KUALA TERENGGANU (The Star): Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said sharply rapped Terengganu Public Works Department for failing to properly oversee the construction of the RM18mil-Batu Burok Aquatic Complex here.
Ahmad, who made a surprise visit to the complex Saturday, was visibly upset when he discovered numerous defects in the structure of the building that caters for aquatic related sporting events.
“PWD should have scrutinised the construction from the start. Instead, there are now leaks in the roof and stagnant water at several parts of the building,” he said.
“They should have also taken into account the costs of operation and maintenance of the complex if the building materials were not according to specifications.
“Now this oversight has caused unnecessary expenses for the state, he said.
Ahmad said PWD engineers should have checked the type of materials used for the construction of the complex as groundwork for buildings situated close to the beachfront required resin-based building substances to withstand the weather.
The type of building materials used should have been closely monitored from the beginning to prevent deterioration over the years, he said.
Ahmad was also disappointed to see steel supporting the canvass roofs at the complex corroded merely a year after it completion.
“However, the complex’s roof was made of canvass or else we would have had another roof collapsing episode here.
“The steel pillars in the complex should have been coated with anti-rust and what we see today is very disappointing,” he said adding that he would call for immediate remedial work at the complex.
Ahmad said PWD’s engineers and architects should have been more responsible by conducting constant checks from the start of the construction until the completion.
Terengganu Swimming Association secretary Yan Kong Lee said the defects were reported to PWD last year.
He said the leaks in the complex roof had also damaged facilities and computers in the office inside the aquatic centre.
Meanwhile, former state executive councillor Datuk Wan Hashim Wan Salleh blasted opposition leaders here for faulting the state government in Tuesday’s roof collapse mishap at Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin stadium in Gong Badak here. Wan Hisham who previously helmed Infrastructure, Public Amenity and Communication committee during the reign of former Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh lamented that the opposition was entirely blaming the state government, particularly the former administration for the mishap.
“They are just looking for a scapegoat. This is definitely unethical,” he said when contacted here Saturday.
Wan Hisham said the opposition leaders should wait for the outcome of the probe into the mishap before pointing fingers.
He was commenting on statement from State PAS deputy information chief, Dr Alias Razak that the state government had responded lackadaisically to complaints brought up last year about the deterioration spotted at the stadium’s roof frame.
On the ongoing probe over roof collapse by Public Works Department (PWD), Wan Hisham urged PWD to thoroughly investigate from all aspects including engineering, design and construction of the structure.
The probe should also concentrate on the possibility of sabotage that could have caused the roof to collapse, he added.
However, Wan Hisham declined to elaborate on what he meant by the possibility of sabotage as he has to wait for the preliminary report on the mishap before commenting further.