SeaDemon Says

Georgetown, Pulau Pinang

The title above sounds like the phrase “kong ka li kong” which in Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia describes as untrustworthyschemingconspiring in an evil plot.  It describes the DAP aptly.

I can imagine how majority of the voters in Penang must have felt in March 2008 when Pakatan Rakyat managed to wrestle Pulau Pinang from the clutches of BN’s Gerakan after almost 51 years.  It was a hopeful change for the better. Voters then probably thought that the Barisan Nasional did not really fit into their idea of progress and prosperity a clean and efficient government might have given.  They tried their luck thinking that it was worth a try to change.  The candidates from the Pakatan Rakyat, too, thought that it was worth a try although they did not envisage a victory.

When they did, they had no idea how to fulfill promises that had been made to the voters.  The most famous of all promises was that Kampung Buah Pala that had been in existence for decades, would remain standing.  This was the promise made by Anwar Ibrahim in the run up to the 12th General Elections.

In the video below you could see Anwar Ibrahim promising the residents of Kampung Buah Pala that he would speak to the Chief Minister-designate and within two weeks, officers from the Chief Minister-designate’s office would announce themselves that Kampung Buah Pala would be saved.

And the people of Kampung Buah Pala probably fell for it and helped vote Gerakan out on the 8th March 2008.  Less than three weeks later, the village that had stood for decades was bulldozed.

Tokong Lim Guan Eng claimed that he never knew Anwar had made a promise to the people of Kampung Buah Pala. After all, the Tokong does not know many things. He also admitted not knowing the actual market price of his swimming pool-less bungalow at Jalan Pinhorn.

Anwar could also claim that the person in the video above was not him – the person may look like him, but was not him.

However, a similar promise was made by a DAP candidate by the name of Sanisvara Nethaji Rayer s/o Rajaji Rayer.  Rayer promised that the village would remain a standing village should Professor Dr. P. Ramasamy (of DAP) remain in power. “As long as the Tiger of Bukit Gelugor (Karpal) represents us, I am sure no one can enter our territory,” he was quoted to have said.

Then, comes the gentrification of Pulau Pinang.  The poor, be they Chinese, Malay or Indians, are being systematically removed from their traditional dwelling in the name of progress and development.

The Tokong has also lied frequently to the people of Penang about its economic achievements.  It was riding on what was done previously by the Gerakan government during its first term, and could not show the same achievements under its own steam.

While his son has been charged in court for corrupt practices while holding the Chief Minister’s office, Emperor Lim Kit Siang is still asking for Najib Razak to resign over the 1MDB issue.

When is he going to ask his corrupt son to step down? Walk the talk, old fart!  Even your party’s publicist had said that the Tokong must step down if charged in court.

However, it is typical of DAP to NOT walk the talk.

Hopefully the voters of Penang and in other states have wised up.  DAP under the Emperor and Tokong has done more than what you have accused the BN of doing in just under two terms. If you realy hate BN but want people with integrity, you should really kick the Lims out, as well as perpetual liars like Tony Pua.  They are not indispensable.  And they are NOT as popular in DAP as Teresa Kok paints them to be.

Think carefully! Save your island before it sinks.

Long before most netizens and majority of the current workforce were born, DAP’s Emperor Lim Kit Siang complained on 1st September 1977 about the lack of public transport and increase in fares by now-defunct well-known bus company, Sri Jaya.  Four days later, he called for the resignation of both Ganie Gilong of Sabah who was the Transport Minister, and Dr Goh Cheng Teik who was the Deputy Transport Minister to resign.

Political and monetary instabilities as a result of the international monetary crises in the early 1970s and the oil crisis in late 1973 contributed to the worldwide recession, stagflation and very slow recovery.  Consumer Price Index (1967 = 100) jumped by 10.5 percent in 1973 and 17.4 percent the following year. In 1977 it was down to 4.7 percent, the lowest since 1973, and the CPI figure never went down further until 1984.

Money, Income and Prices of Malaysia (1966-89) from the book The Monetary and Banking Development of Singapore and Malaysia by Sheng-Yi Lee

It was a time when Malaysians could hardly afford anything. In order to assist the rakyat, Tun Abdul Razak set up the Restoran Rakyat in August 1973. It was where a nasi lemak breakfast would cost only 20 sen and a simple lunch of rice, fish curry and vegetables would cost only 80 sen.  Of course, 20 sen those days is like RM2.00 of today but any balanced meal today that costs less than RM10.00 per plate is greatly welcomed.

