Company director links to Jaya Supermarket collapse pleaded not guilty

A director of a construction company pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court here today with failing to ensure people’s safety in connection with the collapse of the Jaya Supermarket at Section 14 here last year in which seven people were killed.

Yap Choon Wai, 54, as director of C.W.Yap Sdn Bhd, is charged with failing to conduct its operations by ensuring, as far as practicable, that persons other than employees who may be affected by its operations were not exposed to risks to their safety and health.

He was alleged to have committed the offence on May 28, 2009, about 5pm at the site of the proposed project to demolish the office building and shopping complex and the reconstruction of a seven-storey complex and basement parking, located at Jalan Semangat, here.

The offence, under Section 17 (1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 and punishable under Section of the same law, carries a fine not exceeding RM50,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both.

Deputy public prosecutor Aida Farihan Mohd Nawi requested that bail be set at RM10,000 in one surety.

She also requested for Yap’s case to be re-mentioned together with two other cases involving his company and another construction company, Lian Hup Earth Work and Construction, which were charged at the Sessions Court last week.

Judge Hayatul Akmal Abdul Aziz set bail at RM5,000 in one surety and fixed Oct 27 for mention.

Yap was represented by lawyer Goh Keng Tat.

Last Tuesday, C.W.Yap Sdn Bhd and Lian Hup Earth Work and Construction, were charged at the Sessions Court here, also on charges in connection with failure to ensure people’s safety.

C.W. Yap Sdn Bhd, was charged under Section 17(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 for failing to carry out its operations in a manner which ensured, where practical, that others who were non-employees of the company and who may have been affected by the operations, were not exposed to safety or health risks at the same place and time.

Lian Hup Earth Work and Construction was charged under Section 15 (1) of the same law for failing, as employer, to ensure, where practical, the safety, health and welfare of all employers during work, by failing to adhere to the prepared work safety systems during demolition works, at the same time and place.

The companies face a fine not exceeding RM50,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both if found guilty.

In the May 28 incident, the building structure of the Jaya Supermarket, which was to be torn down for redevelopment, collapsed while demolition works were being carried out, killing seven workers.

Bernama