GEORGE TOWN: The incident that claimed four lives at a beach resort in Tanjung Bungah was a construction mishap, said Penang Island City Council (MBPP) mayor Yew Tung Seang.
He said that the slope was unstable due to digging activities as the resort’s owner was building a retaining wall without informing the authorities.
“It’s not a landslide. The incident occurred after the retaining wall collapsed within the resort’s premises.
“We need to be informed of any construction activity and make sure that it is done under the supervision of engineers.
“We are monitoring the situation closely before making a decision on whether to stop the resort’s operations,” he said at a press conference after the launching of the Karpal Singh Digital Hub at SK Sungai Gelugor yesterday.
On Tuesday, four foreign workers were buried alive in a freak accident at the construction site in Tanjung Bungah.
It is learnt that the resort owner recently contracted a Myanmar worker to build a retaining wall after finding that the hill separating the resort and Jalan Batu Ferringhi showed signs of erosion.
The contractor hired three other Myanmar nationals to assist him.
Checks found that the retaining wall, which was supposed to be about 5m wide, had yet to be built but there were other retaining walls beside it.
State local government committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said mitigation works along the 50m stretch of Jalan Batu Ferringhi would be completed in three to four weeks’ time.
“Although the incident happened on private land, it has affected the federal road where many heavy vehicles pass by every day.
“It is important to stabilise the road to ensure the safety of road users,” he said.
Meanwhile, Citizens Awareness Chant Group adviser Yan Lee called on the MBPP to reveal its standard operating procedures for investigating illegal earthworks done in the state.
“I hope that the council can share with us how many officers or workers are available to check on such earthworks,” he said.