Wednesday, March 22

Victim’s father may take legal action against school


PENANG: The father of one of the victims of the capsized dragon boat plans to take legal action against SMJK Chung Ling alleging that the school was negligent in the safety of his son during the rowing training session on Sunday.

Ching Chin  Teik, 52, father of Jason Ch’ng, 17, said the area where the training was done, that is the waters off Lebuh Macallum Ghat, was a dangerous area and a passage for large boats.

“I cannot imagine that the school authorities neglected the safety of the students by training in the waters off Lebuh Macallum Ghat when we know that the area is not suitable for training.

“Our family had all this while placed 100 per cent the safety of Jason in the hands of the school but they were negligent, so I do not discount the possibility of taking legal action against the school,” he said, still sad over the incident.

He said Jason was the younger of his two children and was a good and responsible child.

Ching said Jason’s death was felt heavily by his family, especially by his sister, Jenny Ch’ng, 19, as they were very close and helped each other in studies.

Jason will be buried at the Kwangtung Teng Chow cemetery today.

A fisherman, Aznan Bakar, said he often saw the school dragon boat team training there but was surprised they chose the ‘dangerous’ area.

He said the area was dangerous for small boats as  ships unloaded cargo there and fishermen stayed clear.

“I have seen them and thought they were being monitored,” he told Bernama.

The students started training at 8am and their dragon boat was said to have been overturned by high waves before being hit by a lighter at 8.45am on Sunday. — Bernama