Bukit Kukus landslide: Project director claims trial to amended charge

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

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GEORGE TOWN, Sept 27 — A project director pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court here today to an amended charge of failing to provide safe work procedures, resulting in a landslide at the site of the Paya Terubong paired roads project at Jalan Bukit Kukus, October last year that claimed nine lives.

Lai Sin Kian, as an employer, was alleged to have failed to obtain engineering calculations from an accredited engineer to carry out earth backfill work for the temporary slopes, resulting in the landslide at 1.50pm on October 19, 2018.

The charge under Section 15 (1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 carries a maximum fine of RM50,000 or imprisonment of up to two years or both, upon conviction.

Judge Norsalha Hamzah set November 4 for mention after lawyer S. Kanesh representing Lai told the court that the defence had submitted a representation to the Attorney General’s Chambers to have the case against his client withdrawn.

The court also set the same date (Nov 4) for mention of the case against Yuta Maju Sdn Bhd, the contractor of the project pending the outcome of the representation filed by the company on August 8.

On July 2, Yuta Maju Sdn Bhd, represented by its director Osmera Mamat, pleaded not guilty to three counts of failing to provide safe work procedures.

On the first charge, the company allegedly failed to ensure safety work procedures in lifting beams with a crane which had caused the beams to fall into the area which was still under construction, at 8.30pm, on October 11, 2018.

For the second charge, the company, as an employer, was accused of failing to provide engineering calculations by an accredited engineer, in carrying out backfilling works of temporary slopes, resulting in a landslide at 1.48pm on October 19, 2018 that claimed nine lives.

The two charges are framed under Section 15 (1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 which carries a fine of up to RM50,000 or imprisonment of up to two years or both, upon conviction.

On the third count, the company, as a contractor appointed by the Penang City Council for the project, was alleged to have failed to appoint a competent security and health officer at the project site.

The charge under Section 29 (2) of the same act carries a maximum fine of RM5,000 or imprisonment of up to six months or both, upon conviction.

Penang Occupational Safety and Health Department prosecuting officer Norliza Abu Othman appeared for the prosecution. — Bernama

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