Municipal council director hauled up over New Year fireworks mishap in Malaysia's Port Klang


KLANG (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A Klang Municipal Council (MPK) director has been called up for questioning over the botched New Year fireworks display at a sports complex in Malaysia's Port Klang that injured 14 people.

Ten adults and four children were injured during a New Year celebration early on Sunday morning at the Pandamaran Sports Complex when they were hit by fragments of fireworks which exploded on the ground.

The fireworks were among the highlights of a three-day carnival, Fiesta Gegar Klang 2016, from Dec 30 to Jan 1, organised by MPK.

MPK president Datuk Mohamad Yasid Bidin said the council's social department director Zaireezal Ahmad Zainuddin went to the Pandamaran police station on Sunday night to have his statement taken.

"He was called because the department is the one in MPK that oversees the organising of social activities that involve the people. So far, he is the only staff member who has been called up by the police," he said on Monday (Jan 2).

Mohamad Yasid, however, refused to divulge further information on the event management company that was hired to organise the fiesta. He also did not respond to claims that the permit for the fireworks was not filed.

"Let the police continue with their investigation. We are also conducting our own internal investigation to find out what went wrong and decide our next course of action," he said.

"We are still collecting details and reports for now, and the results will be made known to all councillors and also stakeholders in a meeting later," he added.

He said council officials, including MPK secretary Adi Faizal Ahmad Tarmizi, visited the victims at their homes on Monday.

"We want to make sure that all medical needs of the victims are taken care of," he added.

Selangor exco for local government development Ean Yong Hian Wah said the state government took the fireworks explosion incident seriously.

"The MPK has been instructed to conduct a transparent internal investigation to determine the cause of the accident or the party responsible.

"Disciplinary or legal action will be taken against those found responsible for the slip-up," he said.

South Klang OCPD Asst Comm Alzafny Ahmad said police were still investigating the incident.

Meanwhile, the South Klang police have denied any role in organising the event, refuting a report published in a Malay daily quoting Mohamad Yasid as saying that the police were part of the organising committee for the event.

District police chief Asst Comm Alzafny Ahmad refuted Mohamad Yasid’s claims, saying that the police were not part of the committee. “We were invited only once to attend a meeting about the programme on Nov 24 last year. Since then, we were never involved in any meetings or discussions regarding the event,” he said in a statement on Monday.