by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Friday, June 3, 1994:
Ampang Jaya Municipal Council as the successors-in-title to the Gombak District Council must also bear responsibility for the Highland Towers Collapse Disaster for the issue of Certificate of Fitness for Higland Towers
I welcome the decision of the Special Cabinet Committee headed by Deputy Prime Minister, Datuh Seri Anwar Ibrahim, to recommend to the Cabinet that the full report compiled by the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council’s technical team be made public.
Anwar said the Special Cabinet Committee will be submitting the report to the Cabinet within the next two weeks. Why can’t the report be submitted to the Cabinet next Wednesday so that the report could be released as early as possible. The families of the Highland Toilers Collapse Disaster have suffered in great sorrow and pain for six months and every day of delay is an additional day of anguish for them.
Anwar Ibrahim should also ensure that copies of the inquiry report should be immediately made available free of charge to the victims or their families after a decision has been made by the Cabinet to make it public.
Anwar said the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council inquiry found that the developer is to be blamed for the collapse of the 12-storey apartment building which killed 48 people in Hulu Klang on December 11.
The inquiry found that the weak foundation was the cause of the collapse and that the developer had failed to follow various conditions laid down for the construction.
Such a finding cannot be complete. For while the developer must bear responsibility if it had failed to adhere to the various conditions under the law, and responsible for the fatal weak foundation, the local authority which gave approval for the apartment block and issued the certificate of fitness must also bear responsibility.
For this reason, Ampang Jaya Municipal Council as the successors-in-title to Gombak District Council which issued the certificate of fitness must bear its portion of responsibility for the Highland Towers Collapse Disaster.
This is why it is unsatisfactory for Ampang Jaya Municipal Council to conduct an inquiry into the Highland Towers Collapse Disaster, for the inquiry .committee headed by the Ampang Municipal Council President, Abdul Karim Munistar, must be fully aware of the status of Ampang Jaya Municipal Council as the successors-in-title to Gombak District Council.
The Cabinet, when it meets on the findings of the inquiry of the Highland Towers Collapse Disaster, should also address the issue of compensation to the victims.
The Cabinet should also take note that the published findings of the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council inquiry have aroused ‘incredulity’ because no reference has been made to the massive development that took place up the hill which caused massive landslides and their contribution to the collapse of Highland Towers.
If there is really such an omission, then the Cabinet should consider how such an omission could be rectified.