Construction work at Taman Desa condo project under investigation raises questions

KUALA LUMPUR (March 27): Residents living near a partially-built condominium project in Taman Desa, which suffered a construction mishap earlier this year, are questioning the work resumption at the site especially now when the country is under the COVID-19 outbreak  Movement Control Order (MCO), which is slated to end April 14.

The 37-storey condominium project saw part of it collapse during construction on February 14, resulting in a stop-work order by the Construction Industry Development Board for investigations to be conducted on the incident where two construction workers had to be rescued after being trapped under the debris. 

The Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) is also carrying out an investigation to ascertain the cause of the collapse.

In a statement today, the Protect Taman Desa Coalition said since March 25, residents of the adjacent condominiums have seen construction workers working at the site and heard the sound of works being carried out at the site.

The residents then sighted a letter issued by the Ministry of Health (MOH) to the contractor Pembenaan Leow Tuck Chui & Sons Sdn Bhd on March 21, stating that only installation works deemed as “the back prop” on the structure related to the collapse are permitted to be carried out during the MCO.

The contractor was required to submit the names of its workers assigned to the site to the MOH.

“The question is, which authority does the MCO come under? The site was sealed for investigation. Was DOSH informed or was it supervising the works during the MCO to ensure there is no evidence- tampering as the findings to the investigations have not been issued?” asked the coalition.

It said residents have lodged complaints with Kuala Lumpur City Hall, DOSH and the police but the work continues and there has not been any response from the authorities.

Earlier, the Ministry of Human Resources has, in a FAQ published on its website, stated that eight critical jobs in the construction and maintenance sector are allowed to continue working during the MCO period including works that could pose a danger if uncompleted.

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