BY ASHREENA PILLAI
KANGAR: Malaysians will never learn.
That’s the scathing remark uttered by Deputy Sports Minister Datuk M. Saravanan following the collapsed canvas roofing of the State Aquatic Centre on Thursday.
“The lesson we can learn from this, which, as Malaysians we probably never will is – be cautious when picking the contractor,” said Saravanan after inspecting the venue on Friday.
“We’ll have to discuss with the Public Works Department (JKR) on the issue to see what course of action should be taken next,” he continued.
The untoward incident which marred the opening day of the aquatics competition took place at 2.15pm on Thursday when heavy rain and strong winds caused the porus canvas roofing over the swimming pool to tear.
The rain which lasted roughly half an hour resulted in a big tear in the canvas and part of it dipping into the swimming pool.
The canvas roofing needed to be removed and as a result, the swimming finals, which were set to begin at 4.30pm on Thursday, were delayed by 30 minutes.
The main concern now is that heavy rain and thunderstorms will cause delays to the diving and swimming events.
Saravanan explained that the aquatics competition only started a day late and as it is due to end on Sunday, there is still time to complete the events before Sukma closes on June 4, even if there are a few delays because of the weather.
“I’ve spoken to the athletes and coaches from a few states. None of them have complained about the water causing them any irritation so there doesn’t seem to be an issue there.”
Meanwhile, the Raja Muda of Perlis Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullail and Perlis Mentri Besar Azlan Man visited the venue separately on Friday.
“We’re investigating the cause now,” said Azlan.
“The roofing had met all the technical requirements which was confirmed by ASUM (Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia), the consultant engineer and JKR, and the certification was given,” said Azlan.
“We’re investigating if the material used was sub-standard or what could have caused the incident to happen. So let’s wait for the full report.”