In a report by Bernama, it was revealed that about 2,000 self-service laundromats in West Malaysia and Sabah do not have gas licences issued by the Energy Commission. This means that these laundrettes could be at risk of experiencing explosions.
Energy Commission deputy director (gas equipment and installation) Shamsuddin Arshad told the news portal that only 427 laundromats have been approved to install (ATI) and operate (ATO), have gas licences, and are registered with the commission. Sarawak is not under the purview of the Energy Commission.
According to the Gas Supply Act 1993 and Gas Supply Regulations 1997, any business that uses gas supply like liquid petroleum is required to get approval from the Energy Commission before starting their operations. This is to make sure that their gas piping systems are installed according to the commission’s standards. Those who do not have licences and fail to meet the commission’s standards can receive a fine of up to RM100,000, jail time, or both.
Shamsuddin has urged operators of laundromats to exercise caution, highlighting two recent cases involving explosions at self-service laundrettes. Earlier in October 2018, a man died while two of his children received burns during an explosion at a self-service laundrette in Klang. Then, in April earlier this year, a woman also died during an explosion at a laundrette in Kuala Lumpur.
According to Shamsuddin, these explosions were due to leaks in the gas supply because the laundromats’ piping systems did not meet the Energy Commission’s standards. Self-service laundromats reportedly use gas in order to cut costs.
In an effort to curb future accidents, the Energy Commission will make it mandatory for all laundromats to display their approvals and licences. The commission will also be raiding these premises to ensure these establishments adhere to their standards.
Let’s hope these strict measures prevent such tragic accidents from recurring.
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