DAP calls for public inquiry into the 15 RMAF air crashes since 1990 to minimise loss of lives in future RMAF accidents

By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, January 5 , 1994:

DAP calls for public inquiry into the 15 RMAF air crashes since 1990 to minimise loss of lives in future RMAF accidents

Because of the Super Puma helicopter crash which killed four RMAF personal , and nearly killed the Deputy Prime Minister , Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the Defence Minister , Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak made two announcements in two consecutive days:

Firstly, the announcement on Monday that the Royal Malaysian Air Force had been directed to carry out a review of present procedures in maintenance and support services for its aircraft;

Secondly , the announcement yesterday of a revamp of the RMAF to inculcate the right culture of accountability and excellence at every management level.

It must be a shock, not only to RMAF personal , but to all Malaysians that four years after marching towards Vision 2020 discover that the RMAF does not have ‘ the right culture…which not only reflects efficiency but also ensures that everyone at its personal can be held accountable.’

What has Datuk Seri Najib been doing all these years as Defence Minister?

If the RMAF lacks such a culture of excellence and responsibility , what about the armed forces and the navy?

These two announcements are a recognition that the individual boards of inquiries into previous RMAF helicopter and aircraft crashes had failed to reduce the incidence of such fatal crashes.

While welcoming these two RMAF reforms, the question that begs answer is why the Ministry of Defence had to wait until 15 RMAF air crashes since 1990 – and a near and lucky miss for the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim – before undertaking these two reforms if they are ‘ the glaring weaknesses’ which could have led to the Super Puma helicopter tragedy!’

DAP calls for a public inquiry into 15 RMAF air crashes since 1990(with eight of these accidents taking place last year itself) to escertain why the individual boards of inquiries into the separate RMAF air crashes had not been able to reduce the incidence of such accidents.

This public inquiry should also invertigate into the decision-making process in the purchase of RMAF aircrafts, and in particular the report in the Utusan Malaysia yesterday that a high-level rMAF official had disputed the decision to purchase the Super Puma helicopter as after tset-flight , he found it a threat to the life of the air crew and passengers because of technical defects.

Why then was the Super Puma helicopter purchased despite such adverse expert opinion – resulting in the loss of four lives?

Such a public inquiry is imperative as the nation must not allow the lives of RMAF personal to be lost because of avoidable human weakness , system detects or bad management decisions whether in the purchase of aircrafts or in maintenance.

DAP supports the call that findings of inquires into RMAF Super Puma helicopter crash and other RMAF air crashes should be made public

Three families of the four crew members who died in the Super Puma helicopter crash at Sunagi Patani last week have called on the Government to make public the findings of the Super Puma Helicopter crash as well as other RMAF air crashes.

There is no reason why the Ministry of Defence should be exempted from the principles of accountability and transparency in the investigations into RMAF crashes which costs the lives of RMAF personal.

For a start , I call on the Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Najub Tun Razak , to make public the reports and findings of all the boards of inquiry into the other 14RMAF helicopter or aircraft crashes since 1990.