Kapal Karam

Over 100 Malaysians are amongst hundreds of passengers stranded at Terminal 4 Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila when Zest Air was grounded. The Philippines civil aviation authority suspended all Zest Air air operations.

18 August 2013| last updated at 02:19PM

Zest Air passengers grounded in Manila

By ROY GOH | news@nst.com.my
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SAFETY VIOLATIONS: Hundreds stranded at Ninoy Aquino airport after suspension of airline

MANILA:THE suspension of Zest Air, the Philippines’ unit of Malaysian brand carrier Air- Asia, left many passengers stranded at  Ninoy Aquino International Airport here yesterday.

Hundreds were seen lining up at its ticketing office outside Terminal 4 where the airline runs its nine domestic routes as well as two international destinations to Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu.

Zest Air also flies to Incheon in Korea and Shanghai and Jinjiang in China via Terminal 3. It has a fleet of 10 Airbus A320 and one A319.

Passenger Gabriel Manuel, who had booked a morning flight to Cebu in central Philippines, said he came early to the airport but was informed by security officials to go to the ticketing office.

“I am still waiting for answers. But from what I have heard and read in the newspapers, the airline has been suspended because of safety violations,” said the 38-year-old businessman.

Another stranded passenger Tim Lorenzo said airline staff had told them they would be booked into other flights, but had yet to get any confirmation or information from the carrier.

“I was asked to show my ticket and told to wait for their call.

“That’s it,” said the machine operator, who was also on his way to Cebu.

Zest Air ground employees were also unable to tell passengers when the next available flights had been scheduled but pointed out that stranded passengers would be given food vouchers and accommodation if necessary.

Other domestic destinations that the airline operated are Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Iloilo, Kalibo, Puerta Princesa, Tacloban and Tagbilaran.

The airline was grounded since Friday from 6.15pm after it received orders from the Philippines’ Civil Aviation Authority for various aviation safety violations.

Following the suspension, aircraft bound here were allowed to return but subsequently grounded.

It was estimated some 7,200 passengers, who were booked in 80 flights, would be affected by the suspension, including 1,429 in 14 flights on Friday night.

Meanwhile, in an immediate response, Zest Air director Joy Caneba said the airline’s priority was in providing those affected by the suspension with accommodation.

“Zest Air is also offering passengers the option of getting a full refund or being re-booked onto other airlines.” Additional reporting by Carisma Kapoor

Stranded passengers waiting for Zest Air officials to respond to their queries at the airline’s ticketing booth outside Terminal 4 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila yesterday.

Read more: Zest Air passengers grounded in Manila – General – New Straits Timeshttp://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/zest-air-passengers-grounded-in-manila-1.339664#ixzz2cJwqbPK6


The grounding of Zest Air air operations is actually very serious. According to Phillipine Star report on the story:

ZestAir’s non-conformance to PCAR and deficiencies affecting its flight operations included the absence of a qualified account manager, failure to check aircraft logs, flight manifests, weather, among others.

Canebo said that none of the airline’s 24 pilots are exceeding the flight time limit of 100 hours a month per pilot amid the findings of CAAP inspectors that the airline has been violating the flight time limit for pilots since January last year.

She added that Yao, president and chief executive officer of ZestAir since 2008, is acting as the airline’s account manager.

On the issue of the missing fuel cap, Canebo said the item is not in the minimum equipment list required under aviation regulations.


Safety issues isn’t something entirely foreign, with Air Asia. Malaysians know all too well a few of Air Asia’s runway mishaps, which inevitably disrupted other airlines’ operations too.

One of the few Air Asia runaway mishaps

This afternoon, Air Asia announced that “2 flights have been despatched to ‘rescue’ Zest Air Malaysia bound passengers”:

18 August 2013| last updated at 02:27PM

Air Asia despatches 2 flights to rescue Malaysia bound Zest Airways passengers

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MANILA (Philippines): Air Asia dispatched two flights to rescue over 100 stranded Malaysia bound passengers of troubled budget carrier Zest Airways here today.

Yesterday, the suspension of Zest Air, the Philippines’ unit of Malaysian brand carrier Air Asia, left many passengers stranded at  Ninoy Aquino International Airport here.

Hundreds were seen lining up at its ticketing office outside Terminal 4 where the airline runs its nine domestic routes as well as two international destinations to Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu.

Read more: Air Asia despatches 2 flights to rescue Malaysia bound Zest Airways passengers – Latest – New Straits Timeshttp://www.nst.com.my/latest/air-asia-despatches-2-flights-to-rescue-malaysia-bound-zest-airways-passengers-1.339824#ixzz2cJy8Lgno


The fact is that the decision to send Air Asia aircrafts and fly the Zest Air stranded Malaysia bound passengers from Ninoy Aquino Terminal 4 shouldn’t be viewed as ‘rescue’. Air Asia is mere completing its obligation as a partner of Zest Air.

