Fatal Padang Merdeka accident: ‘Unfair to blame Dr Sim’

Michael Tiang

KUCHING, Jan 2: It is unfair to blame Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian for the fatal accident at the Padang Merdeka flood mitigation project site.

Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Youth Central Chief Michael Tiang said DAP only blamed Dr Sim, who is SUPP president, for political mileage.

“DAP went on the news to play politics by seizing every opportunity to put blame on Dr Sim Kui Hian for everything that happened in Sarawak and demand Dr Sim to bear responsibility for everything that goes wrong.”

Tiang said that DAP used the tragedy which resulted in the death of a motorcyclist to make frivolous allegations for their political publicity as they are “bankrupt of ideas and issues now”.

Tiang pointed out that the flood mitigation project site that killed the said motorcyclist is under DBKU (Kuching North City Commission) jurisdiction and Chong should know that DBKU is not under the purview of Dr Sim’s Ministry of Local Government.

Dr Sim, when contacted, said he had instructed Tiang to respond to the issue, as the former is still overseas.

“My party president is now on his annual leave overseas, otherwise he would be the first to be at the scene of the accident,” said Tiang, adding that Dr Sim had in fact sent SUPP youth leaders to the accident scene at the first instance to investigate the cause of the tragedy and had also repeatedly instructed local councils under his ministry’s purview to strictly adhere to public safety guidelines for all council works at public places.

State DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen had said that Dr Sim was irresponsible for failing to address the public on the public safety issue after the motorcyclist was killed after plunging into a hole at the ongoing flood mitigation project.

Chong and his special assistant Dr Kelvin Yii who went to the site after the incident noted that there wasn’t any legally required signboard indicating the name of contractor and details of the project.

The 29-year-old victim, Dina Dzulkarnian Asan, son of a photojournalist, was believed to have drowned after he lost control of his motorcycle and fell into a huge drain.

Concrete barriers and steel bars were later installed surrounding the huge drains there together with safety barriers. — DayakDaily