Include Penang Forum in panel probing Bukit Kukus landslide tragedy

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The latest statement from Penang Forum:

Penang Forum deeply regrets the tragic loss of lives in the Bukit Kukus landslide tragedy on 19 October 2018, which claimed nine or more lives, just one year after the Granito landslide tragedy, which claimed 11 or more lives.

These tragedies shine the spotlight on the hazards of hill development, whether for housing or infrastructure and force us to re-examine the role of the authorities in undertaking and enabling such hill land development despite its own lack of monitoring capacity.

We note the Penang Island City Council is the owner of the Paya Terubong ‘paired road’ project, and we would like to see the records of how the council supervised its own project.

Bukit Kukus was highlighted after the November 2017 floods as a potential disaster waiting to happen, videos of this project, which went viral, showing mudflows. The former mayor went to inspect the site and asked for remedial measures.

If indeed, as is alleged, the contractor failed to comply with an erosion and sedimentation control plan, was this lack of compliance something that only happened a day or a week before the landslide – or has this been going on for months? Who was doing the checking and how often was it done, monthly or fortnightly? These reports should be made public.

Penalties: We urge the state and federal authorities to launch thorough investigations into the Bukit Kukus landslide tragedy and to identify those in the chain of responsibility who might be charged with negligence, wilful negligence or even criminal negligence.

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We urge the authorities to call for explanations, open up records and even demand resignations if necessary. We urge that the authorities impose the maximum penalties as a deterrent to prevent such needless loss of lives in future.

In the case of Granito, as we have seen, the main contractor was charged under Section 15(2) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 and only fined RM35,000 over safety violations that resulted in 11 individuals being buried alive.

Due to a loophole in the act, the developer has not been charged. In fact, the developer could be charged under the Street Drainage and Building Act 1974 Act 133, Section 71, which stipulates that for failure of building or earthwork during construction or after completion – where the cause of such failure is due to “misconstruction or lack of proper supervision during construction” — the maximum penalty would be RM500,000 or 10 years imprisonment.

We ask the authorities to include at least two members from Penang Forum – an engineer and a lawyer – to sit on any panel, state or federal, investigating the Bukit Kukus landslide tragedy. The minutes and notes should be made public. In the interest of transparency, members of such commissions should not be bound by secrecy laws.

Was Ops Lumpur set up to overcome the problem of ‘silo’ jurisdiction of the local authority, Drainage and Irrigation Department, Public Works Department, Department of Environment, district engineers and officers, and so forth – and if so, why did it fail to check the problems found on the city council’s own project site? We demand that the minutes of meetings and reports of Ops Lumpur be declassified and made available to the public.

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Due to the many incidents of ongoing hill construction, abandoned hill construction, exposed hills slopes and potential landslide areas all over Penang Island, we urge that Ops Lumpur be improved and intensified to check and rehabilitate these areas to prevent further disaster especially during the rainy season.

Penang Hills Watch, which has time and again alerted the authorities to hill clearings, should be invited as an observer to such operations and not be bound by secrecy laws. We emphasise that there should be consistent monitoring and not just one-off inspections.

Penang Forum demands greater transparency and accountability in the local authority’s regulatory role over the construction industry, especially in the matter of hill land development.

We again call upon the state to review its policies and guidelines of hill development and call for a moratorium on all hill development and highway projects over the hills. Until such a time when the state has a done a comprehensive check on all hill slopes, taken remedial action and completed the rehabilitation of hill slopes, hill development should be banned.

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Xiong Yee The Anchor Boy
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Xiong Yee The Anchor Boy

Too much focus on Bukit Kukus and neglect the latest status in Jerejak Island?
The Forum can engage eco-friendly Penanglang for latest field trip report on green progress of Jerejak? More proactive revealations before too late with knee jerk reaction?

Wei
Guest
Wei

yes..correct..we are dependant on Penang NGOs to make noise on our behalf…the rest of us to need work for a living..while economic prosperity and progress is of no concern to the NGOs..

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

This fella is out of touch with reality of Penangites & the issues in contention. Instead of spinning, he should be here to witness first hand the ground zero. His another way of spinning besides shrieking?

Shriek
Guest
Shriek

At better than your changing mask and claim it from Beijing whereas it orginates from SW China.

Betrice K
Guest
Betrice K

Tun M today said Malaysians should not depend on government for handouts, learn to acquire skills to get better paying jobs. Cash is King no longer here!

Chen Chunxian
Guest
Chen Chunxian

Learn from Singapore that does not practise minimum wage system, but Progressive Wage Model:

https://www.mom.gov.sg/employment-practices/progressive-wage-model

It prompts workers to upgrade skills to earn better wages.

Magnus
Guest
Magnus

Singapore poor can survive because hawker centres has economical food option.
NTUC Fair price supermarket offers good value.
PAP gives GST rebate and utilities subsidy so long as you stay in unfancy HDB 3-room flat.
Also each year $500 given to upgrade skills via Skills future scheme.
B20 Singaporean s can shop for groceries in JB with their strong SingDollar.

Cygnus Knight
Guest
Cygnus Knight

14.3% of Singaporeans born between 1978 and 1982 in families from the lowest 20% in household income bracket have made it to the highest 20% in household income, indicating that social mobility has improved. Real income growth has also risen more for the lower-income group. From 2012 to 2017, households in the lower 50% saw a 4.2 to 4.6 per cent growth in real income, compared to the 2.2 to 4.2% growth for the top 50%. Low-income households were found to be spending less on healthcare, with 5.6% of households in the bottom 20% spending more than 10% of their… Read more »

Shriek
Guest
Shriek

Who is sleeping and close an eye?

