PKR Crown Princess of ‘Politics of Hatred’ YB Nurul Izzah Anwar is on the rabid track of another special purpose ‘ghost stories’, much like everything else what she, her parents and party stood for and the agenda to forcefully impose the desire of the minority against the will of the majority.
Nurul Izzah wants audit over air traffic control flop
UPDATED @ 05:31:54 PM 21-09-2012By Mohd Farhan DarwisSeptember 21, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 — The air traffic control tower at the Subang airport went “blind” last week for two hours, putting lives at risk in Malaysian air space and prompting PKR’s Nurul Izzah Anwar to ask today for an independent audit over the system failure.
The Lembah Pantai MP said the Transport Ministry and Department of Civil Aviation should provide answers in an independent audit as a similar system is being used at the KLIA2, the new low-cost terminal in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang.
“If the system failure is not clarified in an independent audit, there will be suspicions that millions of ringgit being used for a similar system in KLIA2 will face the same fate,” Nurul Izzah (picture) told reporters outside the Subang airport here.
In the September 12 incident, the air traffic control system at the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport failed for nearly two hours from 2.30am to 4.20am when there was “total failure in the system with no radar, no radio frequencies”, said the PKR vice-president.
It is understood that air traffic controllers and aircraft pilots in Malaysian air space were “blind” and air traffic control had to be handled by a neighbouring country.
Nurul Izzah said PKR had earlier requested for an independent audit but the ministry and DCA had dismissed the complaint and did not consider malfunction in the RM125.4 million system as an issue.
In July, Nurul Izzah had called on the Transport Ministry to explain why system flaws in the Malaysian Air Traffic Services Modernization Programme (MATSMP) Improvement Phase 2 (MIP-2) that was upgraded by the Selex Sistemi Integriti (SELEX) Company and Advanced Air Traffic Systems (M) Sdn Bhd (AAT) had not yet been repaired.
The PKR vice president had alleged that ATT was awarded a similar project for KLIA2 even though another firm, AMP Corporation (M) Sdn Bhd (AMCOP), had been identified by qualified consultants as more suitable for the job.
She also criticised the ministry for not answering her question in the June sitting of Parliament regarding the RM128.4 million cost to upgrade the system and its effectiveness.
It is clear why in the past three months she has been obsessively on the warpath against the DCA air control tower radar system. A lot of answers have been provided in the past. Like any other PKR-trumped-up-charged baseless or spun accusations, similar to the Royal Malaysian Navy Perdana Class Scorpene submarines program, the PKR Vice President is never interested in the truth.
In this Free Malaysia Today story, the Director General of Department of Civil Aviation Dato’ Azharuddin Abdul Rahman already clarified that what Nurul claimed is not as serious of what actually happened.
‘Investigate air traffic system failure’
| September 21, 2012
PKR wants probe on the cause of the total system failure at the Air Traffic Control Centre last week. DCA, however, claims it was not a total failure.FULL REPORT
SUBANG: Aircraft in the local airspace were “flying blind” last week when the Kuala Lumpur Air Traffic Control Centre (ATCC) suffered a “total failure in the system with no radar, no radio” for almost one-hour-plus, alleged PKR today.
The incident occurred between 2.50am and 4.15am on Sept 12, according to a systems log of the Subang Air Traffic Control Centre and a preliminary report of the incident was revealed to the press by PKR vice-presidents Nurul Izzah Anwar, Tian Chua and N Surendran today.
“A total system failure occurred for almost two hours and throughout that time, the Malaysian airspace was rendered blind, with all departures cancelled and existing air traffic handed over to neighbouring countries,” said Nurul outside the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) traffic control centre at the Subang airport.
She said the system failure had put civilian passengers on board the planes at risk as they were cut off from any guidance from ground control, and during the down time Singapore and Thailand were in total control of the traffic system, which “left us completely defenceless”.
