CONCERTED efforts from various parties are needed to solve the safety and social issues at the Komtar Tower, says Penang Development Corporation (PDC) chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Bazid Abd Kahar.
He was commenting on the case of a beggar being beaten with a cane repeatedly by two cleaning supervisors in front of a bank in Komtar and the case of sexual harassment by a drug addict involving a young lady in the toilet at the Level 1, Komtar building recently.
“I have also personally instructed the PDC Setia Urus (a subsidiary company of PDC), which is in charge of the Komtar management, to find an alternative solution by collaborating with all parties, such as Social Welfare Department (JKM), police, Komtar auxiliary police and Komtar assemblyman Teh Lai Heng, to work together to prevent such cases from happening again.
“Don’t put the sole responsibility on PDC Setia Urus only as we have only limited authority.
“We need to sit together and find an amicable solution.
“I believe if we can do that and all parties play their own part, then, we can solve this issue once and for all and make Komtar safer for everyone again,” Mohd Bazid said when contacted by Buletin Mutiara today.
According to Mohd Bazid, he believed the issue of the vagrant being beaten up was deliberately exaggerated by certain quarters.
“Firstly, I admit that such action was wrong and it should not have happened in the first place.
“But, we need to look far beyond that as to why that occurred?
“We need to understand that the homeless issue at Komtar is very serious because we found that some of them are drug addicts and some of them are peeping Toms.
“They are also aggressive towards other people, causing a nuisance especially to women who want to use the toilet. Some are also involved in vandalism and other undesirable activities.
“This is what we want to address and hope to solve it.
“Hopefully, when the construction works of a transit centre for the homeless in Jalan C.Y. Choy in George Town is completed soon, we will be able to address this matter,” he added.
Mohd Bazid also revealed that the cleaning supervisors who are involved in the case have already been suspended from their job.
“I also have been informed that they also have been fined RM1,500 by the court.
“And at the moment, we also do not intend to end the cleaning contract given to the cleaning service company which employs the two men.
“This is because the issue involves individuals and not the employer itself,” said Mohd Bazid.
Regarding the case of sexual harassment by a drug addict involving a young lady in the toilet at Komtar, Teh, when contacted, said he had requested the Komtar auxiliary police team to increase the number of patrols especially on Level 1 of the building.
“I also have made a special request to the Penang police as well for their assistance to patrol the Komtar area more frequently.
“As we know, Komtar has a very large area and the number of auxiliary police personnel is also limited. That’s why we need their help,” he said.
Teh added that Komtar auxiliary police team had caught the perpetrator in the incident.
“And they had already handed over the perpetrator to the police and we will leave it to the police to investigate this matter,” he added.
Story by Riadz Akmal
Pix by Darwina Mohd Daud