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Switching to tempered glass
Published on: Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: Owners of the some 50 business premises whose glass walls were shattered in Saturday's shooting spree by unknown persons will have to cough up between RM1,500 and RM3,000 to replace the panels, depending on size and thickness.

Great Wall Glass and Aluminium Works Sdn Bhd partner K.K. Lim said their company had been receiving calls to repair the damage.

"So far we have received calls from Secret Recipe, City Mall, Wisma Sedco and Petronas at Dongongon," he said.

He said the damage to the 4'x10' fixed glass panel at Wisma Sedco alone costs around RM2,000 with 12 millimeters of tempered glass.

"However, we charged only RM1,500 to Secret Recipe at City Mall to fix its door with tempered glass because the damage was not as terrible," he said. They also charged RM2,000 to Petronas, Donggongon, for a 4'x10' tempered glass.

Asked if there would now be a shift towards bullet-proof glass following the experience, he said: "We do not specially design bulletproof glass doors or panels and people cannot even look for one who can do it in the peninsula."

Hence the preference for tempered glass, Lim said, as such glass can withstand assault and would only cause slight injuries when broken.

"If you are asking about bullet proof glass, we don't have any in stock.

These are specially ordered or brought in from overseas in the past if any was installed in Sabah. There is no demand for such glass here for years.

As to the prices you are asking, I would have to get the quotation from Singapore," said Frankie Chong of the glass-smith firm Mee Kwong Wing Kee Enterprise.

His firm was the one that installed plate glass panels at the nearby Agro Bank which was among those targeted by the vandals.

He said prices range from RM800 to RM1,800 for normal tempered plate glass at the normal shop front dimension each of about 10 feet by 5 feet.

Add a little more for tinted glass.

"Those pictures in the newspapers showing an impact hole or dent are mostly tempered glass while those shattered in pieces after impact might be normal plate glass."

As for laminated glass either for privacy or security, prices start from RM40 a square foot depending on the kind of film used.

More for amour security film lamination.

"Bullet or blast resistant glass is usually two tempered plate glasses sandwiching a silicone layer now normally using an armour transparent security layer or more," said Thien, a glass shop operator.

"The bullet or shrapnel will be expected to shatter or crack the first glass layer but it will be expected to be arrested by other layers, dispersing its velocity energy.

"We don't benefit much from replacing such broken glass business.

There is a hassle of labour intensive effort in transporting the glass panels to be fitted, risk of accidental breakage. We earn more from projects like new housing estates. We are reluctant to do hotel business as they pay probably after six months," he said.

Another glass supplier in Kampung Air's Jalan Pasar Baru said her firm only dealt in normal plate glass with prices ranging from RM1,500 to RM3,000 each, inclusive of labour depending on the location to be installed to replace those damaged or smashed.

Some insurance firms said some of their clients were affected by the shooting rampage.

"We will pay if the policy has plate glass coverage or if the policy has the premises fixtures and fittings covered for damage or loss due to malicious damage," said Pauline Leong of OAC Insurance (M) Bhd.

There is no hike on such insurance premium for now as the situation is not expected to get worse.

MAA Assurance Company's Kota Kinabalu Assistant Manager Suzie Cosmas said they had already received calls from two insured premises which were affected by the recent shooting spree.

"These premises had claimed Plate Glass Insurance and we are not sure as to the cost of the damage yet as our head office is yet to assign the adjuster to value the amount and the cost would depend on the value of the glass," she said.

She also said the company seldom received claims from others relating to glass insurance.

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