council (MBPP), was to link Paya Terubong to Relau.

It covers 5km where 800m will be constructed by Geo Valley Sdn Bhd, 1.4km by PLB Land Sdn Bhd and the remaining portion by MBPP.

MBPP appointed a contractor to build its portion of the road, where the landslide occurred, and works commenced on January 14, 2016.

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