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They say it's worksite accident

Up till now the Penang state government still wants the people to believe that the landslide tragedy in Tanjung Bungah was a worksite accident.
I repeat: A worksite accident!
Chief minister Lim Guan Eng, state exco in charge of local government Chow Kon Yeow and MBPP all argued that the tragic incident was a worksite accident, with disregard to the 11 precious lives buried under tonnes of mud.
Five months earlier, a 26-year-old construction worker died of suffocation when the chain of the crane he was working on caught his neck at a Bayan Baru site.
Upon investigation, the incident was confirmed to be a worksite accident.
Ten months ago, a scaffolding fell on a worker at a construction site in Rawang and killed him instantly.
This was also confirmed another worksite accident.
Of course, no one had to bear any responsibility in these two mishaps, and we could only blame the bad fortune befalling the poor victims.
Site managers and contractors might subsequently be given some light punishments, and that was about all!
But, was the Tanjung Bungah landslide a mere "worksite accident" as top government officials in Penang would like us to believe?
No way! It was most positively not an "accident" in the first place. Tonnes of mud would not have poured down for no reasons at all, and it couldn't have been pure coincidence that these 11 ill-fated workers happened to walk into the site.
It was not an accident but a consequence of lax environmental assessment. These 11 people were buried alive not because of their bad luck. They were killed in a workplace they shouldn't have been put in, in a housing project that shouldn't have been approved by the authorities.
The project was not approved by the DOE and was repeatedly opposed to by local NGOs. The local assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu even streaked and went on a hunger strike to register his protest against the project.
These people protested not for the sake of protesting, but for the environment and personal safety of workers.
And this is not the first time an inappropriate, excessive and risky development has been permitted in Penang.
Even though environment lobbyists, the media, civil organisations and the general public have repeatedly called on the state government to halt all hillslope and reclamation projects on long-term environment and living quality considerations, such pleas have unfortunately been muffled by the calls of developers' greed.
It appears that political and economic interests have far overridden safety and environmental considerations. And since politics is taking precedence in this whole matter and that the approval was granted by the political masters, the tragic incident had everything to do with politics!
So, stop telling people not to politicise things! And please don't tell us that the landslide was triggered by quarrying activities approved by the previous administration.
The quarry has been in existence for over half a century and since they knew the hilltop quarry had been there for this long, why approved the project at the foot of it 50 years on?
The tragedy was most definitely not a "worksite accident" but a consequence of the interplay of power and economic interests.
The Penang state government still owes the public a genuine explanation and apology.
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