By : BOBBY YEE
KOTA KINABALU: When praise is forthcoming, then such should be accorded with sincerity, notwithstanding the fact that it is the opposition who sang praises for the government.
Or more appropriately, Deputy Minister of Works, Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin, who got into the good books of Likas Assemblyman, Junz Wong for her speedy action on the Kg Timpoluon landslide near Penampang.
It was a rare show of support to the Government but it cannot be denied that Rosnah was among the early ones to react to the May 31 incident and got the Public Works Department moving despite being a long holiday.
The landslide occurred due to a variety of reasons – but surely the person responsible for creating a man-made lake in the vicinity, as well as doing unmitigated hill-cutting, must be investigated.
The early morning landslide damaged almost a whole section of the Penampang-Tambunan road, damaged one house and put several others in danger.
Rosnah had on Saturday said investigations would be carried out into the occurrence of the landslide before action could be taken on the culprits.
She said the matter will be looked into, stressing, “let it be investigated first and once there is a report, action will be taken”.
Residents living in the area have fingered a businessman who has been identified as having a bird-rearing business, and the wanton hill-cutting project nearby.
Wong said that everyone involved in activities in the area – landowners and business people involved – so that the road project when it also included so that a thorough investigation can be carried out to find out accurately the real cause of the incident.
“Action must certainly be taken against parties who are found responsible for this incident so as to serve as a lesson to other developers.
“Even the authorities who gave approvals must be checked for their negligence in not monitoring what was going on.
“We are very lucky that there was no unfortunate casualty when the incident occurred. It must not happen again,” he said.
Wong added that the Federal Works Ministry and Public Works Department (PWD) should also probe on all parties/authorities involved in hill-cutting project nearby.
He said the Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QAQC) department including consultants and engineers should also be investigated.
“It is common practice that QAQC engineers will have to ensure that project quality requirements are met before completion certificates are issued for periodical payments,” he said.