Top posts

Featured Posts

Kota Kinabalu turning into a ‘death trap’?

Queville To

A little boy's tragic death, the third in two years, has thrown the spotlight on Kota Kinabalu's poor dilapidated infrastructure and the state's new RM388 million government complex .

KOTA KINABALU: The tragic death of eight-year-old Chua Soon Lee who fell into an uncovered drain hole in a footpath and drowned has been met with anger by city dwellers who say the accident was waiting to happen.

Hundreds of mostly iron drain covers around the city are either missing or damaged, posing a danger to pedestrians as well as vehicles with many previous accidents involving dilapidated infrastructure unreported.

This is the third such incident over the last two years and the rate payers are demanding immediate action from the local authorities.

According to local press reports a similar death occurred last year involving a young girl who tripped and fell into an uncovered drain.

Her body was washed some distance away from where she fell and angry residents in the area then demanded that city authorities cover the death traps.

Adding their voice to the growing condemnation of shoddy infrastructure within the city, the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) said local authorities should “give priority to upgrading and repairing dilapidated public infrastructure and amenities which posed great risk to the public, instead of focusing on mega projects”.

Poor upkeep

In a terse message to KK City Hall, SAPP Inanam youth leader Joseph Thadius said the accident was waiting to happen.

Chua Soon Lee, he said had died after falling into a five meter-deep manhole near Jalan Tuaran here, on Sunday.

The boy is believed to have followed his mother when the accident happened.

Thadius said the tragic incident has put the spotlight on the poor upkeep of infrastructure in the state and called into question the state government’s priorities such as the RM388 million new administrative complex.

“They can’t replace a missing manhole cover but are focusing on grander things,” he said.

Not doing their jobs

He said the tragic incident clearly proved that the relevant authorities like the Kota Kinabalu City Hall and Public Works Department (PWD) were not doing their jobs.

“How come the relevant authorities never learnt from similar incident in the past which occurred in Lintas area last year where a boy was also drowned after falling into an uncovered drain,” he asked.

He said SAPP had previously highlighted the case of a broken drain cover near a few schools.

The director-general of City Hall Yeo Boon Hai promptly responded to the complaint on the social networking site, Facebook, but nothing was subsequently done for month as City Hall and the PWD debated whose jurisdiction the drain cover came under.

“To avoid untoward incidents from happening as there are five secondary schools there besides a bus stop, we decided to replace the broken drain cover ourselves with some financial assistance from the Likas state assemblyman,” Thadius related.

He urged the state government to immediately carry out a thorough check on all the public amenities in the state, the drain and manhole covers especially and to immediately replace those which are broken or in bad shape.

“This is important so as to prevent the same tragic incident from happening again in future.”

Danger to children

Meanwhile, in a separate statement, DAP Sabah parliamentary liaison chief for Keningau and Tenom, Benjamin Yapp reiterated his previous call urging the Keningau district council to immediately repair the badly damaged drain cover situated right in front of a commercial complex, before any untoward incident happens.

“This ‘deadly trap’ contains sharp broken iron rods that pose dangers to pedestrians, especially children walking around without realizing it.

“Members of the public in Keningau have also complained of this matter to us and asked us to raise the issue to the local authority in Keningau,” he said.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog