Home inspection after quake

THE Penang Government is willing to offer assessment and inspection services of low- cost and low medium-cost flats in the state which might have been affected by the earthquake in Sumatera.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the services would be provided by the local councils and bomba.

“Even though it is unlikely that there was be any serious impact, the public can still forward their concerns to the two agencies,’’ he said.

He also said that those who spread rumours of the closure of the Penang Bridge and ferry services due to the earthquake on Wednesday were out to disrupt the economic wellbeing of the state.

“Any closure of the Penang Bridge and termination of the ferry services requires prior consent from the state government.

“No such request was forwarded to us,” Lim, who is also Penang State Security Council head, said in a press conference yesterday.

He also commended key industry players like the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM), the Free Industrial Zone Penang Companies’ Association (Frepenca) and the Penang Hoteliers Association for taking all necessary steps to address the situation.

“The state government is confident that the earthquake has not caused serious impact to Penang’s economy.

“Apart from some disruptions to the general activities of holiday-makers at the beach and at some manufacturing facilities, no major incident were reported,” he said.

Lim said the state government together with all state and federal agencies including the private sectors had dealt with the problem professionally.

“Everything was under control and the mechanism worked smoothly. There was no panic,” said Lim who had to skip the Royal Banquet in Istana Malaysia in honour of the Yang Dipertuan Agong to address the issue on Wednesday.

Frepenca president Heng Huck Lee said most companies had well-established procedures to handle such situations.

“Evacuations were carried out but most factories went back to operation within two hours,” he said.

Penang Service Industry Panel co-chairman Marco Battistotti said all hotels located near the sea had eva-cuated the beaches by 5pm.

Malaysian Association of Hotels Penang Chapter chairman Mary Ann Harris said hotels had regular drills to prepare for such incidents.

“When the tremors happened, everyone knew what to do,” she said.

Also present during the press conference were state secretary Datuk Farizan Darus, FMM Penang branch manager Cheah Eng Kooi, state executive councillor Abdul Malik Abul Kassim and Malaysian Institute of Architects northern chapter chairman Lawrence Lim.

Source: The Star

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