Archive for category Transport


South China Morning Post
14 OCT 2017

After three years, Australia finds one certitude in its search for the airliner – it was not where authorities were so adamant it would be. One could be forgiven for seeing only an exercise in media management

It has been three years and seven months since flight MH370 vanished in the heart of a quiet night above the South China Sea. The Boeing 777 had been travelling northeast from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, where it was scheduled to land at 6.30am on March 8, when the co-pilot signed off from Malaysian airspace with the now infamous words “Good night, Malaysia 370”.

That was the last ever heard from the 239 people on board, 153 of whom were Chinese, and the last time the whereabouts of the doomed flight can be calculated with any real certainty. After 10 days of frenzied media speculation, in which the Malaysian authorities’ complete (and embarrassing) lack of knowledge of the flight’s location was broadcast across the world, Australia took the lead role in the search. That move was heralded at the time as “the pros” taking over – a confidence that in hindsight can be seen as completely misplaced given Australia’s aviation watchdog closed its investigation last week, not an inch closer to the truth. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia Airlines’ latest losses occurred during Najib’s time

P Gunasegaram
18 Jul 2017

A QUESTION OF BUSINESS | During electioneering, it is common to make political capital out of everything. Malaysia Airlines Bhd was not spared when Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak blamed one of his “predecessors” at a Hari Raya open house earlier this month for “horrendous decisions”.

He was very obviously referring to former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, although he did not name him. But to be fair, Mahathir was not responsible for the latest disaster at Malaysia Airlines. Paradoxically this happened largely during Najib’s time.

This latest disaster which resulted in losses of billions of ringgit and required a RM6 billion injection of capital and privatisation in 2014 by Khazanah Nasional Bhd, the previous major shareholder and now sole shareholder, resulted after Malaysia Airlines was turned around in 2007.

What Najib was referring to was the previous disastrous privatisation of Malaysia Airlines, to a Mahathir-Daim crony Tajudin Ramli who bought a controlling near 30% stake in the airline in 1994 for RM1.8 billion. After mismanaging the airline into the ground, he sold back his stake in the airline to the government – at the same price – in 2000. The market price was less than half that. Read the rest of this entry »


The Cabinet should save the nation and Najib from further embarrassment as well as avert snowballing public protests by vetoing the Prime Minister’s appointment of Isa as SPAD Acting Chairman

The Cabinet at its meeting tomorrow should save Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the nation from further embarrassment as well as avert snowballing public protests by vetoing the Prime Minister’s shocking appointment of Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad as acting chairman of Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD).

The Prime Minister and the Cabinet should be convinced by now that the appointment of Isa as acting Chairman of SPAD is the most unpopular appointment of a GLC Chairman, opposed by all sectors of society, embracing the civil service, the civil society and UMNO and BN rank-and-file. There are only brickbats and denunciations without a single good word for Isa’s new appointment.

It is most shocking that the “wizard” of government transformation, Datuk Idris Jala could even think of Isa’s appointment to head SPAD, which goes against all principles and precepts of government transformation.

Idris should clarify what “governance quantum leap” he has in mind for SPAD with his “musical chair” proposition for Isa to be moved from FGV to SPAD. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why was Najib absent from the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) Christmas High-tea for three consecutive years in a row?

Why was the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, absent from the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) Christmas high-tea on Christmas Day on Sunday – as it was the Prime Minister’s absence from the CFM Christmas high-tea for three consecutive years in a row.

Najib had said that he did not want to be Prime Minister for only a particular section of the community, but a Prime Minister for all Malaysians.

Najib must be more assiduous to honour his pledge to be a Prime Minister for all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion and region.

This is one of the issues which Najib should clarify, particularly at the last Cabinet meeting of the year tomorrow – for Malaysians would like to what was the more important function which prevented the Prime Minister from attending the CFM Christmas high-tea for three consecutive years in a row. Read the rest of this entry »

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Must Pakatan Harapan win Putrajaya before Penang International Airport ceases to be a “pasar malam antarabangsa Pulau Pinang” just as Penang only stop being “garbage dump of the Orient” when it is ruled by a DAP-led state government?

