DCA should explain how it could get a report that the ‘near-miss collision’ of two aircrafts at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport runway on Wednesday involved a MAS plane preparing to take off and a SIA Airbus about to land when it involved the two planes landing.


by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Friday, 9th September 1994:

DCA should explain how it could get a report that the ‘near-miss collision’ of two aircrafts at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport runway on Wednesday involved a MAS plane preparing to take off and a SIA Airbus about to land when it involved the two planes landing.

The Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) should explain how it could get a report that the ‘near-miss collision’ of two aircrafts at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport runway on Wednesday involved a MAS plane preparing to take-off and a SIA Airbus about to land when it involved the two planes landing.

The DCA Director of Air Trafffic Control, Nordin Samad told the press at the 30th Conference of Directors-General of Civil Aviation Asia-Pacific Region in Penang yesterday that the ‘near-miss collision’ – the second in three weeks – involved a MAS plane which was preparing to take off while the SIA Airbus was about to land.

However, both MAS and Singapore Airlines have both confirmed that their passenger jetliners were involved in a landing incident at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Wednesday at about 5 p.m.

The MAS customer relations and media manager Zawiah M. Aruf said flight MH 2609 from Labuan was approaching the airport from the east while the SIA flight SQ 114 from Singapore was approaching from the south.

At seven miles (11.2km) from touchdown, MH 2609 was cleared to land. Approximately three miles (4.8km) from touchdown, the MAS pilot sighted the SIA aircraft making its approach to the same runway.

The MAS aircraft discontinued its approach and did a go-around while the SIA aircraft continued its approach for landing.

It is shocking that that the DCA Director of Traffic Control could give a completely different version of collision, claiming that one plane was landing while another plane was preparing to take off.

This provides another shocking proof of the complete breakdown of an efficient and sound system of management at the DCA and the Transport Ministry.

DCA sources have described the incident as the closest they had seen in Kuala Lumpur air space in over 30 years, where 30 seconds stood between an air disaster of unprecedented magnitude involving the MAS passenger jetliner from Labuan and the SIA passenger jetliner from Singapore.

DCA sources attribute the ‘near-miss collision’ of the two aircrafts on Wednesday to ‘human error’. I find this completely unacceptable – for what we are witnessing is a total systemic breakdown of leadership and management at the DCA and the Transport Ministry, allowing ‘human errors’ to take place.

No one should be appointed DCA Director-General unless he rejects the prevailing Transport Ministry and DCA beliefs that accidents at the KLIA are inevitable.

The Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik, said that the appointment of the DCA directors-general would be announced within the next few days.

Malaysia want’s a new DCA Director-General who is completely different from previous DCA Director-Generals and even from the Minister from Transport, who publicly believe, in the inevitability of accidents and disasters at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Liong Sik repeated this philosophy after the Subang radar station fire on August 13.

What Malaysia wants is a DCA Director-General who, is imbued with the disaster prevention mentality and fully committed to the belief that disasters at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport are, for the most part, preventable and that, all previous airport disasters – like the five fires in two years, two goldbar robberies in four months and two ‘near-miss collisions’ of aircrafts at the airport runway in three weeks – are the result of the systemic failure of management and leadership.

No one should be appointed DCA Director-General unless he rejects the prevailing Transport Ministry and DCA beliefs that accidents at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport are inevitable.

The 30th Asia-Pacific Directors-General of Civil-Aviation Conference opened- by Liong Sik in Penang yesterday should be an occasion to honour Malaysia’s role and development in the field of civil aviation in the Asia-Pacific region.

However, it became a great source of embarrassment as Malaysia is not only without a DCA Director-General to play host at the Conference, but the ‘near-miss collision’ of two aircrafts on Wednesday served as a further advertisement of the deplorable and shameful state of DCA management and Transport Ministry leadership in the field of civil aviation.

I am surprised that Liong Sik, with his record as the only Transport Minister in the world with the longest strings of airport fires, goldbar robberies and ‘near-miss collisions’, dare to appear before the DCA Directors-General from the other countries to declare open their conference in Penang!

Liong Sik would have save Malaysia greater embarrassment if he had taken ‘sick leave’ instead and stayed away from the conference.