Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Death Site Contractor Serial Offender but Déjà Vu

When I blogged yesterday on Death Site Contractor Out of Control?, I highlighted what the Human Resource Minister, Dr Fong Chan Oon himself revealed , that the death site contractor was a serial offender of safety standards.

If such have been the situation, I queried why the Minister seemed too soft on this person and not hauled him (or her) up for a good shakedown. I also questioned why he was allowed to continue work, as reported by residents of the neighbourhood, and my dissatisfaction with the Minister for brushing aside that observation as mere remedial work on safety equipment.

Instead, the Minister, as reported by the New Straits Times today, wringed his hands and claimed he wanted to put recalcitrant contractors out of business.

He makes me laugh (with angry bitterness!) – the contractor had prior to the fatal incident received 7 stop-work orders, 9 notices and 3 compounds already. The killing of Dr Liew Boon Horng made it the 8th stop-work orders, yet we hear from residents around that the construction work continues. And the Minister has the bloody nerve to state he wants to throw the book at contractors who defy the safety and health guidelines at work site, saying (excuse me while I puke):

"I am sad to say that some of them do not take occupational safety and health guidelines seriously. Safety is last on their priority list. I am going to recommend and furnish the names of all errant contractors to local authorities nationwide so that they will not be issued with business licences."

Too little, too f**king late. This contractor should have been stopped long ago, and maybe Dr Liew would still be alive today!

Read this succinctly written letter by a Malaysiakini reader Siasia titled Is Pak Lah able and willing?. I kid you not – it’s bloody well written and worth your 90 seconds of reading. Siasia seized the Malaysian malady by its bloody balls, and gave it a couple of tight squeeze as well.

Indeed, as I blogged earlier, I suspected the contractor must have fairly powerful connections because even The Star or for that matter, the New Straits Times, [strikeout - my error; see latter posting titled Mayor: "Death Site Contractor Complied with Regulations"] was reluctant to name the contractor or his (or her) company, and the Minister’s all talk and no action tell us everything we need to know – just how bloody powerful this contractor is.

Guess what?

Today the Cabinet said it will assess the incident. To me, it’s just a criminal case of safety neglect, so why should the Cabinet come into play for such an issue that should be the province of middle level civil servants – building inspectors, police, DOSH, public prosecutor, judge etc, but certainly not the Malaysian cabinet.

It can only mean one thing – someone big with powerful connections is involved. And then before the suspicious ‘Cabinet’ involvement has even cooled off, we get a DÉJÀ f**king VU.

What déjà vu am I talking about? Remember the Squatgate scandal? Before the official investigation had started, the deputy IGP said the policewoman, our very own Lynndie England of the Abu Ghraib notoriety, was innocent!

Well, for the déjà vu, flash forward to now and we hear the Kuala Lumpur Mayor Ruslin Hasan telling reporters that, get this, “the contractor did not breach safety regulations at the time of the incident.”

No, of course not. The 2,000 kilogrammes of iron mould just fell down from Boleh Heaven.


  1. I'm a bit puzzled. The Human Resource minister has involved himself in the case. I'm just wondering, isn't it more appropriate that the matter should be under the purview of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government. I must admit to being ignorant and need some educating here.

  2. I am admit I am a little confused myself - could it be because DOSH is under the HR Ministry?