I was piqued by an Internet news item that “Shenzhen Airport, via its official Weibo account, stated it expects to welcome its 40th millionth passenger for the year on 15th December 2016”, the first time the airport’s annual passengers have exceeded 40 million, and I wondered what were the air passenger traffic for Malaysia for the major airports, particularly Penang International Airport.

I found that according to Ministry of Transport’s annual transport statistics, total air passenger traffic (excluding transit passengers) in the past ten years had slightly doubled from 42.9 million in 2006 to 85.9 million in 2015.

KLIA claimed the bulk of the air passenger traffic, from 23.6 million or 55.2% of total air passenger traffic in 2006 to 48.6 million or 56.6% of total air passenger traffic in 2015.

Kota Kinabalu International Airport occupied second place, with 3.86 million passengers or 8.99% in 2006 to 6.57 million or 7.64% of total air passenger traffic in 2015.

Penang International Airport (PIA) leapt from fourth place with 3.09 million passengers or 7.2% in 2006 to 6.25 million or 7.27% of total air passenger traffic in 2015.

Kuching International Airport slipped from third place in 2006 to fourth place in 2015, with 3.1 million or 7.2% in 2006 to 4.76 million or 5.5% of total air passenger traffic in 2015. Read the rest of this entry »

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Does Malaysia really need High Speed Rail?

Liew Chin Tong
15 Dec 2015

MP SPEAKS At the China High Speed Railway Symposium, China’s public relation event to lobby for the KL-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project, Land Public Transport Commission (Spad) chairperson Syed Hamid Albar said that some 14 companies have been invited to present their views and ideas to Malaysia and Singapore for the development of the HSR.

At each Parliamentary sitting since June 2013, I have asked the government to reveal the feasibility studies for KL-Singapore High Speed Rail.

In the recent Parliamentary sitting, I told Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri during the debate on Prime Minister’s Department’s budget, that the government must not enter into the High Speed Rail project without revealing the feasibility studies and without a national debate on the nation’s priorities.

Pakatan Harapan stated our objection to the HSR in the Alternative Budget for 2016 as the government fails to demostrate that the HSR is a national priority and there is no feasibility study detailing its financial viability.

The national priority should be to expand railways to cater for both freight and passengers. Read the rest of this entry »


#Merah169 youths say stung by toll rates hiked by government they defended

by Syed Jaymal Zahiid
Malay Mail Online
October 28, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 28 ― After genuine belief that their lives could be improved by joining the controversial #Merah169 rally, the sense of pride and optimism among the many poor urban Malay youths who took part in that movement is now fading.

Less than two months after the controversial gathering here in the capital city, ostensibly to uphold Malay dignity in the face of Chinese insults, the angst that drove them to proudly don the movement’s colours has found a new and ironic source ― #Merah169’s own backer, Umno.

“My family was upset about the toll hike. My mom only sells kuih and my dad has little income. Can you imagine what the increase will do to our expenses?

“And who did this? It’s the Umno government… it’s a Malay party,” Alif Fikri, who was interviewed by Malay Mail Online in a special report on urban Malay racism, said when met last week. Read the rest of this entry »


Najib should show leadership and just scrap the silly and and unpatriotic idea of auctioning “Patriot” number plates and not allow the national shame and dishonour to prolong any further

Defence Minister and former Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein has disclaimed responsibility for the idea of granting auction rights over the “Patriot” number plates to Yayasan Patriot Negara Malaysia (YPNM).

He said he had no knowledge about the award of the “Patriot” plates auction rights to YPNM, stressing categorically that he did not approve anything related to the Patriot licence plates when he was acting Transport Minister.

If so, the current Transport Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai must bear full responsibility for awarding the auction rights over the “Patriot” plates to YPNM, and he must explain the rationale for this silly and unpatriotic idea in putting up “patriotism” on the auction block!

In fact, the Deputy Transport Minister, Abdul Aziz Kaprawi had admitted that it was Liow who had approved the “Patriot” number plates to be auctioned by an obscure NGO, hoping to raise from RM10 million to RM15 million.

There should be no need to drag out this “Patriot” plates farce and fiasco, which display not only a shocking absence of good and proper judgment by our Ministers but even a perverted understanding of the meaning of “patriotism” where everything has a price!

