JOHOR BARU, June 29 — In light of yesterday’s fire that broke out at the women’s wing of the Sultanah Aminah Hospital (HSA) here, Johor DAP chief Liew Chin Tong urged the government to release an independent report on another fire incident that occurred four years ago.
He claimed that the independent investigation by a committee, chaired by former Court of Appeal Judge Mohd Hishamudin Yunus, produced a 255-page report which has reportedly been declassified from the Official Secrets Act (OSA) by the previous Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.
“I call on the government to release Mohd Hishamudin’s inquiry report and to ensure that all recommendations are followed to prevent any further disasters,” said Liew in a statement to the media today.
In the latest fire incident, there were no casualties or injuries reported after a total of 24 patients in the ward were successfully evacuated to safety by HSA staff on duty.
Liew, who is also a former deputy minister in the previous PH administration, explained that in the first incident the fire claimed the lives of six patients and was the subject of an inquiry.
Despite this fact, he said the police called up health news site CodeBlue editor-in-chief Boo Su-Lyn for questioning just last week under Section 203A of the Penal Code for her article related to the findings of the inquiry committee.
“Mohd Hishamudin has also said that he will be questioned by the police this week in relation to this investigation,” he said.
Liew added that the government is clearly missing the point and seems adamant to silence any critics of the current administration.
“Findings from the inquiry report are a matter of public interest and should be disclosed as a less for everyone to improve the existing conditions and procedures at our hospitals.
“The fire that happened yesterday afternoon is a clear testimony to the adage ‘those who don’t learn from history are bound to repeat it’,” said Liew.
In the October 25, 2016 blaze, it was reported that a burnt capacitor in one of the ceiling lights had been identified as one of the causes.
Following the incident, a safety audit report was carried out on 46 hospital buildings nationwide.
Meanwhile, PKR Youth chief Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir urged the government to present and debate the report, that he claims is no longer classified, at the upcoming Parliamentary session.
“At the same time, the presentation of the report to be made public is important for transparency and accountability.
“As a member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), each report presented will be followed by recommendations and improvements, in accordance with the Parliamentary Meeting Rules.
“As this report has been ready for 2018, the public should be informed of what action has been taken to improve the vulnerability and improve readiness for the hospital’s disaster,” said Akmal in a statement issued today.