Retired Royal Malaysian Air Force director-general of operations, brigadier-general Abdul Hadi Abdul Khatab who joined PKR last year, said that what occurred must be taken seriously as there were “high risks” when the airspace is blind, which can even lead to possible air collisions.
Abdul Hadi, a former pilot and RMAF officer for 45 years, urged the government, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) and the DCA to immediately take action and investigate the cause of the breakdown.
“We must not allow something like that to happen again. Risking the lives of airline passengers, that is the most crucial aspect to this. As a former pilot, I know that this kind of system is troubling for air crew handling the aircraft,” he said.
He said it was a dangerous when the radar was down and blind, as “nobody is in control of the movements of planes”.
“They cannot give instructions, they do not know the positions of aircraft, there is a possibility that the planes are not flying the right height they are supposed to fly,” he said.
Independent audit needed
Abdul Hadi criticised the report by local contractor Advanced Air Traffic Systems Sdn Bhd (AAT) as being too simplistic, as it has cited “power failure” as the cause of the breakdown.
“Are they telling us that their technicians are not competent enough to bring the system back-up in one hour? Are they saying they do not do daily checks? Something is wrong with the way they handled the situation,” he said, adding that in his years of experience, he has not encountered such a failure.
Meanwhile, Nurul asked why there has been no transparency from the government despite her repeated attempts to highlight the flaws of the radar system maintained by AAT.
“This flawed system that is in operation now cost Malaysian taxpayers 26.05 million euros (RM128.4 million),” she said. “We need an independent audit on what happened on Sept 12, anything less is unacceptable. I really hope that the DCA and MOT take this seriously… if they were really capable, then such instances would not occur.
Nurul also asked:
- How could the MOT and DCA accept and operate a flawed system without sufficient back-ups?
- How could the batteries, uninterrupted power supply, generator set or any other form of backup power supply not be working at the time?
- What will the MOT and DCA do to ensure such calamities do not reoccur in the future?
“Unless this system failure is investigated and explained by an independent third party, there will be serious concerns that the impending hundreds of millions more to be spent on the air traffic control tower for the RM3.8 billion KLIA 2 project will suffer similar catastrophic failures and put lives at risk.”
The government should call for an independent audit of the air traffic control system in Subang by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), she said.
Nurul said that the MOT and DCA are currently the evaluation consultants for the Airspace Restructuring Project (ATMOP), at KLIA 2, in which AAT is also a bidder. She added that she hoped that the most technically qualified bidder will be chosen.
Meanwhile, DCA director-general Azharuddin Abdul Rahman confirmed that there was a down time in the radar system last week, but implied that it was not as serious as PKR had painted it out to be.
He said that while there was a power supply interruption to the radar system, the radio however still worked, and it was not a “total failure”.
“Investigations found that there was a circuit breaker trip of incoming power supply, and the backup or UPS (uninterrupted power supply) took over but it went unnoticed and it drained out the battery,” he said.
When asked why the system log had noted that both radar and radio were out, he explained that it was merely the “initial assessment” by the supervisor.
“However, when that happened, we initiated our standard trouble shooting procedures and with the aid of radio service, we managed to bring one aircraft to land safely on arrival, without delay at 3.20am.”
Aside from the delay of two aircraft, Azharuddin said that there were no other mishaps or aircraft delays during the hour-plus shortage.
“When the circuit breaker was reset, everything came back [to normal]. We did not have to use the contingency plan to transfer our aircraft movement to other states, as what Nurul claimed,” he said.
Asked how DCA would ensure that such an incident does not recur, Azharuddin said that the department is looking at improving the remote control monitoring system and also looking at a possible upgrade.
On whether an additional investigation will be carried out, Azharuddin said it was unlikely. “We know what went wrong that day. I don’t think any more investigation will be required. Now we have to talk to all concerned to be more vigilant in cases like this.”
