Monday, October 22, 2018

MTUC Penang Division, having taken notice of Penang Forum's

MTUC Penang Division, having taken notice of Penang Forum's
statement that it had warned the state government of the dangers of hill clearings in Bukit Kukus and other areas, is of the view that the state government, the contractors and all other related agencies ought to be held responsible for its total disregard to such advice from experts in that field.

It is also our view that if such warnings had been heeded, and remedial course of actions instituted including suspension of work in progress, the tragedy of the unjust loss of lives of workers could have been avoided.

MTUC Penang Division also finds it completely unforgiving that slope mitigating measures were almost not put in place by those involved in such hill side projects as reported. The question that than needs to be postulated is this - who are those responsible and whether proper cause of action ought to be brought against them? We believe the answer is obvious.

MTUC Penang Division also wishes to make reference to the Penang chief minister's statement that heavy rain could have been the underlying cause to the landslide at Bukit Kukus. Our response to him is this- you do not need to be a rocket scientist to apprehend the reality of landslides on hill sites what more when the slopes are, as reported, 60-90 degress, during the year end rainy season! If only the state government and the relevant authorities had taken proactive measures, knowing that the rains would have an impact on the fragile hills of Penang, this tragedy could have been avoided. The Tanjong Bungah lanslide, that robbed the lives of 11 workers last year, ought to have been a lesson but the powers that be have, very regretably,  adopted a short term memory in the matter.

MTUC Penang Division is also dissappointed with the Penang Chief Minister's statement that hill slope work-in-progress would not be stopped. Given the fact that there has not been any soil erosion mitigating measures taken at any of the hill slope developments in the state as reported we are appalled at his stand on the matter. He, apparently, seems to be divorced from the possibilities of yet another unwarranted tragedy!

Given such circumstaces MTUC Penang Division calls upon the Department Of Occupational Health And Safety (DOSH) to institute action against those responsible for all or any breach of the law including the breach of the work-stop order so issued in regards to the work-site in question. DOSH should not, and cannot, compromise on the matter. We also implore upon DOSH to issue stop-work orders on all hill site developments in Penang until such time they comply with accepted soil erosion mitigating measures. We, further, call upon all other relevant authorities to commence their own investigations in the matter so as to ensure a holistic probe of this unwarranted tragedy.

We also wish to extend our deepest and heartfelt condolences to the famalies who have lost their loved ones.

Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC)
Penang Division
Contact- 016 4184520

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