Highland Towers tragedy: Survivors say time to put the past behind

Highland Towers tragedy: Survivors say time to put the past behind
The 12-storey Block A of Highland Towers after it collapsed, killing 48 people.

KUALA LUMPUR- The trio stood there, staring blankly at the abandoned blocks, partly covered by the secondary forest surrounding it.

Their way was barred by blue corrugated iron sheets, secured by a length of chain and padlock.

The air hung heavy with sadness as they recalled that tragic day 20 years ago. But there was also a sense of longing, not just for loved ones lost, but for the ability to move on.

And moving on they must, for even in those abandoned blocks, stripped of all accoutrements as they are at present, might no longer be around when Dec 11 comes again next year.

That, perhaps, is the real tragedy of the Highland Towers collapse, which killed 48 people.

When approached, all three seemed reluctant to talk at first. Perhaps they were tired of being interviewed and having to relive the horrors of that fateful day when not just the 12-storey Block A collapsed, but the whole world around them.

But with AmBank Group, which held the rights to the property, putting up the land for sale, what physical remains of the past might soon be cleared.

One of the visitors, former Highland Towers Residents Committee secretary Chan Keng Fook, admitted it was time to put the past behind and move on while holding on to fond memories.

The 56-year-old did not lose any family members in the tragedy, but knew many, if not all, of those who lost their lives.

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