The Restoran Rakyat, near today’s Dataran Merdeka – Tun Razak’s way of helping the rakyat in KL to overcome inflation (courtesy of harithsidek.blogspot.com)

Also introduced by Tun Razak was the BMW – Bas Mini Wilayah, in September 1975.  The fare to any destination was 40 sen then and was only increased to 50 sen in 1991 and 60 sen two years later.  The BMW services were discontinued in July 1998 when it was replaced by Intrakota and subsequently RapidKL in 2005.

The notorious BMW – BERNAMA Images/Paul Tan

Today, as a result of a great foresight by the current government, land public transport and infrastructure have improved in leaps and bounds.  According to a research report published on the 4th April 2017 by the Financial Times, Malaysia’s transport users get the best deals in ASEAN.

Graphs comparing Malaysia and the rest of the ASEAN-5 in terms of spending on transport as well as the WEF’s ranking for the ASEAN-5 transportation infrastructure (Financial Times)

The graph shows that Malaysian commuters spend about USD12 per day on commuting as opposed to Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines where commuting could cost up to USD20 per day, the only exception being Thailand where it could get to USD15 per day.

Malaysia is also ranked in the Top 20 from 138 nations in terms of transportation infrastructure, according to the World Economic Forum.

Malaysian spending on transportation rose to 0.7 percent of the GDP in 2016 compared to 2015, and the Financial Times research report attributes this to Prime Minister Najib Razak who continues to make infrastructure a key priority.

While the completion of the MRT SBK (Sungai Buloh-Kajang) Line 1 targetted for July 2017 and the construction of the MRT SSP (Sungai Buloh-Putrajaya) Line 2 and LRT 3 now taking place, urban and suburban dwellers in the Klang Valley can expect a much economical and more integrated mode of getting around, while feeder services such as the ETS, KTM Komuter, and the soon-to-be-expected HSR and double-tracking projects will allow growth in other areas and allow for cross-country commuting to and from work.

Projects like the ECRL and the Pan-Borneo highway will provide for the growth and availability of jobs not only in the urban areas but also in greenfields as well as pockets of rural towns where meaningful economic activities have thus far eluded.

With a projected population of 32.5 million by 2030, elaborate and efficient land public transport systems must be in place to ensure efficient mobility within and between spatial conurbations across Malaysia while the introduced National Land Public Transport Master Plan (NLPTMP) will ensure continual improvements and additions are made to the land public transport systems.

Malaysians should be thankful that plans have been made to improve transportation infrastructure instead of constantly complaining.

What everyone fears most is for the Malays to unite.  I wrote this a few months back.  All the lawmakers know that the RUU355 amendments have no impact whatsoever to the non-Muslims, and even if all the Muslims MPs from both PAS and UMNO were to vote for the amendments, they will never attain the 2/3rd majority required to pass the bill for it to go to the next stage.

Which is why the Malays in the DAP, PAN, PKR and Pribumi are the tools for the DAP leadership to use, as in the words of Superman Hew, “to screw the Malays using the Malays.”

Objections are raised using mainly the Malay tools.  The screen-capture of a Twitter conversation between a BERNAMA journalist and a PAN MP is the evidence to that.

In the run up to its tabling, the RUU355 has met with lots of resistance.  I don’t believe that the lawmakers don’t know that it is the right of each religious group to manage and administer its own affairs.  I also don’t believe that the lawmakers do not know that Islam is the religion of the Federation.

But the resistance towards it is mainly to avoid the provision of an opportunity for Muslims and Malays to unite just before the next general elections.  They oppose just for the sake of opposing.

And then in comes the individuals who do not see or understand that in Islam, protecting the rights of a community supercedes the rights to protect an individual’s rights, nor understand the separation of jurisdiction between the civil law and Syariah law.

This dual system of law first existed in the Malay states in Perak in 1807 with the introduction of the Royal Charter of Justice of 1807 in Pulau Pinang.  Prior to that, laws based on the Syariah has been the lex loci of this land.

Islam first came to this land in the ninth century A.D and flourished in the 13th century, 200 years before the kingdom of Melaka was founded. The first evidence of a coded Syariah law was from the Terengganu’s Batu Bersurat, written in 1303, a full century before Melaka.

