Call on Taib Mahmud to outline the necessary safety features of the Bintulu airport which made it accident-free

Departure Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, in Kuching on Monday 18th September 1995 at l0 a.m.

Call on Taib Mahmud to outline the necessary safety features of the Bintulu airport which made it accident-free

The Sarawak, Chief Minister, Tan Sri Taib Mahmud said Yesterday that the Bintulu airport, located at the heart of Bintulu town, has all the necessary features and is safe for daily use of light aircraft.

He said that the airport, which could only be used by Fokker 50 and light aircraft, was not a problem to pilots as the runway was of adequate length.

I am mystified by Taib Mahmud’s response to the DAP the mass signature campaign, launched in Bintulu on the day after Tawau airport MAS aircrash which killed 34 people, that the Bintulu airport is a timebomb for Bintulu town and that the Federal Government should relocate the Bintulu airport to outside the town area within 24 months for the safety of Bintulu people and air travelers.

As Taib Mahmud opposing the demand that the Bintulu airport should be shifted to outside Bintulu town in within 24 months as a Bintulu air mishap like the one which hit Tawau airport two days ago would have turned half of into town into a graveyard with casualties running into hundreds if not thousands, in view of the proximity of a primary school with 3,000 school children to the airport?

I do not know when Taib Mahmud became an aviation safety expert and I challenge him to reveal what are the “neces¬sary safety features” which make the Bintulu airport safe and accident-free!

If it is so easy to make the Bintulu airport “accident-free”, why was the Tawau airport not made “accident-free”?

Taib Mahmud should not waste time trying to defend the air-worthiness of Bintulu airport but should support the demand that the Federal Government build a new airport for Bintulu and d relocate the present Bintulu airport within 24 months.

Malaysian Parliament Group on Environment and Development (MPGED) to organise a Conference on the Bakun dam project in November to focus national attention on the Bakun dam project

The Malaysian Parliamentary Group on Environment and Development (HPCED) which is open to MPs of all political parties and of which I am Chairman plans to organise a Conference on the controversial RM15 billion Bakun dam project during the Budget parliamentary meeting some time in November.

This Conference on Bakun plans to invite local and international experts on environmental, social, technological and financial aspect of the Bakun dam project to inform Parliament and nation about the pros and cons of the Bakun dam project. The Ekran Bhd, the Federal and State Government will also be invited to send representatives to the MPGED Conference on Bakun.

Yesterday it was reported that the Meteorological Services Department confirmed that the seismology stations in Kuching and Kluang have reported tremors in several places in the Serian District at 6.48 p.m. last Saturday although the department had yet to determine the location of the earthquake because of insufficient data.
The Department believed that the earthquake happened in interior areas of Western Sarawak or Kalimantan. This will be the third tremor affecting Sarawak within ten years.

The first was recorded at 8.56 p.m. on Oct. 13, 1993 and the epicenter was about 10 km from Kuching while the second, a stronger one occurred at 2.50 p.m. on Feb. 12, 1994 and was felt in several towns of the State, particularly in Bintulu.

Tile third recorded seismic activity in Sarawak within two years should focus public attention on the possibility of the Bakun dam project triggering off earthquakes in Sarawak, particularly in the Sibu area.
A dam expert and lecturer at the University of Dortmund in Germany, Dr. Weilue Wang had discovered from his re¬searches that the Bakun dam project area is within the earthquake belt and that a dam of the dimension of Bakun could trigger off an earthquake in Sarawak.

So far, neither the Federal State Government nor Ekran Bhd. had made a satisfactory response to Dr. Weiluo Wang’s revelations, which means that the Bakun dam project is being rushed through in utter disregard of environmental and ecological consequences.