JB MP Wants 2016 HSA Fire Report Tabled In Parliament

Johor Baru MP Akmal Nasir urges the Public Works Department and the Ministry of Housing and Local Government to reveal public buildings’ fire certification status.

KUALA LUMPUR, July 20 — Johor Baru MP Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir today urged the government to table in Parliament the findings of an independent inquiry into the fatal 2016 fire at Sultanah Aminah Hospital (HSA).

“The report of the special committee on the fire in Hospital Sultanah Aminah, which has caught fire two or three times, should be tabled in Parliament so that it becomes a public record,” Akmal Nasrullah told the Dewan Rakyat while debating the King’s Speech.

The PKR lawmaker also urged the Public Works Department (JKR) and Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) to announce the status of fire certification of public buildings.

“In fact, I would like to ask the JKR or KPKT about the status of certification or fire certificate for public buildings. I’ve been hearing a lot of really problematic things lately,” the Opposition MP added.

Malaysia’s worst hospital fire broke out at HSA in October 2016, where six out of seven patients were killed in the south intensive care unit (ICU) of the public hospital in the Johor capital of Johor Baru. That incident caused losses of about RM8.9 million to the government from damage to equipment, machinery, and installation. Most of the victims were only in their 20s and 30s.

According to the declassified findings of an independent inquiry chaired by former Court of Appeal judge Mohd Hishamudin Yunus into the October 25, 2016 fire, the South ICU of the Ministry of Health (MOH) hospital previously suffered fire outbreaks in 2008, 2010, and May and October 14, 2016. Those incidents did not result in deaths.

The Hishamudin investigation also found that HSA did not have a fire certificate and that none of the South ICU staff had undergone training in fire drills or emergency evacuation, despite four previous fire outbreaks in the ward before the October 25, 2016 blaze.

Another fire broke out at HSA on June 28 this year, this time at the women’s ward located in a separate building. According to the Johor Fire and Rescue Department, no deaths or serious injuries were recorded.

CodeBlue reported the Fire and Rescue Department as saying earlier this month that despite multiple fire outbreaks, HSA still does not have a fire certificate.

It is to be noted that CodeBlue editor-in-chief Boo Su-Lyn is under investigation under the Penal Code and the Official Secrets Act for publishing articles last March on the declassified findings of the independent investigation into the 2016 fire at HSA.

Akmal Nasrullah today, in Parliament, also requested the government to drop the police investigation filed against Boo.

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