Archive for January 20th, 2009

Whither National Air Transport Policy ?

by J Chan

The storm that is generated by the government’s decision to give the go-ahead to the Sime Darby-AirAsia consortium to build a brand new airport at Labu continues to blow unabated.

On the one side is a government GLC, Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) which is being accused by AirAsia of not being able to meet AirAsia’s needs of no-frills service, and yet attempting to charge AirAsia “exorbitant” landside charges.

On the other side is MAHB which, through its website, defends its record of meeting clients’ expectations, and asserting that airport charges are being set by the Government, not by the airport operator.

What the public is inclined to accept is that the present LCCT is in a shambles, and is probably on a par with some domestic Indian airports.

MAHB defends this, as they have spent RM 170 million to build a new extension, which is now partially opened, and they say that the upgraded LCCT should be able to cater for up to 10 million passengers per year until 2013. After that, MAHB says that they have plans to build another terminal that is contiguous with the KLIA main terminal, and that this terminal could be ready by 2013.

AirAsia says that this is baloney, for MAHB have never really delivered commitments on time (they point to the current state of affairs at LCCT as an example) and that any delays would negatively impact AirAsia’s business model. Read the rest of this entry »


Does Cuepacs’ Omar know what he’s saying?

“Cuepacs: Nizar doesn’t know what he’s saying” – New Straits Times today reported the Cuepacs president Omar Othman denying that civil servants had contributed to Pas’ victory in Saturday’s Kuala Terengganu by-election.

The NST reported:

He (Omar) said public services employees, both those serving the federal and state governments, fully supported the Barisan Nasional and Umno leadership.

He was commenting on a claim by Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin.

“Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin claimed government staff serving the federal and state governments sympathised with and supported Pas,” Omar said yesterday.

“He also said they had become more daring to vote for Pas in the by-election despite being threatened or forced.

“This is a big lie by a man who knows nothing about the public services or its system.

“The more than 1.2 million civil servants in this country have been loyal and supportive of the government. There is no doubt about that.”

He said civil servants appreciated what the government had been doing for them all these years.

“They know who has been fighting for their welfare and paying their salaries to enable them to feed and support their family. Leave them alone,” Omar said.

Does Omar know what he is saying? Read the rest of this entry »


Dengue epidemic – Malaysia needs a real war and not a “phoney war” waged by spinmeisters

I was at first quite impressed that the Health Minister, Datuk Liow Tiong Lai had at last woken up to the gravity of the worst dengue epidemic and the chikungunya outbreak in the country when I heard that the Health Ministry had declared a “war on dengue”.

At last, I thought, the Health Minister has heard the critique of many at the Health Ministry’s indifference and irresponsibility at the dengue epidemic, with record dengue cases and dengue deaths last year, as well as the chikungunya outbreak in the country.

“War on dengue” is today’s front-page headline of the Star. It is the only newspaper today to quote Liow on the subject, making the most “un-warlike” comment –

“We are taking dengue fever cases very seriously because the numbers have doubled compared to the same time last year.”

This was followed by his most “unwarlike” action –off he went with the MCA delegation headed by MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Kiat for a trip to China – abandoning the “war on dengue” which had just been declared!

This is no war but a phoney war on dengue! Read the rest of this entry »