by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary- General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Friday, May 10, 1991:
Kit Siang writes to Ghafar Baba to express full supper for Royal Commission of Inquiry into Sungai Buloh fireworks factory disaster but a presses concern at ‘cover up’ attempts by certain vested interests.
I have today written to the Deputy Prime Minister, Ghafar Baba, expressing full support for the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Sungai Buloh fireworks factory explosion disaster which had killed or injured 100 people and destroyed numerous houses in Sungai Buloh new village.
In my letter, which was faxed in the Deputy Prime Minister today, I also expressed concern at the ‘cover up’ attempts by certain vested interests which do not want a full and widest ranging public inquiry into all aspects as to how an dangerous industry could be allowed to operate illegally in a residential area without adequate safety measures for workers for 17 years, despite repeated fires, deaths and public protests.
I am prepared to supply avidence of attempts at a ‘cover up’ of the Sungai Buloh fireworks factory disaster if the Deputy Prime Minister asks for them.
In my letter, I stressed that public confidence in the Royal Commission of Inquiry will depend on three factors:
Firstly, the members of the Royal Commission of Inquiry who must be respectable and good character, and even more important, independence and courageous to probe the root cause of the Sungai Buloh fireworks factory explosion disaster;
Secondly, the fullest and widest terms of reference, without any constraint whatsoever; and
Thirdly, the Royal Commission of Inquiry should hold its proceedings in public and make public its report.
Nine Areas for Investigation by Royal Commission of Inquiry.
In my letter, I proposed at least nine areas which should be subject of investigation of the Royal Commission of Inquiry:
The specific cause of the Bright Sparklers fireworks factory explosion on Tuesday;
The responsibility of the Home Ministry, in particular the police, in allowing dangerous explosives to be tested and manufactured illegally for 17 years in violation of the Explosives Act 1957.
The responsibility of the Labour Ministry, and in particular the Factories and Machinery Department, in allowing a dangerous factory to operate for 17 years in utter disregard of the safety and welfare of the workers.
The responsibility of the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, and in particular the Fire Department, despite repeated fires and deaths at the factory in the past.
The responsibility of the Ministry of Science and Environment, and in particular the Department of Environment , in not paying heed to the repeated public protests against the siting of the dangerous industry in a residential area.
The responsibility of the Selangor State Government, and in particular the Petaling District Office, in allowing the unlicensed fireworks factory to operate for 17 years despite previous fires and deaths.
Whother powerful political leaders had been involved, openly or covertly, to by-pass and suborn laws, regulations, government departments and Federal Ministries to permit an illegal and dangerous industry to operate in residential area with inadequate safety measures for workers for 17 years.
The siting of dangerous explosives industries throughout the country.
The siting of other dangerous industries in Sungei Buloh new village and other residential areas, both in Selangor and throughout the country.