Management Of Public Inquiry For Disasters In Malaysia

Aini, M.S.
Faculty of Human Ecology, Universiti Putra Malaysia

Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Putra Malaysia


In most democratic countries, including Malaysia, inquiries are conducted into major disasters in order to investigate their underlying causes and make recommendations to avoid a recurrence. A case study was conducted on six disasters that had led to either a Public or Royal Inquiry in order to investigate the procedures and management of public inquiries in the country. A grounded theory approach utilizing a constant comparative method was used to analyze the content of the reports. The findings showed that there is no standard criteria and procedure in determining the type of inquiry, composition of inquiry tribunals and report writing. Legal status of the inquiry is unclear as it seems to have no power to require organizations or individuals to implement the recommendations made by the tribunal. Comparison with disaster inquiries from other nations was made and suggestions for improvement are discussed.

Keywords: Disaster, Royal inquiry, Public inquiry, Tribunal