599 potholes = bumpy landing at KK airport

Auditor-General’s 2012 Report (15)
by Aidila Razak
Oct 2, 2013

AUDIT REPORT Malaysian motorists are not the ones who have to dodge potholes on a daily basis.

Pilots landing aircraft at Kota Kinabalu International Airport, the auditor-general has found, had to deal with 599 potholes in the runway and taxiway, until these were fixed.

Worse, a pilot quoted in the Auditor-General’s Report 2012 complained of difficulty in landing in poor weather, “especially in haze”, as the Instruments Landing System (ILS) has yet to be installed after being bought in June 2008.

The unnamed pilot, who flies with national carrier Malaysia Airlines, told the audit team that the ILS is required for all commercial airlines, and that its absence endangers passenger safety.

The Transport Ministry has countered that the ILS “does not affect the safety of aircraft operations” and that many airports in the world do not have such a system.

Happily, however, the 599 potholes had been patched up as at May 2012 by contractor Global Upline Sdn Bhd (GUSB), although its services were later terminated due to chronic non-performance.

According to the report, GUSB was appointed via direct negotiation for Package 2 of the project, worth RM720 million.

Package 2 was supposed to be completed within 36 months, ending on April 20, 2009, but was not delivered despite more than 1,000 days in extensions of time,

GUSB only completed 1.6 percent of Package 2 in 2010. In 2011, it completed 3.6 percent – a difference of only 2 percent within a year.

The auditor-general said GUSB claimed to face financial constraints, due to an unexpected price hike and risks in earthworks. A sub-contractor also complained of not being paid for seven months.

But this excuse was rejected by the Transport Ministry, which said USB only managed to complete a little more than half of the work by December 2012, resulting in its services being terminated.

For example, in July 2012, the audit team found large puddles at the apron taxiway and parking apron bay as the area was not paved to specifications.

GUSB was also found to have not properly maintained the water pumps which were meant to pump out water from areas like the taxiway, which is prone to flooding.

The remainder of the work will be completed by a newly appointed contractor.

‘Be firm with AirAsia’

However, the auditor-general found that GUSB had tried to fix the edger light electricity cables on the runway on Oct 5 and 6, even though it was not part of its job scope.

It did not manage to do so due to frequent plane landings, resulting the eventual runway shutdown on Oct 25 and 26 which left 6,000 passengers stranded.

The list of problems with the KKIA project also included environmental and social issues, with construction causing erosion at the nearby beach.

The auditor-general stressed that the ministry should be stern with AirAsia and push the airline to move to Terminal 1 of the airport as agreed, and not continue to use Terminal 2.

However, the ministry explained that AirAsia had not moved to Terminal 1 as two taxiways were still under construction and accommodating this would have added to the airline’s operational costs.

It said the taxiways are due to be ready this year, and that it will urge AirAsia to move “immediately” then.

  1. #1 by sheriff singh on Wednesday, 2 October 2013 - 11:23 am

    ‘ … 599 potholes in the runway and taxiway .. ‘.

    They actually counted all 599 potholes. And the pilots say prayers before they land, just in case.

    No wonder all the airlines ask you to buy insurance with their tickets.

    Better potholes than sink-holes.

  2. #2 by sheriff singh on Wednesday, 2 October 2013 - 11:27 am

    ‘ … via direct negotiation … ‘.

    Isn’t this pattern very, very, obvious ?

    It is the cause of all our problems.

    Check the status of the Penang International airport runways and taxiways. Are there 599 potholes there as well ?

    Roof and ceiling collapse and flooding there is common, we all already know.

  3. #3 by Sallang on Wednesday, 2 October 2013 - 12:17 pm

    Main contractor already collected payment.
    Sub contractor did not get payment. How to pay foreign workers?
    Attitude problem.
    ‘Tidak apa’ attitude.
    Civil service over staffed. Set up checklist for them to conduct monthly audit and updates.
    Cannot meet deadline, to be given show cause letter.

  4. #4 by Di Shi Jiu on Wednesday, 2 October 2013 - 12:37 pm


    599 potholes? Landing lights problems? No Instrument Landing System?

    I thought IATA has a say in these things as well.

    I am also curious as to what happens to the monies which have been already paid out – gone forever? No breach of contract?

    Also, how much is to be paid to the new contractor? Another RM720million?

    Endless Possibilities and every single one stinks.

  5. #5 by pulau_sibu on Wednesday, 2 October 2013 - 1:58 pm

    No problem if you have driven along Pan Borneo Highway. You should count how many potholes are there.

    Sarawakians know how to avoid all the potholes along the Pan Borneo Highway. So the pilots should be able to avoid these 599 potholes.

  6. #6 by undertaker888 on Wednesday, 2 October 2013 - 2:06 pm

    Ya they are all as incompetent as those ba$tards sitting in putrajaya. All a bunch of corrupted idiots.

  7. #7 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Wednesday, 2 October 2013 - 2:44 pm

    ///The Transport Ministry has countered [1] that the ILS “does not affect the safety of aircraft operations” and [2] that many airports in the world do not have such a system.///

    “Alright.” “The numbers.” “Yeah. I added them. Its for easy reference, ok?”

    “Now regarding [1]. Pilots can roll down the aircraft window and use hand signals instead. That is quite alright. In fact by umno’s standards, this is perfect. Clockwise motion signifies right turn and anti-cw motions a left turn and etc.”

    “Moving on to [2]. Yes indeed many airports in the world do not hv such a system. ”

    psssst. pssssssst. But why buy the system then? Why buy it in 2008 and not install?

    “Huh??!!” “Oh that one.” “Let me explain.”

    “The umno gobermen decided to show the world that we have modern equipment. So they are for display and not for use. That is why they were never installed. Anyway the point is our pilots can still rely on hand signals and that is perfectly safe.”

    “And finally, umno knows best. So shadup all of you.”

    … end of press conference.

  8. #8 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Wednesday, 2 October 2013 - 2:48 pm

    Errr… one final question. pls.

    Those potholes.

    Were they caused by some one urinating from the sky – you know out of the the plane window when in mid-air or something like that?

  9. #9 by tak tahan on Wednesday, 2 October 2013 - 10:32 pm

    Those pilots had ever landed in KK airport runway safely through 559 potholes would be highly sough after by any international airplane company here after.
    Thanks to Auditor General report!

  10. #10 by sheriff singh on Wednesday, 2 October 2013 - 11:30 pm

    Life is cheap in KK ?

  11. #11 by tuahpekkong on Thursday, 3 October 2013 - 12:54 pm

    When the Government distributed BRIM1 and BRIM2 to the people, the BN thought they had done us a great favour and we should be grateful and expected us to vote the BN in the GE. The rakyat only received RM1,000/- but the Government squandered tens of billions of Ringgit. Luckily many of us did the right thing in the GE.

You must be logged in to post a comment.