The demise of KD Seri Inderapura

From Friend in Navy
Through Hussein Hamid

KD Seri Inderapura

Surprised? Shocked?

No I am not surprised because a ship sustained fire damage. Fire on board is indeed a normal thing. What I am surprised at is that it took a time-consuming eight-hours before the fire was brought under control! Eight hours! Surprised because the ability to fight and control any fire on board a Navy Vessel is ingrained and drummed into sailors on a daily basis. And I am shocked that despite this the destruction of KD Inderapura is so severe that the ship is categorized as ‘beyond economical repair’ (BER).

KD Rahmat, a ’state of the art’ (then) frigate tailor-made specifically by the Malaysian government in the mid sixties (originally the KD Hang Jebat) frequently also experienced the same problems. A number of fires occurred while it was still under construction and even after it was handed over to RMN. However it is not as bad as that which befell KD Seri Inderapura.

If fact the fire incidents on KD Rahmat is the highest amongst all ships within the RMN.

KD Rahmat was completed three years later then scheduled. In fact KD Rahmat spend more time berthed at the Malaysian Base Jetty (MBJ) Woodlands then going on maneuvers. During 1976 to 1977, KD Rahmat spent only about one month at sea, sailing through the South China Sea in Sabah waters and Sarawak. It was also open to the public in Rejang, Labuan and Tawau.

If my memory serves me right three fires occurred in that year which involved the generator, switchboard and the engine turbine. However these fires were brought under control within a very short time because of the ability of its crew to handle the emergency situations.

TLDM personnel from Lumut can surely still remember how every evening, training or ‘drill’ fire fighting is done on a daily basis. In KD TLDM base Malaya in Woodlands at 5 o’clock in the afternoon the duty ‘officer of the day’ (OOD) will direct lascar work while all gathered before the nearby fire-brigade office. If you failed to meet the target time, OOD will direct it to be done again. And again. And repeated until done right!

This fire fighting drill is drummed into us on a daily basis because our ability to do this drill well will determine the safety of our Navy Vessels and the lives of its crew.

Fire fighting drill training was also practised on board our vessels. Names such as Lt Ooi more known as ‘zero zero one’, Lt Teoh from RMNVR and Lt Khusaini are some of those OOD who were much revered and respected for their firmness and insistence that these drills must be done the correct way. These officers do not compromise on any aspect of the training. There will not accept that “this …OOD ok. He slipshod aje…”. They understood that in fighting a fire on board a vessel every second is critical. The better the ‘fire fighters’ the better their ability to minimize destruction level.

Are there still Officers of this caliber in the Navy? Or are these Fire Fighting” drills being practised purely as a routine exercise without drumming into the trainees the critical aspect of their work – that time was critical in saving a Ship and lives? That their prowess as fire fighters will make the difference between saving a ship or will mean its destruction? It would seem that these exercises are now being carried out without the dedication and commitment present during the time of those officers that I have mentioned before.

Maybe that was the difference between KD Rahmat and KD Seri Inderapura?

Usually, each ‘compartment’ in a ship will have its own portable fire extinguisher tool. The effectiveness of these fire extinguisher tools will depend on the ability of its fire fighters to do their work. A well-trained crew will be able to do their work in a controlled and rational way and will be able to bring a fire under control in the shortest possible time.

If the ‘fire fighters’ within KD Seri Inderapura were able to effectively use these fire extinguisher tools placed in their strategic ‘passage way’ and use the available roll hose fire extinguisher which uses sea water – then with these fire-fighting tools and well-drilled fire fighters, KD Seri Inderapura would still be with us today.

The question today is were the ‘fire fighters’ within KD Seri Inderapura adequately trained? Why did it take eight hours for the fire on board to be brought under control? Were the water pump and the motors working when needed? Were the maintenance level and attitude of the personnel on board KD Seri Inderapura wanting in their ability to meet an emergency situation as the one that occurred and resulted in its demise?

These are the questions that the Navy needs to answer or has it been answered with the demise of KD Seri Inderapura?

Answers are needed here and this matter should not be swept under the carpet again.

  1. #1 by Godfather on Tuesday, 13 October 2009 - 12:16 pm

    Alamak, you people write as though you are new to Bolehland. If an asset is not “beyond economical repair”, how can there be new deals, new purchases where commissions can run into millions of dollars or euros ?

    There is a deal on the table to replace our ambulance fleet. Then the deal to replace our Nuri helicopters isn’t really dead – it has merely been deferred.

    No contracts, no money – an unavoidable fact of life in Bolehland.