The kingdom of Melaka produced two major legal digests, which formed the main source of written law in Melaka – the Hukum Kanun Melaka , and the Undang-Undang Laut Melaka .  The Hukum Kanun consists of 44 chapters, which touched upon matters such as the duties and responsibilities of the Ruler, prohibitions amongst members of society and penalties for civil and criminal wrongs and family law.  The Undang-Undang Laut consists of 25 chapters, which covered maritime matters, such as the duties and responsibilities of ships’ crew, laws pertaining to voyages and trade.  The law contained in the above written codes are said to be based on Islamic law of the Shafie School, together with elements of local custom.

Melaka’s written codes were responsible for the growth of other written codes in other states of the Peninsula: Pahang Legal Digest 1595, the laws of Kedah 1605, the Laws of Johore 1789, and the 99 Laws of Perak, 1878.

Therefore, the question of the Syariah creeping into the lives of the Muslims of the land does not hold true.  The reverse however is.  The RUU355 is not about amending the offences but merely seeking the agreement to enhance the punishments to be meted out for the offences.  And as explained in previous writings as per clickable links above, the Federal Constitution is the supreme law of the land and therefore offences already covered in the Penal Code as well as in other civil laws made canoot be tried under the Syariah laws of Malaysia.

Furthermore, the separation of jurisdiction of the legal systems provided by the Constitution also ensures that the rights of non-Muslims are protected – only Muslims can be subjected to the Syariah law.

On the question of the Muslims being subjected to dual laws, this is not a problem. If a Muslim commits theft, he will not get his hand amputated in Malaysia.  Theft is an offence under the Penal Code and therefore the Muslim offender gets punished according to what is provided for by the Penal Code.  The punishments that the Syariah court can mete out cannot go beyond the Second List of the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia.

DAP Emperor Lim Kit Siang was against the introduction of Section 298A of the Penal Code of Malaysia.  In a Parliament debate on the 9th December 1982 on the Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) Bill 1982 he said the following:

I quote:

I was aware that the new Section 298A of the Penal Code has also been drafted in order to punish the non-Muslim partner in a khalwat offence until I read a Bernama write-up on the amendment the other day. The Bernama report exulted that now both the Muslim and non-Muslim parties to a khalwat offence would be punishable, the non-Muslim under the Penal Code amendment.

A Muslim found guilty of khalwat is usually fined $200 or $250 under the Muslim enactments of the various States. I have caused a check of the penalties for khalwat, offences in the various states, which vary from State to State but they all range from the lightest penalty of $100 or one month’s jail in Kelantan to the heaviest penalty of $1,000 or six months’ jail, as is to be found in Johore. However, the non-Muslim partner charged under the Penal Code Section 298A for khalwat activity which causes or attempts to cause or is likely to cause disharmony, disunity on feelings of ill-will would be exposed to an offence which is punishable with three years’ jail, or fine, or both.

This is most objectionable and unjust where for the same act, different persons are charged under different laws where one of them imposes much heavier penalties. Or is the Muslim partner in a khalwat charge going to be charged under the Penal Code in the Criminal courts? I am sure that the Shariah Courts in the various States would vehemently oppose this as a serious erosion of the jurisdiction and powers of the Shariah Courts.

So, in 1982 Lim Kit Siang opposed the introduction of Section 298A because a similar offence tried under the Syariah law would only provide for a much lesser sentence.  Why is he complaining now about Hadi wanting to introduce higher punishments for the same?  Wouldn’t it be fair for the non-Muslims?

He added:

As the purpose of the 2M government is to uphold the sanctity of Islam, defend true Islamic values and Muslim unity in the country so as to be able to deal with the problems of kafir mengafir, two imam issue, separate prayers and burials, in the Muslim community, the government should confine its legislative efforts to the Muslims only, and not draft a Bill with such far-reaching consequences in allowing for State interference in the practice, profession and propagation of non-Muslim faiths.

35 years later, he backtracks on the need for Muslims to make better its laws for the Muslims only. Which is why I say Lim Kit Siang is opposing for the sake of opposing so that the Muslims do not rally behind this bill months before the general election is due.

Even PKR’s Wong Chen acknowledged back on 29th Aril 2013, six days before the 13th General Elections that in order to gain support from the Malays, PAS, which was a partner in the Pakatan Rakyat coalition, needed to play up the Hudhd issue and had the full support from the parties in the Pakatan Harapan.

