Tg Aru jetty not for tourism — Mayor

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - HOME - By Safrah Mat Salleh

KOTA KINABALU: The Ses­sions Court here yes­ter­day was told that the Tan­jung Aru jetty was built by the City Hall for the vil­lagers and fish­er­men in the area, and not for tourism.

Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai, 61, who tes­ti­fied be­fore judge Noor Hafizah Mohd Salim, said that the jetty was built and main­tained by the Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) since eight years ago.

In ex­am­i­na­tion-in-chief by the deputy pub­lic prose­cu­tor (DPP) from the Malaysian Mar­itime De­part­ment Nu­run Naz­i­fah Mohd Iyen, he told the court that ini­tially the jetty was made of wood but the DBKK built a con­crete jetty for the use of the vil­lagers and fish­er­men.

To a ques­tion by Nu­run Naz­i­fah, Yeo also said that he did not know whether the jetty was used by other par­ties or a tourism agency.

Nu­run: Do you re­call any com­plaints made by the vil­lagers about the jetty be­ing used by other par­ties or tourism agency?

Yeo: We never re­ceived any com­plaints.

To an­other ques­tion by Nu­run, Yeo ex­plained that there was no no­tice to show that the jetty was for the use of the vil­lagers and fish­er­men be­cause it was read­ily un­der­stood and known that the jetty was meant for them (vil­lagers and fish­er­men) and they had ap­plied for it for their own con­ve­nience.

To an­other ques­tion by Nu­run Naz­i­fah, Yeo also said that a sign­board had been put at the jetty af­ter the cata­ma­ran tragedy in or­der to show that the jetty was only for the use of the vil­lagers and fish­er­men.

Yeo was called by the pros­e­cu­tion as the 16th wit­ness to give his tes­ti­mony in the trial of three ac­cused, Sharezza Salian, 23, Leong Vin Jee, 44, and Leong’s mother, Chung Ket Siew @ Chung Siaw Ping, 64, in­volved in the Cata­ma­ran tragedy on its way to Pu­lau Men­galum in Jan­uary.

Sharezza, who was the skip­per, Leong, the op­er­a­tion man­ager of the travel com­pany, and Chung, the owner of the travel com­pany face up to 10 charges and claimed trial to the charges which were read to them on March 16.

The three ac­cused were each charged with caus­ing hurt to 20 pas­sen­gers, all from China aged be­tween 17 and 50, by tak­ing the boat to sea so neg­li­gently as to en­dan­ger hu­man life or the per­sonal safety of oth­ers.

They were charged un­der Sec­tion 337 of the Pe­nal Code, which car­ries a jail term of up to six months or a max­i­mum fine of RM1,000, or to both, upon con­vic­tion.

Sharezza, Leong and Chung were also al­leged to have neg­li­gently caused the death of four China na­tion­als, in­clud­ing two women, aged 27 and 49, but not amount­ing to cul­pa­ble homi­cide.

The charges were framed un­der Sec­tion 304A of the Pe­nal Code, which pro­vides for a jail term of up to two years, or a fine, or to both, upon con­vic­tion.

Sharezza and Leong also face two joint charges un­der the Ports and Har­bours Reg­u­la­tions 2008 for fail­ure to keep on the pas­sen­ger boat with the ap­pro­pri­ate safety equip­ment at all times and for em­bark­ing the pas­sen­gers at Kam­pung Tan­jung Aru Lama Jetty here, which was not a designated land­ing point.

The of­fences were framed un­der Reg­u­la­tion 16 of the Ports and Har­bours (Sabah Li­censed Small Ships) Reg­u­la­tions 2008 and Reg­u­la­tion 13 of the Ports and Har­bours (Ports, Har­bours and Dues) Reg­u­la­tions 2008, re­spec­tively.

Mean­while, Leong and Chung were jointly ac­cused of fail­ing to keep the boat li­cence on the pas­sen­ger boat at all times, and were charged un­der Reg­u­la­tion 9 of the Ports and Har­bours (Sabah Li­censed Small Ships) Reg­u­la­tions 2008.

Chung was also al­leged to have em­ployed Sharezza as the skip­per of the boat with­out al­ter­ing and re­port­ing the par­tic­u­lars of the skip­per to the near­est li­cens­ing au­thor­ity, an of­fence un­der Reg­u­la­tion 13 of the Ports and Har­bours (Sabah Li­censed Small Ships) Reg­u­la­tions 2008.

All of the al­leged of­fences were com­mit­ted at Kam­pung Tan­jung Aru Lama Jetty, at a travel com­pany in Asia City and in the wa­ters off the coast of Men­galum Is­land here be­tween 9.15am and 11am on Jan­uary 28.

Mean­while, a sev­en­teenth wit­ness, Sa­har Pi­asin, 57, who is an en­force­ment of­fi­cer from the Sabah Ports and Har­bour De­part­ment (JPDS) tes­ti­fied that the cata­ma­ran boat had a crack on the left part of its tran­som (rear part of a boat which sup­ports the en­gine).

In ex­am­i­na­tion-in-chief by DPP Nar­tiah M. Sam­bat­han, Sa­har told the court that he had ex­am­ined the cata­ma­ran on Jan­uary 17 to­gether with an­other two staff from the Jes­sel­ton Point.

He said that the cata­ma­ran had failed to get its ap­proval due to its con­di­tions, in­suf­fi­cient safety equip­ment, un­hy­gienic and a crack was found at the tran­som.

Nar­tiah: How big was the crack?

Sa­har: It was about seven inches.

Nar­tiah: As an ex­am­iner of the boat and ex­pe­ri­enced per­son in JPDS, in your opin­ion and in view of the con­di­tion and dam­age to the boat, is it safe for it (boat) to sail?

Sa­har: With such dam­age (crack at the tran­som) and in­com­plete safety equip­ment, it is not safe for any boat or the cata­ma­ran to sail to the sea.

To an­other ques­tion by Nar­tiah, Sa­har said that there were two men, the crew of the cata­ma­ran, present when the cata­ma­ran was checked and he had ver­bally in­formed the men of the re­sult of the ex­am­i­na­tion on the same day.

He said that he had told the crew to come back on Jan­uary 21 for a re-ex­am­i­na­tion to get the ap­proval, how­ever, they did not come for the re-ex­am­i­na­tion.

Sa­har said in re­ply to a ques­tion that he nei­ther made any writ­ten record nor took a photo of the crack in the tran­som be­cause he opined that the boat was not ready for an ex­am­i­na­tion.

Leong and Chung were re­leased on bail of RM19,000 and RM16,000 with RM3,500 and RM3,000 to be de­posited in two lo­cal sureties, re­spec­tively while Sharezza is cur­rently re­leased on RM1,500 bail pend­ing dis­posal of the case.

Coun­sel Ed­ward Paul rep­re­sented Leong and Chung while coun­sel Be­nazir Japiril Ban­daran and Hamid Is­mail rep­re­sented Sharezza un­der the Na­tional Le­gal Aid Foun­da­tion (NLAF).

The trial con­tin­ues on Oc­to­ber 16.

Yeo leav­ing the court yes­ter­day af­ter tes­ti­fy­ing as the16th pros­e­cu­tion wit­ness in the trial of three per­sons over the Cata­ma­ran tragedy in Jan­uary.

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