by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, 17.3.1993
Stowaway death in wheel bay of MAS jumbo jet the third security scandal of the Subang International Airport in a year
The death of the 16-year-old stowaway, Shamsul Ramli, in the wheel bay of a Johannesburg-bound MAS jumbo jet on Monday is the third security scandal of the Subang International Airport in a year.
On April 6 last year, fire gutted the greater part of the Subang international airport’s north wing complex, killing three Department of Civil Aviation personnel.
Six months later, a bigger fire at the airport’s control tower virtually crippled the airport, giving world notice that security at the Subang International Airport was lax, sub-standard and dangerous.
One would have thought that after two fires at the Subang International Airport in six months, which had done untold harm to Malaysia’s international image as a tourist destination, the relevant authorities would have made triply sure that Malaysia would not again hog international headlines about lax and sub-standard security at the Subang International Airport.
Now, Malaysia is again in the world news with the death of the 16-year old stowaway in the Johannesburg-bound MAS Jumbo jet wheel bay.
Malaysians are told that four separate probes have been launched by the Department of Civil Aviation, Airports Malaysia Bhd., the police and Malaysian Airlines to determine how Shamsul had slipped into the Subang International Airport despite its 24-hour security surveillance and regular patrols by the 400-odd security staff.
Why should there be four probes by four different agencies, instead of a high-level independent inquiry, considering that this is the third security lapse of the Subang International Airport in less than one year?
Malaysians cannot help but note that after the first Subang International Airport Fire in April last year, before the inquiry into its clauses had completed its findings, the second International Airport Fire in October had taken place. Now, before the inquiry into the October fire had been completed and made public, a third security lapse had taken place.
The government and the relevant, authorities do not seem to be able to keep their ‘head water’ to devise effective security measures in advance at the Subang International Airport to give Malaysia an international reputation where high security standards are maintained.
This is a disease which seems to be widespread in the entire government service. Thus, before the inquiry into the nation-wide blackout on September 29 last year was completed and made public, the country was plunged into a more serious national energy crisis in January.
The government seems to be forever trying to catch up with problems, rather than planning in advance to anticipate and resolve these problems before they occur. Is this the Government’s route to Vision 2020?