Hannah Yeoh, who is the Speaker of the Selangor State Assembly even allowed the Hudud motion to be brought into the assembly.  So why oppose the same motion when it is brought into Parliament? Why the double standard?

And why must Lim Guan Eng ask the BN components such as MCA, MIC and others to bear responsibility for the tabling of the RUU355?  Why don’t he ask his party’s Anthony Loke and Hannah Yeoh instead? They both supported Hudud and the tabling of Hudud in the Selangor State Assembly (as in the case of Hannah Yeoh).

Anthony Loke even went to town with his support for Hudud telling his Chinese audience not to be aafraid of Hudud:

Yet, the RUU355 is not even about Hudud. So, what is unconstitutional about the RUU355?

Only the objections by the vapid non-Muslims against the RUU355 is unconstitutional, as it is a right given to all religious groups, not just the Muslims, to manage its own affairs.  I don’t have to agree with the amendments proposed by the RUU355, but it is my religion and therefore it should be left to the Muslims to manage its own affairs – as guaranteed by the Federal Constitution.

And as for the atheists, just stay off my social media accounts. You don’t have the locus standi to participate in this debate.

Imagine not long after QZ8501 went down an airline advertisement reads:

“Our planes land at airports, not at sea.”

Or,

“Our planes may be older but they are safer.”

But the above never happened. Imagine if it was another airline that had gone down. Guess who would be quick to make fun of the situation?

It happened when Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing in the Southern Indian Ocean. The Air Asia in-flight magazine came up with an extremely distasteful article:


But of course, Air Asia is the fun airline. Everything is about having fun and making fun.

Its latest victim is Malindo Air – after Malay Mail Online reported that cabin crew candidates were asked to strip.

Malindo Air has since denied the allegation.

According to a statement carried by The Star, the airline said each applicant was briefed for her consent on the process before the checks were carried out.

“Grooming checks for visible marks are conducted privately by female supervisors in a professional manner and is part of the interview process,” it said.

“Herein candidates are briefed ahead and consent from each candidate is required prior to proceeding to ensure that no prominent marks will be visible while wearing the uniform,” it said.

How different are the uniforms?

Cabin crew uniforms: Malaysia Airlines, Air Asia and Malindo Air

Malindo Air cabin crew wear a finer white kebaya top. If you have ugly scars or tattoos, they would show up easier than if you are wearing the uniforms of Malaysia Airlines and Air Asia.

As expected, Air Asia was quick to take a CHEAP shot at Malindo Air’s unfortunate episode:


It may all seem funny to Air Asia and ridiculous to many, but how does Malindo Air’s policy on body marks fare compared to other airlines?

Ryanair’s cabin crew

RYANAIR

Perhaps like Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Air Asia, tattoos that can be covered by the uniform are acceptable. No visible tattoos are allowed.

Emirates’s cabin crew

EMIRATES

Emirates has a similar policy. Tattoos that are visible while wearing their uniform are not allowed. The tattoos cannot be covered by cosmetics or bandages.

Etihad Airways’s cabin crew

ETIHAD

Etihad Airways has the same policy as Emirates’s. You cannot have tattoos that are visible while wearing their uniform and no covering using cosmetics or bandages are allowed.

Qatar Airways’s cabin crew

QATAR

If you look at the uniform you would think that Qatar Airways has the same policy as the ones adopted by the airlines mentioned above.

WRONG!

Qatar Airways does not allow tattoos no matter where they are located – PERIOD. The airline did not hesitate to make redundant senior employees when the policy was introduced.

How do you think did the interviewers find out about where their tattoos are? By stuffing remote cameras inside the candidates’ clothes?

Generally, any airline policy would say that cabin crew cannot have visible distinctive marks, be they scars, birthmarks or tattoos.

Normally a candidate is required to declare if she has any of such mark on her body and where are they exactly positioned.

If the candidate refuses to declare such marks, it would eventually be found out during the physical or medical examination stage. If they find a mark that you have not declared, you will be asked to go home.

Even if you get employed and decide to have a tattoo, your airline medical examination will uncover this and your employment contract will be ceased immediately.

Singapore Airlines is strict on tattoos as well. Although more liberal than Malaysia is, visible tattoos, scars and marks are not allowed to be on any of its cabin crew.

