GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government admits that the application to build a residential project at the site of a massive landslide in Tanjung Bungah here had previously been rejected by the Department of Environment (DoE).
However, Penang Local Government Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said approval for the project was given by the One Stop Centre Committee (OSC), which consists of more than 20 technical agencies.
He said the OSC, which is in charge of approving property development plans on the island, takes in views from more than 20 external and internal agencies before approving it.
"The DoE may have objected to the plan, but after considering the views from all the agencies in OSC, the decision was made to approve the project," Chow told a press conference at Komtar on Monday.
Penang Island City Council (MBPP) mayor Datuk Maimunah Mohd Sharif, who chaired the press conference, said the earthworks planning permission was presented on May 14, 2015 and was approved with conditions on June 6, 2015.
"Commencement of work was given on Jan 18, 2016.
"The development complied with the 'Safety Guidelines for Hill Site Development 2012' and it was located at the approved 'blasting point' and 'crushing point'," she added.
She said from the MBPP's preliminary observation, the council suspected that there was negligence, mishandling and mismanagement at the construction site.
Chow stressed it was a construction site accident.
He also advised MBPP to lodge a police report over the possibility of professional negligence.
On Saturday (Oct 21), tonnes of laterite earth slid down from a cut slope at the Tanjung Bungah construction site at about 8.30am, burying 11 construction workers.
All the bodies have since been recovered.