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, should show leadership and just scrap the silly and unpatriotic idea of putting “patriotism” on the auction block with the whole exercise of auctioning “Patriot” number plate. Read the rest of this entry »

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Race, religion, royalty, reality and MAS

By Mariam Mokhtar
Jun 1, 2015

MAS is not a commercial enterprise, but an offshoot of a government department, and run along government lines. It takes its orders from politicians, it bows to various political demands, it can never be re-structured unless the torrid cocktail of political patronage and building personal empires is eliminated.

After years of Ketuanan Melayu and Biro Tata Negara (BTN) spewing division, with claims that the Malays are God’s chosen people, it is ironic that the saviour of MAS is a German, Christoph Mueller.

What a slap in the face of the rakyat, the planes in the fleet are being sold off, to save some money, and yet Najib Abdul Razak and the self-styled First Lady of Malaysia (Flom) wastes millions of ringgit on a new aeroplane for ministerial junkets.

Our politicians bled MAS dry and now Mueller wants to perform a cull and punish the employees, instead of the politicians and fat cats, who sit on the management board.

It is outrageous that the people in positions of authority refuse to take any responsibility for their failures, and will probably be retained with a more lucrative package. Read the rest of this entry »


The 21 years of mismanagement that brought MAS to its knees

by Ram Anand
The Malaysian Insider
27 May 2015

Beginning September, Malaysia Airline System Bhd, the company Malaysians know as the national carrier since 1972, will cease to exist.

It would instead be replaced by a new company, Malaysia Airlines Bhd, to be fully owned by Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional before a planned re-listing in Bursa Malaysia by 2019.

This, however, is not the first time MAS has been subjected to a turnaround plan or a bid to save the airline. It has happened several times over the course of 22 years, beginning in 1994.

This is the most comprehensive restructuring plan that MAS has been subjected to though. One that will involve a rigorous cutting down of its air travel routes and its workforce, likely to reduce it to a regional airline.

But this will only work if the government and those helming this restructuring plan heed the lessons of the past. Read the rest of this entry »


Weather Worries Remain in Hunt for AirAsia Plane

By EILEEN NG and ROBIN McDOWELL Associated Press
ABC News
Jan 1, 2015

SURABAYA, Indonesia —

More ships arrived Friday with sensitive equipment to search for the fuselage of AirAsia Flight 8501 and the more than 150 people still missing since it crashed five days ago.

Rear Marshal Henry Bambang Soelistyo, head of Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency, said the search would be stepped up as long as the weather allowed.

“We will focus on underwater detection,” said Soelistyo, adding ships from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the U.S. had been on the scene from before dawn Friday to try to pinpoint the wreckage and the all-important black boxes? the flight data and cockpit voice recorders.

The Airbus A320 crashed into the Java Sea on Sunday with 162 people on board. Nine bodies have been recovered so far.

Nine planes, many with metal detectors, were also scouring a 13,500 square kilometer (8,380 square mile) area off Pangkalan Bun, the closest town on Borneo island to the search area. Two Japanese ships with three helicopters are on their way to the area, Soelistyo said. Read the rest of this entry »


The search for AirAsia Flight QZ8501: Where things stand

By Jethro Mullen, CNN
January 1, 2015

(CNN) — Searchers looking for more bodies and wreckage from AirAsia Flight QZ8501 in the Java Sea faced fresh difficulties with bad weather Thursday.

Ships, planes and helicopters are being used to find victims of the disaster. Most of the people on board the flight remain missing, and officials are yet to confirm that they’ve found the plane’s fuselage.

Here’s key information about where things stand:

The flight

What we know: Flight QZ8501 took off early Sunday from Surabaya, Indonesia, bound for Singapore. Roughly 35 minutes into the flight, the pilot asked air traffic control for permission to turn left and climb to a higher altitude to avoid bad weather. Minutes later, the plane disappeared from air traffic control’s radar.

What we don’t know: What happened on board after contact with the plane was lost. No distress call was received. Indonesian aviation authorities have suggested that the plane ascended despite permission being denied because of traffic.

Some experts have speculated that the aircraft might have experienced an aerodynamic stall because of a lack of speed or from flying at too sharp an angle to get enough lift. Analysts have also suggested that the pilots might not have been getting information from onboard systems about the plane’s position, or that rain or hail from thunderstorms in the area could have damaged the engines.

