KUALA TERENGGANU, 3 June 2009: Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said has asked the Public Works Department (PWD) to check on new buildings in the state to avoid a similar incident like the one at the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium, near here, where part of the roof collapsed yesterday morning.
He said the PWD must conduct checks on buildings such as the Kuala Terengganu Municipal Council Swimming Complex in Batu Burok, Sultan Mahmud Airport and the Gong Badak Indoor Stadium, to make sure they were safe for use.
“In today’s meeting we also decided to have the PWD investigate other buildings as well as the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium.
“We worry because these new buildings were recently completed,” he told reporters after chairing a weekly exco meeting, here today.
In the 9.30am incident yesterday, almost 60% of the stadium’s roof collapsed. The stadium was officially opened by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin on 10 May 2008.
Commenting further, Ahmad said Terengganu was prone to strong monsoon winds and heavy rain, which could cause undesired incidents on the structure of a building.
“We have decided that the executive councillor responsible should cooperate with the state PWD director on any development carried out in the state,” he said.
In a related development, he said the state government would appoint an independent consultant from abroad to investigate the cause of the collapse.
“A directive has been issued to the state secretary (Datuk Mokhtar Nong) to select the consultant soon.
“This means we will have two independent consultants, one from the central government and another from the state government,” he said.
He hoped the consultants appointed would make the right decision because no building that was less than a year old had ever collapsed in the country.
“The incident (collapse of the stadium roof) is embarrassing. Let this be a lesson to us all,” he said.
Ahmad also said the Gong Badak Stadium roof construction defects were discovered before the 12th Malaysia Games’ (Sukma) opening in May 2008.
He said the commandos dared not scale down the roof as it was shaking when they tried to tie some ropes to it.
“They abandoned the idea during the training. Instead they were lowered from a helicopter for Sukma’s opening show on 10 May (2008),” he told reporters.
He said the supporting structure could not withstand the roof, which was longer and wider.
Ahmad said prior to Sukma’s opening he had noticed the roof was uneven and notified the PWD about it.
“The PWD had promised to rectify it after Sukma. That was the assurance given to me,” he said, adding that, he had voiced his concern again to Terengganu PWD deputy director Ghazali Hashim three weeks ago.
Ahmad said Ghazali wrote to him two weeks ago that the contractor would fix the problem.
Meanwhile, Terengganu Sports Complex manager Khairol Azmi said the South
Korean construction maintenance company personnel had inspected the condition of the roof shortly before the roof collapsed yesterday.
“The record book at the stadium’s guard house showed that the construction maintenance personnel had registered themselves several minutes before the mishap.
“They left after the roof collapsed,” he said, adding that the management, security, maintenance and bowling offices had been shifted to the indoor stadium nearby.
Ghazali, who accompanied Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek at the stadium, said the PWD had not issued a certificate of completion on the stadium roof.
“The PWD had only issued certificates of completion on the track and field, and several amenities outside the stadium. The certificates were issued during the Games on 31 May 2008.
“The certificate was not given for the roof as it was still in the defect period,” said Ghazali.
He said the PWD would deal with the main contractor of the stadium and not the Korean subcontractor which had installed the roof. — Bernama