Chong baffled why Dr Sim mum about accident at Padang Merdeka

KUCHING: Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen yesterday reminded Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian that it is his job to ensure safety in public places, and construction sites in particular.
The state Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman questioned whether the contractor had complied with safety requirements with regards to a recent fatal road accident at an ongoing flood mitigation project in Padang Merdeka here. He wondered who should assume responsibility if the contractor or the local authorities should not be held accountable for the unfortunate incident.
“The duty of a minister in charge of local government is not about attending functions or cutting ribbons or claiming to have brought about development.
“The accident happened on Boxing Day (Dec 26) and today is Dec 28, Dr Sim is still keeping mum about it,” he told a press conference at the DAP headquarters here.
Chong said it was very irresponsible for the minister to remain silent with regards to the incident.
“It is irresponsibility. He should tell us who the contractor is. Why being so secretive? There is no proper signboard on site and this is happening right in the heart of Kuching City,” he added.
He said a life was lost in the incident and Dr Sim should not just keep quiet about it.
“There are certain safety requirements that need to be complied with. If we cannot blame the contractor or DBKU (Kuching North City Commission), then who is to blame?
“Dr Sim as a local government minister should look into this important issue but he has been keeping mum about it,” lamented Chong.
On Tuesday, a motorcyclist was killed after he skidded and plunged into a metre-deep hole at the mentioned project site.  The deceased was found submerged in water by members of the public who alerted the authorities around 6.30am. The victim was pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene.
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