Contractors should be held accountable for SUKE highway disaster

Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) is extremely disappointed that yet again the construction site of the SUKE highway made headlines for causing the deaths of three construction workers and severely injuring one other person.

The SUKE highway has been a topic of controversy ever since starting operations in 2016. It not only cuts through the Bukit Sungei Puteh forest in Hulu Langat, but also caused protests from many residents in housing estates that it is also cutting through. In recent years it has become even clearer that the contractor in charge of the construction of SUKE, Projek Lintasan Kota Holdings Sdn Bhd (Prolintas) is blatantly throwing caution to the wind.

After a concrete slab fell on a car in 2020 (luckily sparing the drivers life but leaving her with an injured left arm) also from the SUKE construction, a small fine of RM 180,000 was slapped on the main contractor and a subcontractor collectively. PSM thinks that the fine issued was clearly not a strong message to prevent these incidents from happening again.

Therefore in this incident, we urge the government to strongly consider suspending or terminating the relevant parties and authorities that are responsible for these deaths and to be more stringent in regulating construction companies. Fines issued to construction companies also need to be more hefty in amount along with a stop-work order for investigation.

We urge the authorities responsible for these deaths and injuries to also compensate the families of these people and issue a public apology for their mistakes and negligence in ensuring the safety of their workers and road users.

We also urge the Department of Occupational Safety and Health to implement and publish stricter safety measures for construction operations to serve as a deterrent for other construction companies. The lives of construction workers and road-users should not be taken lightly.

Geetha A.
Workers’ Bureau
Parti Sosialis Malaysia

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