Thursday, September 11, 2008

PENANG COUNCIL:Balik Pulau National Service built without permission - NST

PENANG, THURS: Sept 11, 2008

The Sri Mutiara National Service Camp in Balik Pulau, site of a landslide two days ago, was built without permission of the local authority .

Penang Municipal Council president Datuk Zainal Rahim Seman said the camp supervised by the Defence Ministry had never submitted plans to build the camp.

“The camp’s management had promised to submit us the plans but we never received them,” he told reporters after visiting the landslide site here today.

Zainal said the municipal council will conduct an investigation into the three year-old camp.

He did not discount closing it down for safety reasons.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the Penang and Seberang Perai Municipal Councils had been asked to ensure that national service camps were built according to procedure.

“This kind of thing should not have happened. Although national service is under the Defence Ministry, the burden to ensure that the camp is safe for trainees lies with the operator,” he said.

National Service Training Department director-general Datuk Abdul Hadi Awang Kechil said yesterday the camp would be closed if it was deemed unsafe for occupation.

The landslide behind the camp building shocked nearby residents and also destroyed several durian trees.

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