by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Monday, 13th May 1991:
Both the Minister and Deputy Minister for Human Resources should be called to appear before the Royal Commission of Inquiry to explain their conflicting statements.
The victims of the Sungai Buloh fireworks factory explosions disaster and the Malaysians public must be utterly confounded by the plethora of conflicting and contradictory statements that keep coming out from different government authorities.
The position has reached a stage where even the same Ministry could issue conflicting statements.
For instance, the Deputy Minister for Human Resources, Datuk M. Mahalingam, told a UMNO gathering in Kapar that the Sungai Buloh fireworks factory, Bright Sparklers Sdn. Bhd., had been advised by officials from the Factories and Machinery Depatment last December to set up a safety committee. He said it was not immediately known whether the committee, which ideally functions as a watchdog on safety and working environment, was set up.
The Minister for Human Resources, Datuk Lim Ah Lek, however has given a different version. He said at a MCA gathering in Kuala Lumpur that the Bright Sparklers Sdn. Bhd. factory in Sungai Buloh received the ‘all-clear’ sign from the Factories and Machinery Department officials who inspected the premises last November.
If Datuk Lim Ah Lek is right that the Factories and Machinery Department gave the ‘all-clear’ sign last November, why then did the Department advise the factory to set up a safety committee – which Mahalingam is unable to say whether the factory had complied or not.
Datuk Lim Ah Lek seems to imply that all possible industrial safety measures and precautions had been taken by the factory – and one even gets the impression that Bright Sparklers Sdn. Bhd. is a model factory for industrial safety! If this was the case, then how could such a terrible disaster take place last Tuesday, and why were there previous fires and deaths?
If the Minister and Deputy Minister for Human Resources can give conflicting and contradictory versions about Bright Sparklers which could operate a dangerous industry illegally in a residential area for 17 years.
Both the Minister and Deputy Minister for Human Resources should be called before the Royal Commission of Inquiry to explain their conflicting statements.