by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Friday, 16th September 1994:
Liong Sik’s insinuation that the various Kuala Lumpur International Airport disasters could be the ‘work’ of his political enemies is further evidence that he is not fit or competent to continue as Transport Minister to restore the KLIA’s credibility and reputation.
In Kota Kinabalu yesterday, Transport Minister, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik said that until there is proof from the police, he would not implicate his ‘political enemies’ for the various Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) disasters and accidents or suspect that there were ‘political motives’ behind the various Kuala Lumpur International Airport fires.
Liong Sik has used the most clumsy and crude manner to make the insinuation that the various Kuala Lumpur International Airport disasters could be the ‘work’ of his ‘political enemies’, although he couched it in a negative manner by declaring that he would not make such a conclusion unless there are police evidence.
This is most shocking and irresponsible. Liong Sik is the the first person to have publicly broached or countenanced the possibility that – the numerous Kuala Lumpur Inter¬national Airport fires and disasters could be the ‘work’ of his ‘political enemies’ and that there was a ‘grand conspiracy’ to destroy the credibility and reputation of the KLIA just to ‘fix’ Liong Sik as Transport Minister – although Liong Sik qualified himself by stating that he would wait for police evidence first before making any outright allegation!
Who are Liong Sik’s ‘political enemies’ who might have planned and orchestrated the six fires at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in two years, two goldbar robberies in four months and three ‘near-miss collisions’ between two aircrafts on the airport runway in three weeks?
Is Liong Sik referring to his ‘political enemies’ inside the MCA like the MCA Deputy President Datuk Lee Kim Sai and his followers who had been ‘amputated’ inside the MCA or his ‘political enemies’ in Barisan Nasional, like Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik and the Gerakan; or his ‘political enemies’ outside the Barisan, referring specifically to the DAP leaders? Is he insinuating that I might be behind a ‘grand conspiracy’ which created six fires in two years, two goldbar robberies in four months and three ‘near-miss collisions’ in three weeks at the airport?
Liong Sik’s insinuation that the various Kuala Lumpur International Airport disasters could be the ‘work’ of his ‘political enemies’ is further evidence that, he is not fit or competent to continue as Transport Minister to restore the KLIA’s credibility and reputation.
Is there one iota of evidence to justify Liong Sik publicly entertaining such a serious insinuation after the past two years of airport disasters and accidents?
Doesn’t Liong Sik know the cause for the Subang International Airport Terminal One fire on 6th April 1992, which caused RM30 million damage, as the inquiry committee had blamed the fire on electricity short-circuit?
May be, Liong Sik doesn’t know the cause of the October 15, 1992 Airport control tower fire, which caused RM50 million damage, as the inquiry report had not been made public – although the former Deputy Prime Minister Ghafar Baba had promised at the time that the report, would be ready in two weeks time after the fire.
However, has Liong Sik any reason to believe that the October 1992 airport fire was the cause of sabotage by his ‘political enemies’ and if so, why hadn’t the Police taken any action in the last two years against these ‘arsonists’ and ‘saboteurs’?
What about the August 13, 1994 fire which knocked out the radar system and caused RM16.5 million of damage? Only last Saturday, the Transport Ministry Secretary-General Wan Awang Wan Yaacob ruled out arson as the cause of the fire, and said that the cause had been narrowed down to a faulty electrical system based on findings submitted by the police and supported by the Chemical Department.
Is Liong Sik suggesting that the three latest airport fires after the radar station fire, namely the Terminal One toilet fire, the Terminal One money-changer counter fire and the airport power sub-station fire – as well as the two goldbar robberies at the airport cargo complex and three ‘near-miss collisions’ of aircrafts on airport runway – could be caused by the sabotage of his ‘political enemies’?
Liong Sik has not woken up to reality and realised that the airport disasters and fires are caused not by individual ‘human errors’ as by a total failure of the system of management and leadership.
I find Liong Sik’s attitude most shocking, for clearly Liong Sik has not woken up to reality and realised that the main fault for the series of airport disasters and accidents cannot be attributed to individual ‘human errors’.
The main cause of the series of airport disasters and accidents is the total failure of the system of management and leadership whether at the Transport Ministry, the Department of Civil Aviation or the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, which make such individual ‘human errors’ so fatal.
So long as Liong Sik is still hoping to find scapegoats for the various airport, disasters or accidents, such as ‘human errors’ or ‘sabotage by his political enemies’, he is incap¬able of ensuring a full review and overhaul of the system of management and leadership concern¬ing tile KLIA.
This is why Malaysia must have a new Transport Minister before, new airport disasters and accidents afflict the country.
Liong Sik’s incompetence and ineptitude is best illustrated by following three newspaper headlines in the past ten days:
* On Tuesday, 6th September 94, the Star carried this headline, “Ling: Normal Ops by Monday” i.e.- 12th September;
* On Monday, 12th September 94, Star carried another headline again quoting Liong Sik, “Normal Ops expected by Wednesday” – i.e. 13th, September;
* Yesterday, 15th September 94, Star carried a new headline again quoting Liong Sik: “Flights back to normal by Sunday”.
Will the flights at the Subang International Airport be ‘back to normal’ by Sunday on September 18th – or there will have to be a dozen such headlines before there is a full normalisation of the Subang International Airport?