by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, 18th March 1993;
Liong Sik should explain why his two assurances after the two airport fires last year that the security of the Subang International Airport had been tightened have proved to be empty words
The Minister for Transport, Datuk Dr. Ling Liang Sik, should explain why his two assurances after the two airport fires last year that the security of the Subang International Airport had been tightened have proved to be empty words.
After the first Subang International Airport fire on April 6, 1992, Liong Sik said the whole security system at the airport had been tightened.
After the second Subang International Airport fire in October last year, Liong Sik announced steps for tighter airport security to prevent further airport mishaps.
Five months later, a third security lapse at the, Subang International Airport has taken place with the stowaway death of Shamsul Ramli, 16, in the wheel bay of the Johannesburg-bound MAS Jumbo jet on Monday. Up to now, everyone is still baffled as to how Shamsul could breach the 24-hour security surveillance and regular patrols by the 400-odd security staff at the Subang International Airport.
After the third Subang International Airport security scandal in one year, one would have expected the Minister for Transport to show greater concern and anxiety at his failure to successfully tighten security at the international airport.
Instead, we see a Transport Minister who seem to more interested to let the public believe that he cannot be held responsible for the third Subang International Airport scandal, as the airport management has been corporatised with the establishment of the Malaysian Airports Bhd.
What is the use of a preliminary report which does not throw any light on how Shamsul could breach the airport security?
This is why Liong Sik made the ridiculous announcement yesterday that he had received a preliminary report on the third Subang International Airport security scandal from MAS, Department of Civil Aviation and the Malaysian Airport Bhd., but the report did not state how Shamsul could have escaped detection since only authorised personnel are allowed into the cargo complex.
What is the use of any such preliminary report on the Shamsul stowaway death when it does not throw any light on the airport security lapse whatsoever.
Is the purpose of the preliminary report by MAS, DCA and MAB just to outline the plan of the Subang International Airport and the MAS jumbo jet? Or to announce the composition of the various probes into the stowaway of Shamsul?
Or is it just to allow Liong Sik to give the public impres¬sion that he is doing something?
Such a preliminary report which does not explain how Sham¬sul could have breached the airport security is as good as having no report, and Liong Sik is insulting the intelligence of the Malaysian public when he announced that he had received such a ‘non-report’.
Liong Sik must be the first Cabinet Minister who could announce that he had received a ‘non-report’!
The submission and announcement by the Minister of Transport of a preliminary report on the third Subang security scandal which throws no light on the security lapse is best illustration of the lack of seriousness from the highest levels of the Transport Ministry on the urgent need to restore the international reputation of the Subang International Airport after two most damaging adverse world-wide publicity about its lax security.
The Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Hanif Ornar, said yesterday that the police would conduct a complete review of security at the Subang international airport, saying: “We have to look at the whole thing as security is of primary concern. It this can happen, then more serious things may occur.”
These sentiments are highly commendable, except that Malaysians had heard of them before, not once but twice last year after the two Subang International Airport fires. As a result, Tan Sri Hanif’s statement yesterday sounded more like diplomatic language which is incapable of inspiring much public confidence.
On 7th November 1992, Tan Sri Hanif himself announcement that a senior police officer was being seconded to the Airport Malaysian Bhd. to beef up security at airports, and that he had selected Sabah Deputy Commissioner Bakri Omar to be the general manager for security, safety and human resources.
The question is why these police measures had also failed to prevent a third security scandal at the Subang International Airport in less than a year.