Until the main wreckage of the plane is found, along with the flight recorders, experts have little evidence to support their theories. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Unbelievably’ steep climb recorded before AirAsia crash, report says
December 31, 2014

Investigators working to piece together what led to the AirAsia Flight 8501 disaster discovered radar evidence indicating that the plane made an “unbelievably” steep climb moments before the crash, Reuters reported Wednesday.

“So far, the numbers taken by the radar are unbelievably high. This rate of climb is very high, too high. It appears to be beyond the performance envelope of the aircraft,” a source close to the investigation told the news agency.

Poor weather conditions Wednesday have prevented divers from carrying out their recovery operations and largely grounded helicopters, though ships were still scouring the area.

Indonesian search and rescue Chief Bambang Soelistyo said that the bodies of four men and three women had been recovered earlier in the morning. Read the rest of this entry »

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10 questions about the AirAsia Flight QZ8501 tragedy

By Laura Smith-Spark and Ashley Fantz, CNN
December 30, 2014

(CNN) — The discovery of debris from AirAsia Flight QZ8501 means investigators have taken a big step toward answering the questions haunting the families of those aboard the doomed plane. What are the key questions, and what might come next?

What caused the plane to crash?

It’s the million-dollar question. And as yet, nobody knows. Ahead lies a possibly months-long investigation into what happened after the Airbus A320-200 lost contact with air traffic control early Sunday.

Shortly beforehand, the pilot requested permission to turn and climb to a higher altitude because of bad weather, according to Indonesian officials.

Some experts have said the aircraft might have experienced an aerodynamic stall because of a lack of speed or from flying at too sharp an angle to get enough lift.

Analysts have also said that the pilots might not have been getting information from onboard systems about the plane’s position or that rain or hail from thunderstorms in the area could have damaged the engines.

The key to understanding what happened is likely to be contained in the aircraft’s cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder, commonly known as black boxes.

“Until we get the black boxes, we won’t know what’s going on with the engines,” Bill Savage, a former pilot with 30 years of experience, told CNN. Read the rest of this entry »


UPDATE 6-Bodies, debris from missing AirAsia plane pulled from sea off Indonesia

Dec 30, 2014

By Wilda Asmarini and Adriana Nina Kusuma

JAKARTA, Dec 30 (Reuters) – Indonesian rescuers searching for a missing AirAsia plane carrying 162 people pulled bodies and wreckage from the sea off the coast of Borneo on Tuesday as relatives of those on board broke down in tears on hearing the news.

Indonesia AirAsia’s Flight QZ8501, an Airbus A320-200, lost contact with air traffic control early on Sunday during bad weather on a flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore.

The navy said 40 bodies had been recovered as dusk fell.

The plane has yet to be found and there was no word on the possibility of any survivors. Read the rest of this entry »


Why Do Planes Keep Disappearing?

By Jeff Wise
Dec. 29, 2014

With AirAsia 8501, a storm could have been the cause. With Malaysia Airlines 370, we still don’t know.

March 8, 2014. Malaysia Airlines 370 takes off from Kuala Lumpur, heads north, and disappears 40 minutes into its flight. Dec. 28, 2014. AirAsia 8501 takes off from Surabaya, Indonesia, heads north, and disappears about 40 minutes into its flight.*

Are the events coincidental? Is there something about Southeast Asian passenger flights that makes them particularly vulnerable to Twilight Zone–style vanishing? Or have we entered a new era of air travel, in which anyone could disappear midair for no apparent reason?

There are certainly a number of parallels between the flights. AirAsia Indonesia is a daughter company of AirAsia, which—like Malaysia Airlines—is headquartered near Kuala Lumpur. Both flights were scheduled to arrive in the morning. Neither issued a distress call or sent out an emergency locator beacon signal. And then there’s the question of proximity, both temporal (the incidents took place less than 10 months apart) and spatial (QZ8501 was last seen on radar less than 50 miles from the final MH370 “ping ring”). Read the rest of this entry »


Why after 57 years of Umno/BN government, and the “seminal” 22 years of Mahathir premiership, Malaysia is producing minnows instead of towering personalities so much so that we have to appoint an “orang putih” to save MAS?

