No Plan Of Escape

Mack Zulkifli of Brand New Malaysian has taken up the issue of the building manager’s refusal to draw up a contingency plan for the 4 blocks of apartment where I stay in his entry titled Malaysia Service Desk -Lost and Found announcement. Blocks 31A, B, C & D of Taman Pekaka consists of 544 units of which 504 units are contained in three 22-storey blocks and another forty units in a 5-storey block.

Several fires have broken out in some of the apartments. Fortunately they were extinguished quickly with only minor damages within the respective units concerned. After the last fire at the apartment one floor below mine, I wrote a letter to the building manager and blogged about it here. I am pasting it here again for context.


If you do not already know, a fire broke out at 31B-19-4 today at approximately 2:25pm. The guardhouse was promptly notified. I am extremely disappointed that the guards arrived at the scene of the incident only after the fire was extinguished. At the first instance when a fire is reported, the security guard posted at the respective Blocks should take control of the situation. If your security guards were not trained in fire fighting, then they should have been instructed to notify residents staying in the immediate vicinity and if the situation warrants, evacuate them in an orderly manner. None of these were done. Lives were at stake and your security guards were acting in a lackadaisical attitude which is truly appalling.

As the Manager of the four blocks of apartment here, it is your responsibility to ensure the security and safety of all residents at all times. I would like to know what contingency plans you have in the event of a major fire or emergencies. Surely, for the amount of management fees and security guard fees that are being charged to the management fund every month, you must have already drawn up a strategy to ensure the safety of residents here.

In addition, despite protests from parcel owners, you have been grossly irresponsible in continuing to allow cars to be parked at the driveway in such a manner that they will obstruct the movement of fire engines and ambulances. This will seriously impede rescue and fire fighting attempts. Are you going to wait until lives are lost because of these obstructions before you are ready to consider the safety of residents?

I trust you will furnish all parcel owners and residents here with a copy of the Contingency Plan for Fire and Emergencies within fourteen days to see if any amendment is needed. This will allow us to reside here with a peace of mind knowing that our safety and security is being looked after. However, if there is no such plan, I urge you to immediately initiate a dialogue with parcel owners and put together one for the safety of all residents here.

This letter was copied to the Pengarah Jabatan Bomba dan Penyelamat, the State Assemblyman YB Goh Kheng Sneah and the Chairman of the Residents Association here. The State Assemblyman followed up this issue with the relevant authorities. However the building manager did not respond to my letter until the Residents Association pursued the matter with them. Below is a scan of the reply to the Residents Association from the building manager regarding that issue.

Click for bigger image.

We have experienced two earthquakes and several minor fires here but the building manager has yet to draw up a contingency plan nor hold a dialogue with the unit proprietors here to get feedback and suggestion on what steps to take in the event of a major emergency. In between that period the nozzles and couplings for the fire hoses on many floors were stolen due to the lack of security. The missing items were recently replaced and the costs charged into the management fund.

There are other major issues and disputes with the building manager who is also the developer that is being looked into by the Residents Association. I understand that those issues have been escalated to the Pengarah Jabatan Tanah dan Galian and the Secretary of the MPPP and they are looking into our grouses and problems. We are currently waiting for the issuance of the strata titles for our respective units. Hopefully when we get the title and form the management corporation, the unit proprietors and residents here can see better days because we will then have the right to determine the management of this place that we have come to call home.

I sincerely thank Mack for taking a personal interest in this issue. His concern has really touched me. We have not met in real life apart from chatting online a few times. I have met a lot of people who took a cursory interest in my plight but Mack is one of those few who is making it a crusade to see that my concerns and problems will be properly addressed. Thank you again Mack. The underprivileged and the underdogs need more people like you.

Related entries:
Fire! Fire! – The Sequel
Fire! Fire! The Saga Continues
What Fire Safety?

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

11 thoughts on “No Plan Of Escape”

  1. Building management, mostly they just want RM$$$$$$ They don’t care about the welfare of the resident.Even though you complain they just turn deaf.

  2. yes i read mack’s entry there. good points he has there.

    peter, you go and chase after the building management. i will give you my support. anything i can help just let me know.

  3. Anybody out there knows Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon’s email address (official or personal).

    Or his Political or Personal Secretary’s email address.

    Somebody in Penang can help track it down.Preferably the Chief Minister’s. He should have an official email address which the public can send feedbacks. The PM has one.

  4. …earlier posting got truncated.

    I have tried to find the CM’s email address on the internet, and there is none.

    This problem faced by Peter deserves attention. The insensitivity of the building manager to the concerns of residents in need of assistance during an emergency is unacceptable.

    In the final analysis, the Govt is responsible for the wellbeing of the citizens. And the buck stops at Tan Sri Dr Koh’s office.

    And as CM, he must be made to know directly of Peter’s case, as there may be other individuals with similiar concerns.

    As a Chief Minister, no issue that impacts the safety and security of a citizen is small enough to be tackled.

    Those who know of his email address, you can email it to me or post it here. Or send to Jeff Ooi. He knows where to find me.

  5. Thquah,
    That is right. They are only concerned with how much money they can rake in the shortest possible time.

    Thanks. Will definitely rope you in should I need help.

    At the moment, we have a multitude of issues that the Residents Association are pushing the local authorities to take action on. The State Assemblyman for my area has taken upon himself to look into the issue and get some of it solved. On my side, together with Mack, I hope to push the parties responsible to come out with a vialble plan for emergencies and evacuation. This will not only benefit me but people like me who have no choice but live in high-rise apartments. Again, thank you for being so concerned.

  6. Peter

    From your response, I presume you want me to hold back this email-hotline to Dr Koh, and wait for some progress from what you and the Resident Association intend to pursue.

    If that does not succeed, you give a holler. My offer to do from my end is still open.

    The only way to shake this building manager is to hang him by the b_lls out on the window ledge on a 14th Floor apartment, with a knife to the rope, and ask him whether he wants to give a positive response. If no, then just cut the rope.

    Of course, waiting below will be the CM Penang, to make sure he falls on flat on the CM Penang’s head. The reason being that the building manager thinks he has political connection to be that arrogant and insensitive (these people do that all the time)

  7. Frank&Honest,
    I am sending another mail to the people concerned to see what action they will take this time. Will update again. Thanks. Will take you up on the offer should my mail fail to elicit any response.

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