PKR Calls For Independent Inquiry Into The Death Of SESB Employee

Liew, second from right, and Sherzali, right, a member of the legal aid team posing with the families of the injured SESB employees, during the visit to QEH1.

KOTA KINABALU: Parti Keadilan Rakyat Sabah has called for an independent fatality inquiry on the death of 52-year-old Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) employee Kassim Lajim.

Kassim suffered 70% burns following an explosion and fire at the SESB substation at Wawasan Plaza, last Wednesday. Also injured in the incident were four other SESB employees, aged 25 to 65. They are currently being treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital 1.

Making the call was Christina Liew, the PKR Sabah chairman following a visit on the other four SESB employees.

“We in PKR Sabah take this matter seriously, as it involved the loss of a precious life and seriously injured four others. It should not be treated lightly as just another workplace accident. A thorough investigation must be carried out to establish the real cause of the incident, so as to prevent such a tragic incident from happening again in future.

“The fact that a fire broke out at the power substation following an explosion effectively turned the place into a ‘death trap’, and we must find out what’s the real cause of it, whether it was due to due negligence of the affected employees or, due to some ‘hidden’ causes.

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“We hence urge the relevant government agency like the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to immediately step in to facilitate an independent inquiry on the incident,” she urged.

She added that as a responsible corporation, both SESB and its parent company Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) should have voluntarily requested for an independent inquiry on the said incident.

She also urged both TNB and SESB to immediately review and improve the safety protocols for their employees.

“SESB needs to put in more safety measures besides providing better training for its employees, so as to prevent such tragic incident from happening again in future.

“This should not be a problem at all since TNB recorded a net profit of RM6.9 billion in the year ended August 31 2017,” she said.

Besides extending her condolences and sympathy to the families of the late Kassim and his four injured colleagues, Liew who is also the Api-Api Assemblywoman also offered pro bono legal aid to them.

The pro bono legal team is headed by Liew and comprises of four other lawyers namely Sherzali Asli, Sazalye Donol Abdullah, Abdul Razak Jamil, and Bryan Chua.

“The families (of injured SESB employees) can contact us anytime,” said Liew.

She also thanked the doctors and nurses at the hospital for taking good care of the affected SESB employees round the clock.