By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, August 17, 1994:
Mahathir should appoint a new Transport Minister as three Kuala Lumpur International Airport fires under Ling Liong Sik’s tenure is a quota of dubious world record!
The fire at the Subang International Airport radar complex last Satruday is the third Subang International Airport fire in two years and the fifth fire indident since the airport was built in 1965.
Although the fire last Saturday occurred around 8.30 pm and caused extensive damage to the RM16.5 million terminal approach radar at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, the Transport Minister, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik should have visited Bukit Subang Radar Complex the same night and not only after 60 hours later yesterday morning.
If the New Straits Times had not carried a report yesterday exposing the attempt by the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) to ‘cover-up’ the fire at the Subang Radar Complex, Liong Sik would probable not have visited the Subang International Airport yet.
Liong Sik should explain when the first received news about the Subang radar complex fire thwich knocked out the terminal approach radar at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport forcing the air traffic controllers to rely on manual control, and why he didn’t rush to the scene of the fire immediately – and instead delayed for 60 hours.
Was this part of the elaborate ‘cover-up’ attempt to conceal another major and critical fire in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport – to the extent that even the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, had to depend on the New Straits Times scoop to read about the radar complex fire?
Why were the DCA and the Malaysian Airports officials allowed to mislead the nation and the world by initially describing the fire as an insignificant bush fire and later admitting that it was a “small fire” and that there was no significant damage.
This raises the question whether the Malaysian Airports should have been privatised at all!
One Kuala Lumpur International Airport Fire will undo the efforts of several overseas investment missions by the Prime Minister or other Cabinet Ministers to get foreign investment to come to Malaysia
Electrical engineers attribute the latest fire to poor maintenance, cheap fuses, expiry of life span of the product and short-circuiting of the electrical system.
It would appear that nobody – neither the DCA, the Malaysian Airports nor the Minister for Transport – had learnt anything from the previous Kuala Lumpur International Airport fires, in particular two fires in 1992!
There is no doubt that Liong Sik had acted most irresponsibly in the Subang International Airport radar complex fire.
One Such Kuala Lumpur International Airport Fire will undo all the efforts of the several overseas investment missions by the Prime Minister or other Cabinet Ministers to get foreign investment to come to Malaysia!
Malaysians are now presented with a nightmare in air travel with delays of up to two hours for the next three to six months.
Malaysians are entitled to ask the Prime Minister to appoint a new Transport Minister for Malaysia as the quota of three Kuala Lumpur International Airport fires under one Transport Minister is enough of a dubious world record!