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PETALING JAYA (The Star): The Public Accounts Committee will launch a probe into the roof collapse at Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium, says its deputy chairman Dr Tan Seng Giaw.

“A truly independent specialist must be appointed. It must be thoroughly investigated and its report submitted to both committee and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

“I have heard of stadiums collapsing overseas because of a stampede.

“But I have never heard of a stadium collapsing on its own until now,” he said.

Dr Tan said it was important to ensure such an incident did not recur in the future.

“We have to find out why it collapsed and who is responsible as almost RM300mil had been spent on the stadium,” he said.

Dr Tan also urged authorities to charge those responsible for the collapse in court as “thousands could have died.”

Some 5,000 athletes, who were supposed to have converged at the stadium for a sports meet, had to move their event to other venues.

Wanita MCA chairman Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun called for “quick and decisive” actions against those responsible for the wreck.

The companies should be blacklisted, the officials should quit and their professional licences revoked, she said.

Transparency International Malaysia president Datuk Paul Low said a commission of inquiry should be set up to probe the collapse and its proceedings telecast live.

“A lot of people could have been killed. We must find out the root cause of the problem and look into the specifications of the project,” he added.

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KUALA TERENGGANU (The Star): The Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium was issued a partial work completion certificate last year as it was considered safe to host the Malaysia Games.

State Public Works Department deputy director Ghazali Hashim said the certification, based on the report by an independent examiner, was given to several sections of the stadium including the track, field and several areas outside the building.

“However, we have not issued any certification for the roof as it was still under the warranty period,” he said of the roof of the stadium which collapsed on Tuesday.

A local consultant commissioned to evaluate the safety of the roof declared it safe, he said, adding: “So, we allowed the Games to be held at the venue.”

Ghazali had earlier accompanied Youth and Sport Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek to visit the site Wednesday.

Ghazali said the department was only empowered to issue a work completion certificate once the warranty period had ended. “We have to wait for the warranty period to be over before issuing any certification for the roof,” he said.

Ghazali said government buildings were exempted from having to apply for Certificate of Fitness before occupying the premises.

In the case of the stadium, he said the department issued a partial certification and was in the midst of getting a full-fledged status for the stadium.

The department, he said, would ask the stadium’s main contractor for compensation and carry-out remedial work.

“We will hold the main contractor responsible as (the other firm) the Korean firm was the sub-contractor. “As far as we are concerned, payments were made directly to main contractor and not the Korean firm,” he said.

Ghazali said the department had previously compounded the main contractor for not completing work as scheduled.

Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said has ordered an immediate inspection of newly completed buildings following the incident.

He said the checks would focus on detecting structural defects, cracks and shoddy workmanship. Some of the new buildings are the indoor stadium, Sultan Mahmud Airport and swimming complex.

He said he himself noticed defects on the roof of the year-old Sultan Mahmud Airport. He said the state would appoint independent consultants to carry out the checks.

The roof collapse came only one year after the stadium’s completion which cost RM300mil.

Authorities are investigating if the contractors had rushed to complete the stadium ahead of the Malaysia Games in June last year. Meanwhile, Raja Datuk Kamarul Bahrin Shah of Senibahri Arkitek, the principal architect of the stadium, said he might comment on the incident in a few days’ time.

“I can’t say anything now as I do not have the full facts,” he said when contacted via SMS in Medinah where he is on his way to perform the umrah at Mecca.

Raja Kamarul Baharin said he would return to the country on June 10.

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 The roof  collapsed  on the  grandstand. —  Picture courtesy of PWD
The roof collapsed on the grandstand. — Picture courtesy of PWD

KUALA TERENGGANU (NST): It was a disaster waiting to happen, said engineer A. Mohamed.

Mohamed, who works in a private firm said he often jogged in the area and had noticed that the space frame which held the roof was getting bent out of shape.

“It could be seen from far away. I feared it would give way eventually and the roof would collapse. Today, it did.”

Mohamed claimed he had tried to warn government agencies and the media by sending pictures of the defects but was ignored.

Electrician Hanafiah Osman, 27, whose car was damaged in the incident said he was working on a lamp post outside the stadium when he heard a loud noise.
“I turned around and saw the roof collapsing.

“I rushed to my car but it was already crushed,” he said.

Stadium Management Board chief executive officer Arpin Draman said fortunately no event was held at the stadium as the roof collapsed on the grandstand.

“At the time of the incident, only a handful of stadium employees were in the vicinity and none of them were hurt.”

Arpin said he had never doubted the stadium’s structure as its safety had been assured by the Public Works Department.

“We have a bowling alley and squash courts in the stadium and it was fortunate the roof fell before they opened at 10am.”

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KUALA TERENGGANU (The Star): Several Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers were seen photographing and interviewing witnesses at the site of the collapsed roof at the Sultan Mizan Zainal Stadium in Gong Badak.

Four plainclothes officers, including state MACC director Ahmad Sabri Hussin, were spotted at the site between noon and 1pm.

When approached, one officer said a probe had been initiated into the awarding and managing of the contract to a South Korean construction firm which was responsible for the work.

“We are probing whether there are elements of graft and mismanagement,” said the officer who requested anonymity.

He said the MACC would focus its probe on the awarding process of the contract.

