by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, September 21, 1994:
The Subang Airport Control Tower Fire Inquiry Report: Another example of the unbelievable incompetence and ineptitude of Liong Sik as Transport Minister.
Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik said yesterday that the inquiry report, into the Subang International Airport control tower fire of October 1992 is still not ready, as “there are many things the committee of inquiry have to look into and every aspect of the investigation must be carried out”.
Malaysians can still remember the nation-wide shock and outrage over the Subang Airport Control Tower Fire in October 1992 – the second airport fire in six months after the Airport Terminal One fire in April 1992 – and the Cabinet resolved that the Inquiry Committee set up to investigate into the causes of the fire should work against the clock to announce its results.
The Deputy Prime Minister, Ghafar Baba announced at the time that the Cabinet, wanted the results of the inquiry into the Airport Control Tower fire to be announced within two weeks.
It is now nearly two years, and Liong Sik is still talking about “many things the committee of inquiry have to look into and every aspect of the investigation must be carried out”.
What has the Committee of Inquiry been doing in the past two years? Sleeping on its job? And why has Liong Sik as Transport Minister failed to carry out the Cabinet decision to pressurise the Committee-of Inquiry to come out with its findings within two weeks – even allowing it to be dragged out for two years?
The two-year delay of the Subang Airport Control Tower Fire Inquiry Committee is another example of the unbelievable incompetence and ineptitude of Liong Sik as Transport Minister.
The Inquiry Committee, into the Subang Airport Control Tower Fire was not only meant to find out the causes of the October 1992 fire, but to prevent other fires at the Subang International Airport.
The Inquiry Committee had failed dismally in this regard, as while it is still straggling with “many things… and various’aspects” of the airport control tower fire, there had been four other fires at the Subang International Airport – the Subang radar station fire, the Terminal One toilet fire, the Terminal One money-changer counter fire and the sub-station fire.
Is the Inquiry Committee waiting for ten more airport fires before coming out with its report into the Subang Airport Control Tower fire in October 1992?
May be it is necessary to set up a Committee of Inquiry to find out why the Airport control tower fire inquiry committee is taking such an inordinately long time to complete its investigations, and why Liong Sik had cleanly forgotten about the existence of this inquiry committee until the Subang radar station fire when the DAP kept asking about the whereabouts of the inquiry report.
It is no use the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed exhorting public servants to be efficient, trustworthy and responsible when Cabinet Ministers like Liong Sik are setting the reverse examples.
If Liong Sik is incapable of implementing the Cabinet decision that the Subang Airport control tower fire inquiry committee complete its findings in two weeks, allowing the whole inquiry to drag out for two years and still without any end in sight, what is Liong Sik really capable of apart from singing karaokes and frying kway teow?