Shriek
Guest
Shriek

Which country has narrow gap? How much tax the rest pays?

Cygnus Knight
Guest
Cygnus Knight

Software’s Gini coefficient after taxes and transfers, a measure of income inequality, has declined from 0.439 in 2007 to 0.401 in 2017. The lower the score, the more equal a society is. https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/singapore-system-has-performed-better-than-others-in-improving-social-mobility-but-will Using the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development method, Singapore’s Gini coefficient, before taxes and transfers, dipped from 0.438 in 2007 to 0.417 in 2017. After taxes and transfers, the decrease is from 0.388 in 2007 to 0.356 in 2017. Mr Leonard Lim, research associate at the Institute of Policy Studies, pointed out that Singapore’s Gini coefficient, after taxes and transfers, is lower or comparable to developed… Read more »

Cygnus Knight
Guest
Cygnus Knight

Singapore’s Gini coefficient after taxes and transfers, a measure of income inequality, has declined from 0.439 in 2007 to 0.401 in 2017. The lower the score, the more equal a society is. https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/singapore-system-has-performed-better-than-others-in-improving-social-mobility-but-will Using the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development method, Singapore’s Gini coefficient, before taxes and transfers, dipped from 0.438 in 2007 to 0.417 in 2017. After taxes and transfers, the decrease is from 0.388 in 2007 to 0.356 in 2017. Mr Leonard Lim, research associate at the Institute of Policy Studies, pointed out that Singapore’s Gini coefficient, after taxes and transfers, is lower or comparable to developed… Read more »

nasrom
Guest
nasrom

easy to achieve rm1500 min wage target
If have 10 workers earning rm1050
=> total wages rm10500

retrench 3 bottom poor performers,
remaining 7 each now get rm1500 each
=> total wages now rm10500 (same)

no loss to employee, but gain in productivity
remaining 7 will have to work hard or be replaced.
3 retrenched workers can reflect how to upgrade skills and productivity.

psm and cuepecs, agree or not?

Liu Saiding
Guest
Liu Saiding

Singapore now making robot cleaners.

https://www.straitstimes.com/business/singapore-firm-to-make-robot-cleaners-for-rent

Soon Malaysians working as cleaners in Singspore will be out of job, but can return home as qualified and experienced cleaners fighting for RM1500 min wage as technological disruption like robotic cleaners will still take some time to happen in Bolehland.

Heng GS
Guest
Heng GS

Khoo Salma and team now hit jackpot after many unfulfilled attempts to raise environmental awareness? Can the Forum curb the deviations from well intended CAT t CAThocracy??? Personally I don’t know, but time can reveal…….

Norman
Guest
Norman

A good opportunity for Penang Forum now.
But it must not continue with confrontational approach if it has facts to win the support of Penangites.

Wei
Guest
Wei

hehe..lim mah hui was in city council for a very long time, so what has he done ? He threw tantrum and walk out just like … cash is king MO1.

Forum Myth or Reality?
Guest
Forum Myth or Reality?

Mr Lim Mah Hui cycling pose at Esplanade should be sustainable not just one time job.
He and Khoo and Anil can cycle around Bukit Kukus to have greater impact on their social statements.

Forum Myth or Reality?
Guest
Forum Myth or Reality?

Wei now with his mythical he he are drawing the she (female reader’s) to the blog.

Betrice K
Guest
Betrice K

Yes, PSM got no where in GE14 because of confrontational approach.

KMF
Guest
KMF

Anil should just provide the link to Penang Forum article. By reproducing the entire article, one after another, your site is becoming a mirror site of Penang Forum.

Forum Myth or Reality?
Guest
Forum Myth or Reality?

Penang Forum no talking about brilliance of Penang Street Food and also unhygienic food to protect the interests of the public?

Ho Wan Lai
Guest
Ho Wan Lai

Penang Consumer NGO under the umbrella of Penang Forum? They are very vocal about food health matter.

Arnold
Guest
Arnold

Need more health inspection on food premises including central kitchens around Penang. Food handlers must also be free from diseases and practise hygienic food preparation, local or foreign!

Betrice K
Guest
Betrice K

Some Penang restaurants got summoned because of rat faeces and cockroaches in kitchen. Penang Forum must highlight this too to improve hygiene factor.

Jennifer Mourin
Guest

Thank you Anil for your consistent coverage and reporting on this issue!

Wei
Guest
Wei

remember to contribute to this blog via donation…everything comes with a price..

Chen Chunxian
Guest
Chen Chunxian

Wei believes in ‘No Money No Honey’?

Forum Myth or Reality?
Guest
Forum Myth or Reality?

Ms Mourin and her community must also consistently air her/their penanglang views to support Anil’s crusade to guard the island …

Forum Myth or Reality?
Guest
Forum Myth or Reality?

Anil starts to grieve like Penanglang with his impactful depiction of Venice of the east.

Ma jiji
Guest
Ma jiji

Ahha, an indirect force is squeezing in ?

fearless
Guest

Unbelievable the scale of destruction. Once we have destroyed what makes Penang, Penang, only than we wi… https://t.co/IVb1H64qnR

Shriek
Guest
Shriek

Unbelievable destruction and yet you are still around? Of course you are fearless but not a hero.

nasrom
Guest
nasrom

talk but no action, so fearless-lah!

Shriek
Guest
Shriek

Yes, unbelievable. If the scale is unbelievable, how come you are still around?