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MP ticks off builder
Published on: Sunday, December 08, 2019
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KOTA KINABALU: Democratic Action Party (DAP) Member of Parliament for Kota Kinabalu Chan Foong Hin took a developer in Bundusan, Penampang, to task for the incident where a toddler died after falling from a gap on the building’s link-bridge on Dec. 1.

Chan, who is also DAP Sabah Secretary, urged the parties involved to let the police and local council do their investigations thoroughly and come up with their respective reports on the incident. He also called upon the related authorities to speed up investigations.

He said the concerned building was reported to have received its Occupancy Certificate (OC), including for the building’s link-bridge, from the Penampang District Council on Jan. 29, 2018. In issuing the OC, he said the building had been certified safe for occupation by the Council.

“The link-bridge has been previously certified safe. The question is why is there suddenly a big gap at the end of the link bridge? Did someone tamper with the finished bridge? Is it part of the construction of the adjacent building?” Chan asked in a statement, Saturday.

He noted that even for any construction, there are established Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for carrying out construction and renovation works in accordance with the licence and permit issued by Penampang District Council.

“Stern action has to be taken against the developer if it was found to have breached the SOP, and I am very sure that leaving such a sizable gap in the flooring at the end of the walkway without putting up any warning signage and yet opening it to the public amounts to a breach of SOP because it has without doubt created a dangerous environment,” said Chan.

Chan said besides criminal liability, the family of the deceased toddler may mount a civil action against the developer for damages. 

“The concerned developer may be liable to pay damages if they are found to have breached their duty under the tort of occupier’s liability. 

“Also worth pointing out is that the Federal Government had earlier this year amended the Civil Law Act 1956 and increased bereavement damage payment from RM10,000 to RM30,000,” he while adding that the additional sum would definitely help the grieving family.

Chan noted even prestigious malls in other parts of Malaysia like The Gardens Mall near Mid Valley and Kenanga Wholesale City in Kuala Lumpur had such incidences of children falling to their death, and that it is regrettable such had occurred once again in Sabah. 

“Accidents can happen anywhere, whether at home and especially in a public environment where there are many people confined in a distracted environment. 

“Therefore, it is important for parents to always be vigilant with their children’s activities and ensure that they are safe at all times,” he said.

On Tuesday (Dec 3), the paper reported that a one-year and seven months old victim and her older sister were reportedly walking along the link bridge while their mother was taking a video of them when the victim (toddler) fell through a gap at the end and she was pronounced dead about 4.30pm by doctors at the hospital.

The family earlier went to eat at a restaurant on the fifth floor of the premises. It was also reported that the police were alerted of the incident about 3.40pm and the case was classified as sudden death.



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