“The plane, the plane!”


“The plane, the plane!”. That’s the world most famous midget Herve’ Villechaize’s immortal words from the character “Tattoo” in the surreal late 70s drama, “Fantasy Island“. Eventually, someone in the Malaysian public will one day say the same thing, when they see the white coloured now famous A319CJ (first published as a scoop by Berita KMU.net, 25 Jan 2007) on the glideslope just before touching down in TUDM Subang or sitting on the tarmac somewhere whether in KK or Penang International. Currently now its being outfitted with some of the most advance equipments and luxuries by the upmarket European contractor, Jet Aviation, Basel, Switzerland.

Will they all remember that the Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi once coyly commented “Why should the Government buy the jet? It belongs to PMB. We will lease the aircraft from PMB”, when asked upon return from the Davos World Economic Forum, four days after the world learnt about this new luxury opulent excesses?

The delivery of the ‘green’ jet from the Airbus manufacturers in Hamburg, Germany that highly probable cost around the neighbourhood of USD 45 million was made somewhere in December 2006. That was the height of the Great Johor Flood. The order of the aircraft was done most probably somewhere in 2005 (along somewhat after AirAsia’s announcement of the order of 100 aircrafts of the A320, with an option of another 50 more aircraft), at the top where too much bickering about how the Federal Government had not much money left in the coffer and too many projects in the 8th Malaysia Plan stalled due to previous administration’s ‘Mega Projects’ trigger happy policies. At least Kalimullah and NST rambles on and on about the “cashless” Government PM Pak Lah had to inherit and make do, to the interests of all Malaysians.

If so, isn’t this acquisition is an excess that the Ferderal Government can do without, especially when they said they no longer “have money”? Isn’t Penerbangan Malaysia Berhad a 100% wholly owned company under Khazanah Nasional Bhd, which PM Abdullah sits as the Chairman? It seems PM Abdullah also gave the excuse that the Seri Paduka Baginda Yang diPertuan Agong also would be using this aircraft when His Majesty and entourage travels.

The fact is that the Federal Government has already enough asset for the Malaysian Head of State and Government leaders to gracefully waddle to any corners of the world, very comfortably. Under the care of No.2 Squadron based in TUDM Subang, the Government is already operating a Boeing 737-700 BBJ (which was ordered by then MAS Chairman Tan Sri Tajuddin Ramli in LIMA ’97, delivered to MAS Star somewhere in 1999 and later sold to TUDM in 2000), a Bombardier Global Express (which was delivered in 1998), a Dassault Falconjet 900B (which was acquired in the early 90s) and the slightly older but still operational Fokker F 28 (which was acquired in the 70s). The BBJ and Global Express both have capabilities to fly over 6,000 nautical miles in one single hop. That’s a distance between Kuala Lumpur and London, easily.

Another irony is that, the whole nation saw Abdullah Ahmad Badawi rode in the TUDM BBJ back to his paternal home in Kepala Batas, Pulau Pinang for the first time, on Saturday 1 Nov 2003, the day after he assumed the Premiership from YABhg Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. It seems the BBJ was only good then……….

RM 200 million is a lot of money, especially for an asset not clearly required. So, PMB pays for it. Its still RM 200 million, either taken from the Treasury investment arm coffer or a borrowing which PMB have to service!

The magic million ringgit question is how much longer is the obtuse Prime Minister can be insulated with the growing unhappy feelings and opinion of the Malaysian public, with these sort of findings. Can the Malaysian public really stomach this, with these sorts of lame excuses worsening, any longer after this?

Published in: on February 17, 2007 at 02:51  Comments (7)  

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hey let me tell the world that this was your scoop. I got the tip earlier but I can’t write it. You own this man.

    I am sure you will do well and get your blog notice in a short time.

    BTW, 13 is an unlucky number. I know how to make it down to 12… ez.

  2. good luck mate, Salam Perjuangan.

  3. Since you start writing on planes, you miht as well write about this MAS-Air Asia issue from a socio-, econo-, and political conspiracy perspective.

    Too many are too shallow to see it strictly as a biz and economic decision under the need-to-do becasue of globalisation fear factor.

    ANyway, this would be my last ever request for anything on planes. Simply because you are no Tattoo. And, I wouldn’t want you to change from “The Big Non Pork Eating Reformed Jewish German Dog” to “Dumbo the Flying Elephant”. Dumbo is too close to dumb, coz you ain’t so.

  4. Hello there,

    Allow me to invite you to visit my site where you can find a lot of new and interesting things about “aircraft leasing”.

    Enjoy and have a nice day!

  5. […] about a wholly owned GLC Penerbangan Malaysia Berhad, the holding company of Malaysia Airlines taking delivery of a brand new intercontinental very large and luxury executive jet, even though the TUDM is currently operating three other luxury executive […]

  6. […] Indah’ Tambak Johor, perubahan dasar luar negara termasuk isu Myanmar dan Lebanon, skandal pembelian pesawat VVIP A319CJ, skandal melibatkan keluarga terdekat termasuk rakan kongsi Scomi ditangkap bawah ISA dan polis […]

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