This is firstly because of the branding of Singapore’s icon. Whoever had read the book “Branding Strategy: The Singapore Airlines Story” would know what I mean. Branding in Singapore Airlines lingo means uniformity – Asian hair (no blonde Asians), Asian features, similar makeup, nails and service attitude. You cannot even talk on your mobile phone while walking in the Singapore Girl uniform.

Secondly, the branding of Singapore Airlines, or of any airline for that matter, is about superficiality. Being in an airliner is like being in a five-star hotel. Everyone wants to be served by a pleasant and well-groomed waiter/waitress, or in this case, stewards and stewardesses.

So it is not as easy as Air Asia’s claim of zipping up and you can become a cabin crew no matter if you have pock marks or pus-filled acne on your face.

Malindo Air’s cabin crew, like the ones Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines have carry that image of elegance. You know you are not on board an Air Asia flight when on board any of the other three airlines mentioned.

In short, although it offers inexpensive fares, Malindo Air maintains its brand and class. It certainly does not feel like a no-frills airline.

If you look up the definition of no-frills you will see that it means, among others, providing only the basic necessary of service – in another word: CHEAP.

A few months back I criticised a Malay TV drama about how a rape victim marries the rapist and implying that it is alright and love between the victim and the rapist would eventually grow.  That is the kind of TV programme that is being forced down the throat of the people nowadays.

No wonder I see dumb people walking everywhere, students barely out of their teens dumping babies.

Then I saw the following:

Shabudin Yahya, the Member of Parliament for Tasek Gelugor was objecting to an amendment to the Child Sexual Offences Bill which was being proposed by DAP’s Teo Nie Cheng who wanted the bill to also include the invalidity of child marriages.

The former Syariah Court judge said that girls between the ages of nine and twelve are physically and spiritually ready for marriage.

He explained further that it is not fair to assume that a rapist would continue being a bad person.

Maybe he repents, or regrets.  Marriage can be an exit clause for this problem. A wife who was raped , if she can marry the rapist she would not go through a bleak future. At least she has someone who can become her husband. This will be a remedy for social problems.”

Both my Facebook and Twitter timelines exploded with people in rage over the MP’s comment and invited a tweet from a liberal.

Then came this person trying to defend the indefensible:

For the benefit of all including the MP and his supporters, the government was being responsible by proposing a bill to protect minors from sexual predators.  Many do not understand that although the consensual age for sex in Malaysia is 16 by birth date and above, those below 18 are legally minors!  The MP’s statement is tantamount to inviting predators to have consensual sex with minors and then “repent” and marry their victim(s).  One cannot get anymore disgusting than that.

If the rapist is irresponsible enough to rape a minor, how can he/she be a responsible husband/wife?

It does not matter if the MP was a Syariah Court judge. He should know that he was in Parliament and every word would be scrutinised.  In times when people doubt the dual-legal system that has been around since the birth of Malaysia, comments from Shabudin certainly adds fuel to the fire of fear against Islam.

Fellow MP and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan expressed his disappointment in a statement posted on his social media accounts:

Rape is rape.  There is no beauty that comes out of rape.  Therefore, Shabudin should apologise in Parliament and in a press conference without making any attempt to defend his stupidity and beg for the Speaker of the House to strike his statement off the Hansard.

I cannot for my life believe that people are still capable of making stupid statements right under the public’s nose.

Condensation forms over the leading edges of an RMAF F/A-18D Hornet as it makes a high-speed maneuver

The 14th edition of the biennial Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace exhibition ended last week leaving many in awe of the performances and displays in both the aerospace and maritime segments.  Kudos to the EN Projects Sdn Bhd as the main organiser and also to the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Transport as well as the supporting government agencies.

The 14th edition of LIMA saw an increase in the number of exhibitors compared to LIMA ’15.  555 exhibitors participated this time compared to 512 in 2015. While 39, 689 trade visitors visited LIMA ’15, 40,280 trade visitors were at LIMA ’17, surpassing the target of 40,000 trade visitors. 139,478 public visitors were at LIMA ’15.  The target for this edition was 140,000 public visitors. Surprisingly, 236,689 public visitors visited this year’s LIMA – 104,557 visitors on the first open day, and 132,132 on the final day making a total of 276,969 visitors to LIMA ’17.

It must have been a boon to the Langkawi economy to have that increase in the number of visitors over five days and definitely helpful to the small traders especially in the Padang Matsirat, Pantai Cenang, Pantai Tengah, Kedawang, and Kuah areas.

