by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Friday, September 29, 1995:
The two disasters yesterday – the west Port poison fumes disaster which killed four and the collapse of an overhead bridge under construction in Klang which killed two – raises thee disturbing question whether the Government had become too inured or stupefied by avoidable man-made disasters
The two disasters yesterday – the west Port poison fumes disaster which killed four and the collapse of an overhead bridge under construction in Klang which killed two – raises thee disturbing question whether the Government had become too inured or stupefied by avoidable man-made disasters that it is incapable of taking effective remedial measures.
Immediately after such man-made disasters, Ministers will hog mass media publicity and demand for a full report, but this appears to be a mere ‘public relations’ exercise, as they do not seem to have any sustained interest in such reports, which are forgotten after the glare of publicity had moved to another disaster!
Yesterday’s West Port gas disaster was not the first to take place in Malaysia, as 15 gas-related disasters had claimed 45 lives since 1982.
Most of the victims were either overcome by toxic fumes on board barges or died from gas explosions on tankers and at dockyards.
These incidents generally reveal a marked lack of safety measures and complete disregard for occupational safety and health regulations by employers and workers themselves.
Yesterday’s collapse of an overhead bridge under construction was the second one in Klang within two weeks. On Sept. 16, a 30-metre steel walkway under construction at Matsushita Television (M) Sdn. Bhd. in Section 21, Shah Alam collapsed and killed one and injured five others.
Why can’t the Government make public the inquiry report into Genting Highlands landslide disaster while the Ministry is studying it?
The Works Minister, Datuk Seri S, Samy Vellu recently said that he has received the report from the JKR in its inquiry into the Genting Highlands landslide disaster on June 30 which killed 20 and injured 22.
The JKR report was already one month behind time, as Samy Vellu had said that the JKR would complete it within two months from early July.
However, Samy Vellu said he wanted to study the report first before presenting it to the Cabinet, and there is no indication whether the report would be made public.
This is unacceptable and contrary to the principles of accountability and transparency,
In fact, why can’t the Government make public the inquiry report into the Genting Highlands landslide disaster while the Ministry and the Cabinet take their time studying it?
I call on Samy Vellu to set an example for all inquiry reports into disasters, whether man-made or natural, that once the inquiry report is ready, it should be made public while the government can take its time to study it and consider whether to accept its finding and recommendations or to issue a dissent.
Why KLCC managing director dare not respond to my calls and interest to visit KLCC site if he wants to convince the public that the KLCC is not tilting?
With disasters coming swift and fast arising from reckless or negligent development, there should be a new ethos of greater responsibility and accountability by all developers of mega-projects.
On Sunday, the developer of the Petronas Twin Towers dispelled rumours that the towers, which will be the world’s tallest buildings when completed, are tilting.
My office had informed Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) Bhd, that I am concerned about these rumours and would like to visit the KLCC site, but there has been no response from the managing director Haji Abdul Rahim Naim on the issue.
Haji Abdul Rahim Naim had said publicly that superior technology are being used to build both the 88-storey towers in Jalan Ampang, and that 140 piles had been driven 120 m deep and laser beams are being used to detect any possible tilt.
I cannot understand why Haji Abdul Rahim Naim as KLCC managing director dare not respond to my calls and my interest to visit KLCC site if he wants to convince the public that the KLCC in not tilting.