by Parliamentary, Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MF for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Java on Saturday, 11th June 1994;
The Ampang Jaya Municipal Council report into Highland Towers Tragedy should be issued as a White Paper and allow a special debate in Parliament on July 4 as the first item of business in the July meeting of Dewan Rakyat
Exactly six months ago, the Highland Towers Block A in Ulu Klang collapsed and killed 48 people and created a life-long nightmare for the survivors as well as the residents of Highland Towers Block B- and C, whose apartments have been declared unfit for occupation.
Nine days ago, Highland Towers residents re-lived the nightmare and agony of the Highland Towers Collapse Disaster six months ago, when the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council inquiry report blamed the developer and the weak foundation for the tragedy.
A lot of suffering, anguish and pain were caused by the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council inquiry report, as it raised many questions in the minds of the Highland Towers residents, such as:
* If the cause of the Highland Towers collapse was its weak foundation, why did the Gombak District Council approve the design and construction of the three blocks;
* Why did the foundation collapse without prior indication of weaknesses when the building had stood firm for 16 years;
* Could any building with a weak foundation built in accordance with the regulations have withstood the pressure of the massive landslip of about 40,000 cubic metres of earth which hit Block A of Highland Towers minutes before it collapsed; and
* If the landslip was a contributing factor for the collapse, who is responsible for the landslip;
* The question of compensation to the victims or their families.
The Minister for Housing and Local Government, Datuk Dr. Ting Chew Pen had asked the Highland Towers residents to stop speculating the cause of the collapse of the Highland Towers and to wait for the full report.
He also said that police are conducting their own investigations and would be responsible for prosecution if there is any evidence of criminal negligence.
The impression that has been given by the partial revelations of the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council inquiry report is that the inquiry had not been comprehensive arid thorough enough. This is one reason why the DAP had called for the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Highland Towers Tragedy.
It is unfortunate that on the occasion of the six-month anniversary of the Highland Towers Collapse, Cabinet approval had not yet been sought for the public release of the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council inquiry report.
There should be no more delay in the publication of the report, and the Cabinet next Wednesday should give its approval as recommended by the Special Cabinet Committee headed by Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
The Cabinet should issue the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council inquiry report as a White Paper next Wednesday itself, and also to allow a special debate in Parliament as the first item of parliamentary business in the July meeting of Dewan Rakyat.