Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Parents of Kuala Dipang tragedy victims to file RM105mil suit

By Clara Chooi - The Malaysian Insider

IPOH, Nov 17 – The parents of the three young girls who died in the recent bridge tragedy in Kuala Dipang will be filing a RM105mil suit against nine parties, including the Education Ministry, the bridge’s sponsor and contractor, at the High Court here this Friday.

According to their lawyer A. Sivanesan, the fathers of the three deceased would each be suing the parties for RM35mil, amounting to the total of RM105mil, for negligence in the Oct 26 tragedy.

In the suit, the three plaintiffs will name the Education Ministry, Perak Education Department, SJK (T) Mambang Diawan, SJK (T) Gopeng, GS Synergy Sdn Bhd (bridge contributor), CWL Enterprise (bridge contractor), Kinta Selatan district council, the Kuala Dipang 1 Malaysia camp commandant and the Government of Malaysia as defendants.

“They will be suing the parties for a total of RM105mil in damages, amongst other things,” Sivanesan told The Malaysian Insider today.

He added that the suit would be a historical one as it was the first time the parents of any Tamil school student was suing the government for such a high amount in damages.

During the tragedy, 11-year-olds N. Dina Deve and M. Devatharsini, both from SJK (T) Mambang Diawan, as well as 12-year-old V. Divyashree from SJK (T) Gopeng, drowned after they were swept away by the swift currents of the Kampar river.

They had been amongst the 22 students who had fallen into the river when the bridge they were crossing uprooted on one side of the river bank and collapsed.

The group was at the time participants in the Education Ministry’s 1 Malaysia Unity camp which was held at the education department’s co-curriculum centre in Kuala Dipang, Kampar.

Furore was raised following the incident, which led to the formation of two parallel investigative committees – one under the Education Ministry and another under the Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

The PR committee yesterday revealed its findings, which claimed that the weak foundation of the bridge had caused the collapse.

The committee also held the Perak Education Department’s Co-Curriculum Centre responsible for the bridge, which they claimed was illegal, and revealed the names of the two companies involved in the construction of the flimsy structure.