It is expected of Air Asia to uphold its corporate responsibility as a partner in Zest Air, to ensure that the contractual obligation of ferrying passengers and goods to the scheduled destination is being fulfilled.

This is not the first time Air Asia “Being reprimanded for safety issues”. On 26 September 2012, Air Asia lost its Airline Operation Certificate and DCA had to issue a six month interim AOC because of obsolete and compliance of flight operations manual.

‘Airport Spring’: Fernandes’s morbid attempt for passengers ‘uprising’ against MAHB, which ad The Star carried in full page colour

What is interesting is that The Star, which has been the mouth piece and leading ‘cheer leader’ in Tony Fernandes’s usual trumped-up campaign for trampling others which include manipulation of half-truths, is unusually silent about reporting on the grounded air operations of Zest Air and affecting up to 7,200 stranded passengers.

It most apparent is when Air Asia passengers Izan Suhaila Mohd. Ali and her infant daughter Maryam Sophea were bumped off in Ho Chi Minh for suspicion of ‘chicken pox’ and Air Asia failed to assist them. Even on humanitarian grounds.

The Star only carried Bernama piece about Malaysia Airlines stepping up to assist and bring the two Malaysian passengers back home.

It is a demonstration of the both corporations attitude and practice of transparency. Then again, Fernandes sits on the BoD of both listed companies. The Star was very supportive in Fernandes’s campaign to get Air Asia passengers and consumers to revolt against Malaysia Airports in the November 2011 ‘Airport Spring’

Tony Fernandes and Idris Jala

This is also the man who shared the stage with PEMANDU CEO with ministerial status and former Malaysia Airlines CEO Idris Jala recently at PEMANDU Global Series Talk. Fernandes convincingly and arrogantly claim that;

“If somebody (in a company) screws up, we change them immediately,” he said.

“We got to have people that can adapt to change. Malaysians don’t like change,” he reiterated.


Fernandes said the country “needs to be honest with itself” and acknowledge constructive criticisms, especially on a global level.

“We should embrace change and we need to be honest with ourselves; and where are we in the global league in transparency and accountability,” he said.


It is glaringly obvious that Fernandes is not entirely honest about himself and how he does things. This include “Screwing up”. Probably he should get his act and his house in the right order first, before making another arrogant statement or call.

This include the failed acquisition of Batavia Air, failed joint venture with All Nippon Airways on Air Asia Japan and the delay in Air Asia Indonesia IPO. It is utter shame to self-proven otherwise now, wouldn’t it?

Published in: on August 18, 2013 at 20:30  Comments (15)  

Internal Security Information Breach

The murder of AMMB Founder Hussein Ahmad Najadi on 29 July 2013 in KL Golden Triang;e

Bloomberg Malaysia reported a story about the Royal Malaysian Police will start using the Prevention of Crime Act (POCA) 1959 to address the violent and serious crimes lately becoming more frequent. What is interesting about this report is that the reporter claimed to have sighted the internal Police memo on the subject matter.

Malaysia Plans Crackdown After Wave of Killings, Memo Shows

By Manirajan Ramasamy – Aug 18, 2013 12:00 AM GMT+0800

Malaysia will use a section of its Crime Prevention Act for the first time to hold suspects without filing charges in a crackdown on violence following a wave of killings, according to a copy of an internal police memo seen by Bloomberg News.

The police will use Section 105 of the act to detain suspects for as long as 24 hours without charging them, according to the memo. While it says the operation is likely to start tomorrow, it will probably begin sooner, according to a police spokesman yesterday, who asked that he not be named because he wasn’t authorized to comment.

The rise in violence is partly due to the abolition of the Emergency Ordinance in 2011, which led to 2,600 people being released from detention, the malaymailonline reported July 9, citing Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. Prime Minister Najib Razak repealed the law in a bid to boost civil liberties.

“Gangsterism” must be addressed, the memo reads. The first phase of the operation will start in the Klang Valley, which includes Malaysia’s capital of Kuala Lumpur. Inquiry officers have been appointed by the Attorney-General’s Chambers, the memo states.

The police action comes after Najib vowed to introduce legislation to tackle a surge in crime that included the July 29 slaying of AMMB Holdings Bhd. (AMM) founder Hussain Ahmad Najadi. The prime minister’s coalition was returned to power in May elections by its narrowest margin since independence from Britain in 1957. Najib promised during his campaign to make fighting crime and corruption a policy priority.

Crime Concern

Voters cited crime and social problems as their biggest concern after the economy, according to a survey of 1,018 people conducted in December by the Merdeka Center for Opinion Research.

Calls made to Hamidi’s mobile phone yesterday went unanswered.

A 26-year-old man in the town of Kapar was killed Aug. 15 by a gunman riding the back of a motorcycle, a shooting police suspect is related to a gang rivalry, the Star newspaper reported, citing North Klang deputy police chief superintendent Jani Ahmad. In Dungan, a restaurateur was shot to death outside his eatery Aug. 13 during what police said was an attempt to steal his Toyota Hilux, according to the New Straits Times, citing Terengganu Criminal Investigation Department Chief Assistant Commissioner K. Manoharan.

