Official seeks to free trapped dozen by partly prising open lift door to yell for help

Buzzing with activity: Buses and cars converging on the newly opened car park at the foot of Penang Hill.

TWELVE media personnel and officials went through anxious moments when they were trapped for three minutes inside the lift of the new Penang Hill multi-storey car park.

The lift from the ground floor stopped between the ground floor and first floor with a thud.

One of the officials then pressed the alarm button but no one responded.

He then managed to pry open the lift door slightly and shouted for assistance.

When someone came, the official told the person to go to the circuit box and turn on the power supply back.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (centre, in blue tie), his wife Betty Chew (third left) and other VIPs opening the Penang Hill multi-storey car park. (CHARLES MARIASOOSAY/ The Star/19/Jan/2015)
It’s open: Lim with his wife Chew and other VIPS performing the ribbon-cutting ceremony to launch the car park.

After about three minutes, the power supply was restored and the lift door was closed.

Those inside the lift then continued the ride until the seventh floor.

Later, Penang Development Corporation (PDC) general manager Datuk Rosli Jaafar told reporters that the incident was due to a power trip, and was rectified immediately.

The eight-storey car park was officially opened yesterday by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who said the ample parking bays were expected to draw more visitors to the hill.

In his speech at the opening ceremony, Lim said the number of visitors to Penang Hill had increased from 1,233,556 in 2013 to 1,364,074 visitors last year.

“It is an increase of about 11%. We expect more visitors to visit the hill with the opening of the car park,” he said.

Lim also revealed that the parking rate for the first hour is RM2, followed by RM1 for every subsequent hour.

“The season parking rate is RM120 per month. Motorcycles can park for free.

“The car park is open to the public from 6am to midnight daily,” Lim said.

He added that the car park obtained its Certificate of Completion and Compliance (CCC) on Jan 15and it was opened to public on the same day.

Xxxxxxxxxx: Media taking photo of the new Penang Hill car park built with passenger lift facility. The Star/Lim Beng Tatt/ 09 Nov 2014.
Filepic of pressmen taking photos of one of the lifts in the multi-storey car park.

Also present at the ceremony were Lim’s wife Betty Chew, state executive councillors Chow Kon Yeow, Dr Afif Bahardin, MPs and state assemblymen.

The eight-storey building has 310 parking bays, including five for the physically challenged and 182 lots for motorcycles.

There is also a commercial area on the ground floor, including 11 stalls, one food court and bus lay-by for buses to drop and pick up passengers.

The Penang Hill car park building was rebuilt because the original building, completed in March 2011, failed to get a CCC due to its poor design that included steep ramps and parking bays said to be suitable only for Perodua Kancil cars.

The new car park was rebuilt after almost a year’s delay, and its contractor slapped with a RM210,000 penalty.

The reconstruction was completed on Nov 7 last year, almost a year from its original scheduled completion date of Nov 25, 2013.

Rosli reportedly said on Nov 10 last year that PDC imposed liquidated and ascertained damages (LAD) from Sept 26 to Nov 6 last year at a rate of RM5,000 a day on the contractor, as stipulated in the conditions of the contract, for failing to deliver the project in time.

PDC Consultancy director Ng Wei Aik also reportedly said the car park project was awarded to Yuan Seng Building Trading Sdn Bhd on Nov 26, 2012 with a contract amount of RM11,491,073.90.

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