The suggestion by former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir that Malaysia should have a white man (orang putih) as Prime Minister is most amusing and even comical, coming from a person who had breathed fire and brimstone in the last general elections, throwing all political scruples to the winds in falsely accusing me of spearheading a Chinese grab of the political power of the Malays by contesting in the Gelang Patah parliamentary constituency, who suddenly produced a “new rabbit from his hat” – an ‘orang putih’ Prime Minister in Malaysia.

Of course, Mahathir was indulging in his classic “tongue-in-cheek” Mahathirism in objecting to the appointment of a German, Christoph Mueller as MAS chief executive officer to manage and save the revamped national airline, MAS from next year.

I agree with Mahathir that it is an indictment of Malaysia’s talents, skills, expertise and intellectual prowess that we could not find a Malaysian to save MAS.

Are Malaysians so bereft of talents, skills, experience and expertise that we have to go outside the country to source for a saviour for MAS?

The question all Malaysians must ponder is why after 57 years of Umno/BN government, and in particular what is regarded as a “seminal” 22-year Mahathir premiership, followed by the Abdullah and Najib premierships, to produce Towering Malaysians, Malaysia seems to be producing minnows instead of towering Malaysians in various fields of human endeavour whom we can export all over the world to help other countries in distress with their talents, skills, experience and expertise?

How can we save the world when we cannot even save ourselves?

Why have we been increasingly reduced to a near “basket case” as to have to appoint an “orang putih” to save our national airline? Is there not a single soul in Malaysia who could be appointed to do the job? Read the rest of this entry »


Passengers praise MAS pilot for landing troubled flight safely

The Malay Mail Online
April 21, 2014

SEPANG, April 21 — Passengers of a troubled MAS flight to Bengaluru (Bangalore), India, praised the pilot for having turned back and landed the aircraft safely at the KL International Airport early today.

Passenger Masluhuddin Khan, 30s, an Australian national of Indian descent, said that though it was the most frightening experience of his life, he was glad that the pilot made a ‘perfect’ emergency landing.

MAS Flight MH192 left KLIA at 10.09 pm yesterday for Bengaluru but detected a right landing gear malfunction, turned back and made an emergency landing at KLIA at 1.56am today.

The plane, carrying 159 passengers and seven crew, was piloted by Capt Nor Adam Azmi, with Prakash Kumar as the co-pilot.

Masluhuddin said the pilot kept the passengers informed through the intercom system every 20 minutes of the measures he was taking as the aircraft maintained a holding pattern for about four hours.

“All the passengers were cool and calm on board; everything went well inside the cabin,” he said when met by reporters. Read the rest of this entry »


Passengers on MH192 praise pilot’s calm handling of situation

by Muzliza Mustafa
The Malaysian Insider
April 21, 2014

Passengers on Malaysia Airlines flight MH192 bound for Bangalore, which had to return to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport a few hours later after its departure last night, praised the crew for handling the situation calmly.

Passengers said the aircraft had a “bumpy” take-off when it departed from KLIA about 10.15pm yesterday.

Marta Alonso, a telecommunication engineer from Spain, said she knew something was not right as soon as the plane took off.

“It was bumpy and shaky. Not long after that the pilot announced we needed to make an emergency landing. It was frightening,” she said at the airport today.

Alonso was one of the 159 passengers and seven crew members onboard of the Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

She said the cabin crew, however, remained under control.

“It was calm. The pilot did a good job by giving a constant update on the situation,” she said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Suspense as MH192 makes dramatic emergency landing

Koh Jun Lin
1:51AM Apr 21, 2014

Passengers on board Malaysian Airlines Flight MH192 faced a four hour terror ride after the landing gear malfunctioned shortly after take off, forcing a turnback and several attempts at an emergency landing.

At about 2am, the plane successfully made an emergency landing. There were 166 people on board.

Flight MH192 departed at 10.09pm for Bangalore last night. The Boeing 737-800 aircraft was supposed to have arrived at 2.35am (Malaysian time) today.

In a press release after the plane had landed, MAS said the right main landing tire had burst during take off.

“The captain was alerted by Kuala Lumpur Air Traffic Control that tyre debris were found on the runway and immediately contacted Malaysia Airlines Operations Control Centre (OCC) at 10:25pm.

“As safety is of utmost priority to Malaysia Airlines, the aircraft was required to turn back to KLIA,” said MAS. Read the rest of this entry »

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