  2. #2 by Godfather on Tuesday, 13 October 2009 - 12:19 pm

    Ask the Defence Minister how many of our Sukhois and MiGs are grounded for lack of spare parts.

    We are all waiting for the day when one of the second-hand submarines we purchased from France run aground in the shallows or collide with a merchant ship in the Straits of Melaka.

  3. #3 by Loh on Tuesday, 13 October 2009 - 12:33 pm

    ///The question today is were the ‘fire fighters’ within KD Seri Inderapura adequately trained? Why did it take eight hours for the fire on board to be brought under control?///–Hussein hamid

    It needed 8 hours for the fire to burn itself out. The firefighters whether adequately trained or not did not fight the fire professionally. Since it is better to have a new ship than repairing the old, the fire makes decision making simpler. The Defense Minister must have been very happy with the outcome.

  4. #4 by pulau_sibu on Tuesday, 13 October 2009 - 12:34 pm

    It looks like the Pearl Harbour!

  5. #5 by undertaker888 on Tuesday, 13 October 2009 - 12:54 pm

    is that the world war 2 era ship they bought from south Africa? Well they let it burnt to the sea after raking in all the commission. What a corrupted country!!

  6. #6 by -ec- on Tuesday, 13 October 2009 - 2:01 pm

    the fire broke out when nr was in france. airasia got the landing right…what to trade? perhaps to buy a few more military products from france. but this time nr is smarter, he got the commission upfront and no body was c4-ed. will airasia make some political donations?

    we (just) love france!

  7. #7 by i_love_malaysia on Tuesday, 13 October 2009 - 2:11 pm

    From the answers given by defence minister after the fire even before knowing the extent of the damage, they were talking of replacing the ship!!! It shows that the BN-UMNO govt wanted to buy a new ship fast so that they can make tons of commission from purchasing a new ship!!!

  8. #8 by i_love_malaysia on Tuesday, 13 October 2009 - 2:17 pm

    With the same capability in preventing and handling fire by Navy, it is a time bomb for this to happen to the submarine!!! We dont need to be a prophet to see this coming!!!
    Anyway, BN-UMNO govt like this to happen so that they can justify for buying new ones and get tons of commission from this!!! Another legal and halal way to make money and strengthen the relationships with foreign countries that sell ships and submarine!!!

  9. #9 by i_love_malaysia on Tuesday, 13 October 2009 - 2:27 pm

    The defence minister should answer for the fire!!! Old ship does not justify that it is ok for fire to burn it down!!! The important question is why there’s fire in the first place and how to prevent it from happening again and again!!!

    YB Lim, time to press the new defence minister to answer for all these fires!!! Our hard earned tax money is burning away by these irresponsible lausy BN-UMNO govt of the day!!!

  10. #10 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Tuesday, 13 October 2009 - 3:06 pm

    I thought only Malaysian helicopters crash like routine practices.

    Now, looks like Malaysian ships are going to burn like routine practices.

    Sure, Malaysian tax payers have to pay. But who cares, malaysian politicians are going to make more trips to

  11. #11 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Tuesday, 13 October 2009 - 3:07 pm

    oh, yea, more trips to Paris for rendezvous with mongolian interpreters.

  12. #12 by taiking on Tuesday, 13 October 2009 - 3:27 pm

    Aiyah hv to assemble for umno ceramah ma. If dont go den where can get 100dollar and milo? Police at least can get corruption money. We train train train get wot?

  13. #13 by Jong on Tuesday, 13 October 2009 - 5:03 pm

    No fire means no new toys and no new income for cronies! How timely, new deals may have already been made and some will turn millionaires tomorrow!

  14. #14 by limkamput on Tuesday, 13 October 2009 - 5:05 pm

    Can you imagine we are not able to fight the fire that occurred on our naval ship docked at our naval base during peace time, what hope do we have when the ship is at war in the high sea?

    I am still trying to figure out the one thing that Malaysia has done right. Can any one of you here help out?

  15. #15 by OrangRojak on Tuesday, 13 October 2009 - 5:15 pm

    Can any one of you here help out?
    It’s a toughie. When I was still buying the NST, they often had pictures of Nicol David in the Sports section. I think that’s the best thing about Malaysia so far, for me.

    Nice point about navy / docked / peace / war, by the way. Just think how fast it would have burned if it had had a few sharpened bamboo sticks stuck into it!

  16. #16 by mendela on Tuesday, 13 October 2009 - 5:24 pm

    Surely it is arson!