This is case against the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) air traffic control (ATC) system no different when the Lembah Pantai MP told foreign media in Indonesia two years ago about the Scorpene submarines where unable to dive. It was an explicit clear on manipulation of facts with the specific intention discredit the Armed Forces and Prime Minister, for acquiring military assets that failed to operate.
DCA is the authority on civil aviation. They issue all end-to-end licenses and maintain record and registration for any aircraft allowed to be airborne or any matters pertaining to machines that operate in the Malaysian airspace. They also own and control all civil aviation airborne movements system, which include all operations of air control towers anywhere within the Malaysia airspace.
There is no need of an independent audit on the incidence nor the system. DCA has all the necessary powers, procedures and competency to deal with such matters, in accordance with the standards and practice of international civil aviation regulatory body, international civil aviation organization (ICAO).
Much like the case on the Scorpene submarines, AAT has proven themselves in the radar business and technology. They have not had any near misses in the 18 years of their operations.
Notice how Nurul Izzah is focused on taking on AAT and on the same breadth, repeated the statement that AMP Corporation Sdn Bhd (AMCOP) also bid for the KLIA2 radar system. It was discussed earlier that AMCOP proposal wasn’t the lowest, didn’t include the integration with the main radar system backbone and there was some play involved, probably hanky-panky, in the evaluation for the said system.
It was learnt that the main player of AMCOP Dato’ Mustaffa Abdul Rahman is an associate of Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, when the latter was Finance Minister and calling the shots for all Federal Government contracts and awards. They have established the relationship a while back and now, the Princess of PKR ‘Politics of Hatred’ is taking up the fight for ‘an old Papa friend’.
Probably the investigations should be centered on how a former employee of AMCOP Tanapal Balakrishnan, who is someone very close to Mustaffa, was an integral part and played pivotal role in AECOM. AECOM is the consultant appointed by MAHB in the KLIA2 ATC program. That is also why it is not remotely peculiar that neither PKR nor Nurul Izzah take this point up in any of the charges against the KLIA2 ATC system award.
That is not at all peculiar when the points raised by Dato’ Abdul Hadi Mohd Khatab, who is acting on behalf of PKR Security Consultative Council to make a comment on the matter, was also highlighted by the Opposition friendly online media. Hadi was dishonourably discharged whilst serving as a Brigadier General for the RMAF in the 469th Armed Forces Council. He was stripped of his Brigadier General rank, prohibited from using the rank even after leaving service as a retired air force officer and his 1974 commission as an RMAF officer cancelled. These are due to his misconduct and ‘little enterprise’ whilst serving as the Head of RMAF Logistics Command. Officially, his dismissal is due to “Incompetency”.
How could someone of this reputation and track record be a reference to the said issue which was blown out of proportion by Nurul Izzah, with a clear and explicit extension of Opposition’s ‘Politics of Hatred’ strategy?
Then again, the Opposition especially PKR Crown Princess would never admit that the air traffic control system of the Malaysian airspace has a good impeccable back-up system incase the one operated by DCA completely failed. RMAF’s SENTRY system, based in TUDM Butterworth and Kuantan is competent enough to track simultaneous movements of all aircrafts in the Malaysian airspace.
This was demonstrated when RMAF invited new media practitioners for its open day in TUDM Kuantan over three weeks ago.
Please stop frightening the Malaysian public with their ‘ghost stories’ and wasting other people’s time with these games. In all their trumped up charges, all answers have been provided and time and again, they have been proven wrong in their own game and their own ‘weapon’ gets blown in their face. PKR should focus on putting themselves and their house back in order.
Cronyism, then and now, had always been about Anwar Ibrahim, his immediate family, close associates and specific groups of inner circle.
The Opposition leaders, particularly PKR, have to be responsible Yang Berhormat and take up real issues with facts and not manipulated or half truths, with only the intention of sordid cheap political circus stunts. After all, that is what being a Member of Dewan Rakyat in His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong’s Parliament is all about.