Panel: Company in Bukit Kukus incident met requirements, but to be blacklisted anyway

GEORGE TOWN: The construction company in charge of the Jalan Bukit Kukus paired road project where a landslide killed nine foreign workers followed all the specifications and requirements for the project, says Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman.

Ahmad Zakiyuddin, who headed the special panel investigating the mishap that also injured four people, said the landslide was caused by the temporary construction of a platform to place machinery.

“Apart from the failed temporary works, they carried out the construction work properly without an untowardly incident until the landslide occurred.

“So we will let them continue the work, but they will be blacklisted from participating in all council projects in the future.

“The blacklist is also extended to the consultants and engineering companies engaged by the contractor for the project,” he told a press conference here Wednesday (Feb 13).

Ahmad Zakiyuddin said replacing the contractor for the remaining 20% of the project would take time, and this would not be good as the slope that collapsed was now exposed and needed to be protected and fixed.

“If we continue to leave it exposed and let go of this contractor, it would take time and make things worse,” he said.

The stop-work order for Yuta Maju Sdn Bhd, the contractor for the RM545.6mil Jalan Bukit Kukus paired roads project, was lifted by the Department of Safety and Occupational Health (DOSH) on Jan 28.

The landslide saw 12 containers on a slope crashing down and killing nine foreign workers and injuring four people after 14 concrete beams, measuring 25m long each, fell onto a slope in Jalan Tun Sardon days earlier.

It is learnt that a crane operator had accidentally knocked down one of the beams laid on the ground, causing others to fall onto the slope.

DOSH subsequently issued a stop-work order on Oct 17 last year after the mishap.

At the moment, the project is 73.24% complete and is expected to be completed in mid-2020.

Other members of the special committee that was set up by the state government to investigate the cause of the landslide were state Works, Utilities and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari, an engineer from the state secretary’s office, as well as a representative of the Institution of Engineers, Malaysia.