  17. #17 by sheriff singh on Tuesday, 13 October 2009 - 5:24 pm

    “….were the ‘fire fighters’ within KD Seri Inderapura adequately trained? Why did it take eight hours for the fire on board to be brought under control? Were the water pump and the motors working when needed? Were the maintenance level and attitude of the personnel on board KD Seri Inderapura wanting in their ability to meet an emergency situation as the one that occurred and resulted in its demise?”

    NO. No. No. No. No.

    They just want a new ship.

    Not a recon or a reconcon one.

    What has happened to “Mr MOU’s” ships he was building for the government? Had to be rescued due to all kinds of problems. Won’t be surprised they all will have similar problems.

    Let’s hope the crew of our submarine know how to fight fires.

  18. #18 by sheriff singh on Tuesday, 13 October 2009 - 5:28 pm

    I also heard the fire fighting equipment’s instructions were in English. And they lost the manual too.

    Now they propose to use the vessel for target practice.

  19. #19 by monsterball on Tuesday, 13 October 2009 - 6:05 pm

    It looks like “Tora Tora Tora” by Jipun.
    I hope no one is roasted.
    When being tested for what all are trained to do…under UMNO government….not one Minister is qualified.
    The Commander of that ship…meed to answer some serious questions….but if it a die hard UMNO influential man…all OK…new ship allocated…carry on the good work.

  20. #20 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 13 October 2009 - 7:15 pm

    One ship burnt off, written off
    No problemo, esp one that has a name so similar to Singapura
    Buy another one, more $$$ in pockets as commission mah
    Who knows another pretty girl as go between, very syiok
    Then give new ship a name like something-jaya loh

  21. #21 by storm62 on Tuesday, 13 October 2009 - 7:24 pm

    looks like Amin Shah, bro of Ariff Shah of seberang jaya Penang is looking forward to another new contract.

  22. #22 by raven77 on Wednesday, 14 October 2009 - 3:41 am

    The very fact that they let it burn on completely so that a new one can be purchased shows that this country has yet to go bust. Or perhaps gold needs to be mined while there is still time left on the clock. With Zahid Hamidi, there, anything is possible.

    Who will save Malaysia? Pakatan? Time for my beer…

  23. #23 by jbozz on Wednesday, 14 October 2009 - 12:12 pm

    This is a big DISGRACE for Malaysian Royal Navy, if INDONESIA invade, all these Navy will collapsed.

    The so called DISCIPLINE? there isn’t.

  24. #24 by Hayashi Stanley on Wednesday, 14 October 2009 - 12:20 pm

    most of u guys commented those navy personnel worst like nobodies business!
    have u guys know how those navy guys being trained?
    have u guys gone thru all those trainings??
    have u guys live onboard????
    have u guys seen the fire right infront of ur eyes???
    brought under control of fire in 8 hours…u guys question on it!
    but have u guys notice how bad the fire was?
    i think i could conclude it: none of u………
    plz, dun simply voice ur say if u got nothg solid prove in ur hand.
    wanna know the reality?—join the navy, live onboard, go thru all kind of training, see the real fire with ur naked eyes right infront, fight it……..then finally give ur say.
    i’m here not to condamn u guys, but juz be fair to those who risk their life n gave so much efforts in the incident!
    dun becuz of u know part of the story then giving faulty fact!

  25. #25 by MGR1940 on Wednesday, 14 October 2009 - 2:39 pm

    Our biggest disaster in the RMN has yet to come when the CO of the second-hand sub from France says the last ‘Dive Dive Dive’ if English is still used to excutive command.

  26. #26 by izrafeil on Wednesday, 14 October 2009 - 7:01 pm

    benteng indon at work?

  27. #27 by monsterball on Thursday, 15 October 2009 - 7:12 pm

    We have the right to talk as we like….as all are servants of the country…and one mishap…let the bosses speak up..but Stamley is right…speak with sense and logic….not simply condamn.

  28. #28 by HJ Angus on Thursday, 15 October 2009 - 10:10 pm

    It’s all part of the stimulus package.
    Another big order for the Lumut dockyard.
    Anyone knows what happened to the last big order that was not built to specs?

  29. #29 by jt983 on Friday, 16 October 2009 - 12:40 pm

    it would only be fair whether to condemn the people involved when the full investigation has been carried out.

  30. #30 by veddy.lum74 on Saturday, 17 October 2009 - 11:57 am

    should the racist hamidi resign on this issue?

    why no one in the UMNO agm raise this issue?

    or maybe Kugan or Teoh Beng Hock murder cases were mentioned?

    1Malaysia?my foot is more appropriate!

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