Asked if politicians and senior government officials had been involved in the awarding of the contract, he said: “It’s still premature and I don’t want to elaborate on this.”

Some 60% of the stadium roof collapsed and the impact severely damaged other parts of the building.

Construction of the RM300mil stadium, which began in 2005, had hit a snag midway apparently due to technical glitches.

The contractor was to hand over the sports complex in April last year to the state government for Sukma, which was held from May 31 to June 6, but delivery was only made a month later.

In an immediate response, Works Minister Datuk Shaziman Mansor said his ministry would cooperate with the MACC and that it would be transparent, adding that it had nothing to hide.

“I am more concerned about our image being sullied abroad and I welcome MACC to investigate,” he said.

Batu Burok assemblyman Dr Syed Azman Syed Ahmad Nawawi said the matter was of public interest and that the MACC should centre its probe on the involvement of “high-powered individuals”.

Meanwhile, some 5,000 athletes representing 20 higher learning institutions who were to converge at the stadium for a sports meet had to go to a different venue at the last minute.

The organiser’s spokesman Zakaria Ibrahim said the event would go ahead as planned.

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KUALA TERENGGANU (The Star): Billed as the pride of the state, the RM300mil Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium in Gong Badak suffered a major blow when its roof collapsed yesterday – just a year after it was opened.

No one was injured in the 9am incident, but the stadium, which was the venue for Sukma (Malaysian Games) last year, has been declared unsafe.

The damage at the east wing has been estimated at RM25mil.

The impact of the collapse was so loud that an employee at the stadium thought that a plane had crashed-landed on it.

“I shivered when I heard the deafening sound,” stadium administration officer Noor-kumarasari Jamil, 31, said.

She panicked and screamed for her colleagues to leave the office as the Sultan Mahmud Airport was situated near to the stadium.

Noorkumarasari said her superior directed all the employees to vacate the office and take shelter at a nearby indoor stadium.

General worker Hajjah Shafar, 32, said she was terrified when she saw the roof structure tumbling down.

“I was sweeping the floor at the west wing of the stadium when the roof collapsed,” she said. “I just ran for my life.”

Nineteen workers, mostly cleaners, were at the stadium but they managed to flee to safety.

The stadium is part of the modern Gong Badak sports complex, which was built at an initial cost of RM250mil but the amount surged by an additional RM50mil due to soaring prices of building materials.

The indoor stadium, which is also part of the complex, was built at a cost of RM160mil.

The roof on the stadium’s left wing was ravaged after the iron frame structure supporting the 300m-long roof destabilised, causing it to fold. The affected zones were the main entrance, royal podium and the public seating area.

A Kancil car and three motorcycles were also damaged by the debris.

Works Minister Datuk Shaziman Mansor, who visited the site, said the Construction and Industrial Development Board, a wing under the ministry, had been tasked to form a team comprising architects to determine the cause of the catastrophe.

“It’s premature to point fingers at any party, including the contractor responsible for erecting the roof structure, until the outcome of the investigation.

“The stadium is still under warranty and the contractor will bear the cost of the remedial works,” he said, adding that the incident had tarnished the reputation of the country.

State Fire and Rescue Department director Puazan Ahmad said they received a distress call at 9.45am, and 25 personnel were sent to the site.

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KUALA TERENGGANU (The Star): A sports meet involving staff of local universities starting tomorrow has been called off following the collapsed of a section of the roof at the new Gong Badak stadium.

The stace frame structure of the roof of the 50,000-seat stadium came crashing down at 8am.

There were no reported injuries among the 50-odd staff of the RM300mil stadium but a few cars that were parked underneath it were damaged.

Police have cordoned off the roads leading to the stadium.

Works Minister Datuk Shaziman Mansor is expected to inspect the stadium later today.

Batu Burok assemblyman Dr Syed Azman has called on the relevant authorities to investigate the incident.

The stadium was completed in the nick of time for the state to host the Malaysia Games in June last year.stadiumruntuh

(photo from http://buletinonline.net)

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The Star Update:

Works Ministry to probe Gong Badak stadium roof collapse (Update 4)

KUALA TERENGGANU: The roof of the just completed RM300mil Stadium Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin collapsed early Tuesday.

While no one was ingured and a few cars damaged, overall damage was estimated at RM35mil.

Works Minister Datuk Shaziman Mansor said his ministry would have no problems working with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission over the incident.

“The CIBD (Construction and Industrial Development Board) of the Ministry has been tasked to form an investigation team with certified architects to probe why this happened,” he said after visiting the site Tuesday.

He said that as the stadium, popularly known as the Gong Badak stadium, was just completed, the contractor, a South Korean firm, was still responsible for repair works.

“This incident has sullied Malaysia’s name abroad. It shouldn’t have happened,” he said.

Meanwhile, a sports meet involving staff of local universities starting Wednesday has been called off following the roof collapse.

The frame of the roof of the 20,000-seat stadium, popularly known as the Gong Badak Stadium, came crashing down at 8am. The worst damage was at the east wing.

There were no reported injuries among the 50-odd staff of the RM300mil stadium but a few cars that were parked underneath it were damaged.

Police have cordoned off the roads leading to the stadium.

Batu Burok assemblyman Dr Syed Azman has called on the relevant authorities to investigate the incident.

The stadium was completed in the nick of time for the state to host the Malaysia Games in June last year.

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