This month there have been three shootings in the northern city of Penang, including one man killed at point-blank range at a traffic light, according to an incidents list compiled by the Star newspaper and confirmed by police. An unemployed man was killed and a woman injured in Kelantan state. There was also a shooting at the Thai border, the list showed.

A primary school clerk was killed when a package he took from the top of a relative’s car exploded in Kelantan yesterday, the Star reported, citing local criminal investigations chief Lai Yong Heng.

To contact the reporter on this story: Manirajan Ramasamy in Kuala Lumpur atrmanirajan@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stanley James at sjames8@bloomberg.net


If this report is true, then it is a good news that the Police is taking stern and decisive action against rampant serious crimes including shootings of late. It is believed that these crimes are directly linked to the 2,600 Emergency Ordinance (EO) detainees released and the restriction of over 6,000 persons condemned for ‘restricted residence’ were lifted and free to move around, since both laws plus the dreaded Internal Security Act were repealed when Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak announced this through a special Malaysia Day eve gathering at Angkasapuri, the night The Mole went live.

Even the Home Minister Dato’ Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi admitted to this notion and has the statistics to prove the direct linkage of serious crimes including rampant shootings to former EO detainees and restricted residence persons.

In ‘due course’, home minister says of hushed EO stats disclosure



Biz Updates From PR Newswire

Datuk Zahid Hamidi speaking to reporters at the Persatuan Pengasih Malaysia's Aidilfitri celebration at Rumah Pengasih, Off Lebuhraya Mahameru, Bukit Tunku today. – Picture by Siow Feng Saw

Datuk Zahid Hamidi speaking to reporters at the Persatuan Pengasih Malaysia’s Aidilfitri celebration at Rumah Pengasih, Off Lebuhraya Mahameru, Bukit Tunku today. – Picture by Siow Feng Saw


Media captains need to be properly “briefed” by the home ministry and police before the government can allow any disclosure of classified crime data involving former Emergency Ordinance (EC) detainees, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today.

The home minister insisted he had the figures in hand but urged for continued patience before making them public, despite the heat from activists and opposition lawmakers who demand he show proof to link the recent spike in violent crimes to the release of inmates following the repeal of the archaic law.

“I am going to invite all the chief editors, news editors and senior journalists to be briefed by KDN [and] PDRM,” he said in a news conference here, referring to the home ministry and the Royal Malaysian Police by their respective Malay initials.

“Then we will show you the statistics,” he said, and added, “… they need to understand first, the journalists will be called, in due course.”

Ahmad Zahid had drawn flak for his swiftness in blaming the hike in increasingly violent crimes, especially those involving firearms, on former EO detainees, in his pitch to retain preventive security measures such as detentions-without-trial in the face of the Najib administration’s raft of legislative reforms.

Politicians from the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) opposition pact and human rights and crime watch activists have accused the minister of shooting from his hip without showing data to support his claims.

The recent wave of gun violence has caught Malaysians by surprise as Malaysia has strict gun control laws that allow people to own firearms only if they have a licence from the Inspector-General of Police.

Gun trafficking in Malaysia carries the death penalty or life imprisonment under section 7 of the Firearms Act 1971, while illegal possession stipulates a maximum 14-year jail term and a minimum six strokes of the rotan (cane).

Consorting with a criminal convicted of illegal gun possession also carries the same penalty under the Act.

On August 11, Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi alleged that 2,600 former EO detainees have since gone on to form gangs with at least 10 members each, resulting in what he estimated to be 266,000 criminals roaming the country’s streets.

“According to the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), from the 2,600 released, they have at least 10 right-hand men, meaning there are 26,000 with the society,” he was quoted as saying in Mingguan Malaysia.

“These right-hand men also have at least 10 of their own right-hand men, meaning there are 266,000 people,” Zahid said, roping in these followers as allegedly having contributed to the rise of index crime.

In Parliament last month, Zahid said he had statistics to show that former EO detainees were responsible for most of the country’s recent cases of violent crimes, but declined to provide the data when pressed.

– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/in-due-course-home-minister-says-of-hushed-eo-stats-disclosure#sthash.qdG79Kzp.dpuf


What is alarmingly not good is how a Bloomberg journalist has access to internal Police memo. Either it was recklessly made available for his sight or it was obtained through unlawful means.

Either way, the Police should investigate this report very seriously. This is a matter of breach of information security if not official secrets act. And this time, the breach is believed to be from the law enforcement agency which is supposed to be in charge of crime prevention and investigation, internal security and public order.

Bloomberg is an international wire giving a lot of global coverage on business and economic news. This report would simply compound to the effort in tarnishing Malaysia’s image to the international community. It is simply giving the picture that sensitive and highly confidential information are made available to foreign journos.

Published in: on August 18, 2013 at 01:45  Comments (9)