Emergency evacuation as cracks appear on Federal Government complex

MALACCA - Workers and visitors were evacuated from the Federal Government complex in Ayer Keroh here yesterday as several cracks appeared on the building.

The complex houses several agencies under the Home Ministry here, and nearly 300 workers and members of the public were ordered out when the cracks formed on the pillars at the entrance.

The alarm was raised at about 3pm, and the full evacuation order was issued by the National Security Department at 4pm.

Cracks also appeared on the third and fourth floors of the four-storey building, which houses the National Drug Agency and the Immigration Department.

Apart from the two departments, the complex, which was opened in 2006, also houses the National Registration Department, the Film Censorship Board, Rela and other agencies.

Cracks also appeared on the fourth floor dining hall where a tea-party was in session.

Fire and Rescue Department officers were summoned to check on the building’s safety. State Immigration Department director Kamalludin Ismail and state Public Works Departments (PWD) building surveyor Kristy Gelbert were also at the site.

Melaka Tengah Deputy OCPD Supt Muhammad Koay Abdullah said 20 Government staff were attending the tea-party when they heard loud, cracking sounds. All of the occupants were evacuated to an open space to enable investigations.

Supt Muhammad Koay said checks revealed that the cracks “are not serious”, and that the structural integrity of the building was not compromised.

Nevertheless, the probe would still be ongoing, he said. “PWD will dispatch its forensic experts to evaluate the building more comprehensively.”

He added that all departments and agencies had been asked to operate as normal today. A fire engine and some Rela officers have been placed on standby at the site.