GEORGE TOWN (Sept 12): Tanjung Bungah Residents Association (TBRA) called for the engineer and his firm to be sentenced to jail time over a fatal Penang landslide that killed 11 workers in 2017.

The engineer had instead been slapped with RM40,000 in fines, and his firm was also slapped with RM40,000 in fines. 

TBRA chairman Meenakshi Raman was quoted by the Malay Mail as saying that fines were inadequate, given the deaths.

“It does not commensurate with the seriousness of the matter, a jail sentence ought to have been imposed to set an example for other engineers,” she was reported as saying in a statement today.

The punishment had been meted out by the Sessions Court yesterday.

The chairman called on Attorney General (AG) Tan Sri Tommy Thomas to appeal for a harsher sentence.

“We also call on the police to commence criminal investigations under the direction of the AG as recommended by the SCI (Commission of Enquiry) and seek a prosecution under Section 304A of the Penal Code,” she said. 

The recommendation of the SCI that he chairman referred to, were that that engineer Khoo Koon Tai be investigated for causing death by gross negligence under Section 304A of the Penal Code.

“We are shocked by the imposition of such a paltry fine, given the gravity and seriousness of the offence which led to the death of 11 workers,” she said.

Khoo and his firm Perunding KAA Sdn Bhd were fined RM40,000 each yesterday, following a guilty plea to the charge of failing to provide engineering calculations for the temporary slope for the Granito housing project where the landslide occurred.

The news portal reports that they were charged under Section 15 (1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 for failing to ensure the safety, health and welfare of all workers.

Punishment for those convicted is to be liable to a fine of not more than RM50,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years or both.

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