Fatal Padang Merdeka accident: Responsible party will face music, says DBKU Mayor

Datuk Abang Abdul Wahap Abang Julai

KUCHING, Dec 27: Kuching North City Hall (DBKU) mayor Datuk Abang Abdul Wahap Abang Julai gave his assurance that the party respondible for yesterday’s mishap at the Padang Merdeka construction site will face the music.

“We have in fact agreed that we will let the official investigation be carried out (before issuing an official statement). Whoever is responsible will face the music,” he told DayakDaily.

Abang Abdul Wahap said this was not the right time to comment on the incident and advised members of the public not to speculate until investigations are done.

“To make a comment now is very bad. It is very unfortunate that we have lost one life but there are many factors to be considered,” he said.

The 29-year-old victim, Dina Dzulkarnian Asan, son of a photojournalist, was believed to have drown after the motorcycle he was riding plunged into a one-metre deep hole at the flood mitigation project construction site.

Fire and Rescue Department personnel removing the deceased from the drain.

Photos of the accident went viral on social media with netizens questioning the poor safety measures which claimed another life, after a number of similar incidents in previous years.

When asked on the inadequate safety measures, Abang Abdul Wahap reiterated that he would only comment after investigations.

“If I were to rebut, it is as if I am defending myself.”

On top of investigations by traffic police, Abang Abdul Wahap said the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (NOSH) is also conducting an investigation.

“We (DBKU) are also carrying out an internal investigation to find out when was the last time we inspected the site, who were there and so on,” he said.

The ongoing drain widening work at Padang Merdeka which started last year is part of RM8-million drainage upgrading works to mitigate flash floods in the area.

It has been reported that the contractor was asked to cover open sewerage shafts with concrete barriers by the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water to ensure public safety last year.

This is also the forth fatal accident at construction sites in the city in recent years, following a car plunging into a sewerage shaft in 2013, a car crashing into a metal structure and a motorcyclist crashing into crane parked at road side. — DayakDaily