A special commendation should be given to the Chief of the Royal Malaysian Air Force and Chief of the Royal Malaysian Navy for lending their support in driving the industries as well as foreign armed forces’ participation in all the activities during LIMA 17.

QUALITY OF EXHIBITORS

His Royal Highness The Sultan of Selangor visiting one of the exhibition booths

From my personal observation, since the 13th edition of LIMA there has been an inreasing number of unrelated government agencies and companies exhibiting at the Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre such as the Langkawi Development Authority (LADA), the Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) and a Private Limited printing company!

Unless there is a masterplan to annouce Langkawi as an aviation and maritime hub, I do not see the relevancy in having LADA at the aviation exhibition hall.  MARA would be relevant if it provides assistances for students to study maritime or aeronautical-related studies or for local small and medium enterpreneurs to participate in the local maritime and aviation industry which is rather limited.

What did not happen was for local universities to showcase their research projects in order to secure fundings from local and foreign aviation and maritime giants.  LIMA would be a perfect platform for local universities to showcase their research in both the industries.

Local shipbuilders, other than the local giants in the defence sector, were largely missing from the exhibition.  Local shipbuilders are mainly into constructing oil and gas and transportation of cargo, crude and gas products should have showcased their capabilities at LIMA.  This is where the Ministry of Transport could help in getting the participation of more civilian-transport applications providers to exhibit at LIMA.

Kudos should also be given to both the Minister of Defence as well as the Minister for Youth and Sports in driving the National Transformation 2050 (TN50) programmes for the youth at LIMA.  LIMA should also be about providing avenues for the youth to participate in the aviation and maritime industries.

Datuk Seri Hishammuddin and YB Khairy Jamaluddin at the Defence Dialogue and Press Conference TN50 during LIMA ’17

LESSONS FROM THE OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY

The Malaysian Oil and Gas industry has its biennial Asian Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Engineering (OGA) Exhibition and is into its 16th edition this year.  Unlike LIMA, OGA is fully industry-driven.  The event is supported by the British-Malaysian Chamber of Commerce, Malaysian Gas Association, Malaysian Offshore Contractors Association, Malaysia Petroleum Resources Corporation, Offshore Support Vessels Owners Association and the Malaysia Oil and Gas Services Council.

LIMA is co-organised by EN Projects Sdn Bhd and the Ministry of Defence, supported by five ministries, the Malaysian Armed Forces, Royal Malaysian Police, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, Fire and Rescue Services Department, and the Royal Malaysian Customs.  I am surprised that none of the industry councils and associations play the supporting role instead of just collaborating role.

We have so many defence and security contractors yet they all have to rely on the ministries and agencies above to put together an event for them to participate.  Why does the government have to do the hard selling on their behalf?  Isn’t it time, after 14 editions, for the industry players themselves to come together and become the co-organisers or event supporters?

Lined up at sea off Tanjung Malai were military vessels or vessels chartered by the military. I did not see a single vessel from the Malaysia Shipowners’ Association, or civilian and military boatbuilders showcasing their products at sea.

LIMA could be bigger than just a military/security party.  Airlines did not send their aircraft this time around.  At LIMA ’15 there was an Airbus A320-200 belonging to Air Asia.  This was absent at LIMA ’17.  Imagine a daily flypast of aircraft – perhaps an arrowhead formation with an Airbus A380 followed by an Airbus A330 and A320 flanked  by Boeing 737-800s and Boeing 737-900s, followed by a smaller diamond four formation of ATR-72s.

The above will never happen unless industry players take the lead in supporting LIMA.

OPPORTUNITIES

For the Royal Malaysian Air Force, opportunities to replace the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29N comes in the form of the Dassault Rafale.  LIMA ’17 saw Dassault Aviation pulling no punches when promoting the Rafale for Malaysia.  LIMA ’17 was followed by a visit by French President Francoise Hollande who also put the sale of the Dassault Rafale to Malaysia on the agenda.  Although Malaysia had said that it was not time to purchase the Rafale, it is important to note that the F/A-18D Hornets will be 30 years old in 10 years while the Sukhoi Su-30MKM will be in its 20th year of service in the RMAF.

