Consumers Association of Penang

Giving voice to the little people...since 1970

Foreign workers are not expendable

The news about the mezzanine floor of a hypermarket under construction collapsing yesterday at Pulau Sebang, Alor Gajah, Malacca, is shocking to say the least.

Reports state that the mezzanine floor collapsed after the staging was removed. Fifteen foreign workers, turned victims, were said to have been inside the building at the time -- 3 are dead, 6 injured and another 6 are still missing.

 

Kudos to the police department over 'explosive act'

The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) congratulates the Police Department for wanting to take tough action against fire crackers and fireworks offenses.

It was reported that Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said that the police will be coming hard on those in possession of such explosives in violation of Section 8 of the Explosives Act 1957. They can be, if convicted, imprisoned for up to seven years, fined RM10,000 or both.

He also pointed out that the police is empowered to “enter or board and search any house, premises or other buildings or place or any vehicle, vessel or aircraft specified in the warrant and to search all persons found therein and thereon”.

Tough police action is timely, particularly during the festive season, when needless tragedies become an annual occurrence, potentially maiming or killing people who played with such explosives.

SUBSTANDARD GOODS FLOOD THE MARKET

Electrical goods not confirming to mandatory Sirim standards.

The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) found substandard goods that include locks, stationery, school bags, watches, electrical goods, shoes, tools, and toys flooding the market during its recent market survey.

Some of these items are priced as low as RM2, their prices were a fraction of a similar product of a better quality but appeared to be popular among consumers of the lower income group.

CAP’s point of contention is whether these products meet safe product requirements because being cheap is pointless if they are not safe for consumers’ use.

BOMBA COMPELS USE OF UNREGULATED AUTOMATIC FIRE ALARM MONITORING SYSTEM

Mr Idris showing the automatic fire alarm monitoring system.

Section 238 of the Uniform Building By-laws 1984 regulates that Automatic Fire Alarm Systems installed in designated premises (i.e. high occupancy premises like hospitals, hotels, schools, factories, etc) must have a direct telephone connection to the appropriate fire station bypassing the switchboard. The “Red phone” in such premises is the direct connection. This system has the approval of the General Insurance Association of Malaysia or PIAM. In dealing with fire emergencies, efficient monitoring of fire-alarms by trained personnel is critical and time is counted in seconds.

Lately, the Fire Department has been complaining that the Computerised Monitoring System (CMS) in use is sending too many false alarms to the fire stations and this is taking too much of its personnel’s’ time monitoring them.

Were safety measures followed in building demolition?

The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) is shocked at the circumstances surrounding the Jaya Supermarket tragedy. It is incomprehensible that hazardous demolition work which is normally executed after careful planning could go awry and result in the entrapment and death of 7 foreign workers.