Bukit Kukus landslide: Project director charged, judge ticks prosecution off

Lai Sin Kian, 58, stands accused as an employer of failing to ensure that a qualified engineer was at the site to oversee backfill works that allegedly triggered a fatal landslide on Oct 19, 2018 at 1.56pm until 6pm. Source (pic): TMI

Lai Sin Kian, a director in the Paya Terubong paired road project at Jalan Bukit Kukus where a landslide occurred last October killing nine workers, claimed trial in the Sessions Court in George Town yesterday.

Judge Mazdi Abdul Hamid advised the prosecution to review the charge in respect of the alleged time which he said was not consistent with the time of the incident.

“Why state the time as 1.56pm until 6pm in the charge? Did the incident happen at 1.56pm or 6pm? This timeline could affect Lai’s defence.

“If it is 6pm, then it has nothing to do with the incident that claimed nine lives. The exact time should be 1.56pm, consistent with the time of incident. I’m giving the prosecution time to amend the charge. If doubts such as this ever arise again, I will throw out the case,“ warned the judge.


GEORGE TOWN: A director in the Paya Terubong paired road project at Jalan Bukit Kukus where a landslide occurred last October killing nine workers claimed trial in the Sessions Court here yesterday.

Lai Sin Kian, 58, stands accused as an employer of failing to ensure that a qualified engineer was at the site to oversee backfill works that allegedly triggered a fatal landslide on Oct 19, 2018 at 1.56pm until 6pm.




He faces a maximum fine of RM50,000 or up to two years imprisonment, or both, upon conviction, under Section 15(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994.

However, judge Mazdi Abdul Hamid advised the prosecution to review the charge in respect of the alleged time which he said was not consistent with the time of the incident.

“Why state the time as 1.56pm until 6pm in the charge? Did the incident happen at 1.56pm or 6pm? This timeline could affect Lai’s defence.

“If it is 6pm, then it has nothing to do with the incident that claimed nine lives. The exact time should be 1.56pm, consistent with the time of incident. I’m giving the prosecution time to amend the charge. If doubts such as this ever arise again, I will throw out the case,“ warned the judge.

Prosecuting officer Norliza Abu Othman from the Penang Occupational Safety and Health Department explained that the incident occurred at 1.56pm but the investigation began at 6pm.

The court set Sept 27 for mention.

Lai was represented by counsel S. Kanesh.

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