Thursday, September 17, 2009

‘Something not done right’

KUALA LUMPUR: The committee set up to investigate the collapse of Jaya Supermarket in Section 14 in Petaling Jaya found “something not done in the right way.”

A report with findings on the cause of the collapse and the parties involved in the incident was submitted to the Cabinet on Wednesday.

Also in the report were recommendations to strengthen laws and regulations on building demolition to prevent a recurrence of such incidents.

Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said the committee -- comprising engineers, police, firemen, architects and others -- took three months to come out with its report.

He said the cause of the collapse had been identified but declined to reveal details.

“A building hass to be systematically demolished and if something goes wrong, that means certain things were done not in the right way,” he told a press conference at his office here on Wednesday.

He said his ministry was coordinating the report but it was up to the relevant agencies to take further action against those responsible, if any.

“They have to identify if any parties involved in the demolition works have to bear the responsibility, after seeking legal advice,” he said.

He did not mention which agencies would be taking that role, but it is believed that the Department of Occupational Safety and Health as well as Petaling Jaya City Council were among those involved.

Kong said the stop-work order at the site was still enforced until further notice.

He said the Construction Industry Development Board and Sirim were working on strengthening existing laws and regulations on building demolition.

“They have to come out with standard procedures and proper methods of demolition for different types of buildings,” he said.

He said they were also looking into tightening the requirements for re-development projects.

On May 28, part of the seven-storey iconic Jaya Supermarket in Petaling Jaya collapsed during demolishing works, killing seven construction workers.

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