Company to lower its perimeter fence
KUANTAN: Following the controversy over its so-called “Great Wall of China”, Alliance Steel (M) Sdn Bhd has agreed to a compromise by lowering the solid portion of the wall.
Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Dr Ong Kian Ming said the company would submit a new plan for its perimeter wall to the Kuantan Municipal Council (MPK).
“The wall is not to be demolished but lowered according to the standards of MPK. If it is approved, half of the wall will be taken down and replaced with transparent fencing so people from the outside can see the inside of the Alliance Steel area.
“We welcome this move,” he said after attending a meeting at the Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park (MCKIP) here.
Dr Ong said the move showed Alliance Steel’s sincerity in cooperating with the authorities even though the company was given permission to build a wall.
He said the current height of the wall was about 3m but the new plan would have the concrete part lowered to 1.8m and the rest topped with transparent fencing.
The wall became the subject of controversy when Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said in an interview with a news portal that he wished to see the wall at MCKIP come down literally and figuratively.
The 9.2km-long wall surrounds the perimeter of the steel mill’s 287.3ha compound.
Dr Ong was briefed by officials from the East Coast Economic Region Development Council, MCKIP, Kuantan Port Consortium and Alliance Steel at the meeting.
Also present were Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Fuziah Salleh and Teruntum assemblyman Sim Chon Siang.
Meanwhile, Fuziah said there had not been much progress on the safety certification of the equipment at Alliance Steel.
She said the Department of Occupational Safety and Health had reported that only 22 of the 330 equipment at the steel mill had been certified.
“I view this as a serious matter. If something happens to the workers, who will take responsibility? I will be cooperating with Dr Ong to ensure everything at the factory is in order before they go into full operation,” said Fuziah.
Sim said he was told that the translation of the equipment’s specifications from Chinese to English was in the final stages and Alliance Steel would submit it for certification in a couple of weeks.
On another matter, Dr Ong said the ministry would be monitoring Alliance Steel’s exports as well as the sale of its steel products in the domestic market.
“What we are worried about is if the domestic sale percentage of Alliance Steel’s products is too high, it will have a huge impact on local steel manufacturers.
“Alliance Steel is allowed to sell 50% of its products in the domestic market but what we want is to get the latest information to ensure the numbers are consistent and Alliance Steel fulfils its promise,” Dr Ong said, adding that Alliance Steel would submit a report to the ministry every three months.