The other interesting Euro-Canard contender is the Saab JAS-39 Gripen.  The Royal Thai Air Force’s Gripen participated in the aerobatic display in the first four days.  Touted as a more affordable but equally potent as the Dassault Rafale, the Gripen’s cost would prove to be an attractive candidate to replace the MiG-29N.

At LIMA ’15, Saab had offered the Malaysian government a lease deal for 16 JAS-39C/D Gripens.

However, the tragedy involving a RTAF JAS-39 Gripen that killed its pilot earlier this year still plays in everyone’s mind.  The Gripen was performing in Hatyai for the Thai Children’s Day.  Footage of the accident shows the Gripen starting a slow aileron roll; once inverted, the aircraft fails to complete the maneuver, stops rolling and takes a nosedive crashing near the airfield’s runway.

There has been ten accidents involving the Gripen with nine hull losses and one fatality.  At least two of the accidents have been attributed to Flight Control Software issues.  The incident in Hatyai is still being investigated.

Of course there is also the option to upgrade the surviving 16 MiG-29Ns as a stop-gap mesure. At LIMA ’15, Malaysia’s Aerospace Technology Systems Corporation offered upgrades that would only be a fraction of the cost of purchasing new MRCAs.

The upgraded aircraft will be called the MiG-29NM and will include a Zhuk-ME FGM-229 slotted phased-array fire control radar that will provide an air-to-ground capability not available on the baseline aircraft, which are optimized for the air defense role.

The avionics system incorporates a night vision goggle-compatible glass cockpit, with two color multifunction displays and hands-on-throttle-and-stick (HOTAS) functionality.

Weapons systems and pylons will be upgraded, making the MiG-29NM capable of carrying the full range of air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons available to Malaysia’s Su-30s.

The Klimov RD-33 Series 3 engines of the MiG-29N will remain, but a conformal fuel tank added to the spine of the aircraft, together with an extra ventral tank, will increase operational range by 30 percent.

Malaysia, however, had declined this offer deemed expensive.

It would be interesting to note that other than the Indian Air Force, the Myanmar Air Force had also recently upgraded its MiG-29s at RAC MiG facilities near Moscow.  This upgrade, said to be cheaper than what was initially offered to Malaysia, is now being offered to both Malaysia and Bangladesh which operates eight MiG-29B and is also seeking upgrades.

It would be interesting to see what the government’s decision on the MiG-29Ns would be.

Opportunities such as this is what local companies should get involved with. The aerospace industry that had taken off with the introduction of LIMA still remains status quo.  Indonesia has gone on commercial production with its aircraft lines while we are stil struggling to even produce components that would be accepted internationally.

MOVING FORWARD

LIMA is here to stay.  Other than the Singapore Air Show, this is one that is looked at in this region.  While the Singapore Air Show is huge, LIMA is just of the right size for mission-specific companies to participate in.  It is just unfortunate that the industry is not helping out to drive the show instead of relying on the government’s goodwill.

Hopefully EN Projects Sdn Bhd together with the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Transport would flog the industry players to play a much bigger role in helping to drive LIMA into the exhibition every global industry player would look forward to.

 

Those who believed Lim Guan Eng’s lies back in March 2008 are among those who believed the promise that the Tokong would be able to solve the 40-year flood woes in just eight months.

A hundred and eight months later there seems to be no end in sight to the recurring floods in Penang.


In the latest episode, torrential rain that occurred just before sunset yesterday saw Jalan Kampung Relau, Bayan Baru, Farlim, Jalan Paya Terubong, Sungai Dua, Jalan Masjid Negeri and Jalan P Ramlee inundated by flood waters for the second time in one week.

Perhaps, this is the reason Tokong doesn’t need a swimming pool in his bungalow. Flood waters would give him an instant one. After all, how many times do you jump into a swimming pool in a year if you have one?


The Tokong is notorious for not fulfilling promises made.

Yesterday the Minister of Works Datuk Fadillah Yusof asked Tokong for an update of the studies that are being done to support Penang’s request for a third bridge.

Fadillah said that Tokong had submitted the request to the ministry in May last year and that three months later, the Penang Chief Minister acknowledged that the RM305 million studies for the project had not been completed.

Tokong then told the Ministry that the studies would be submitted either at the end of 2016 or early 2017.

“As it was the end of the first quarter and past the deadline stated by Lim, it is well within our right to ask for an update,” Fadillah said in a statement yesterday.

Tokong revealed that the feasibility studies for the undersea tunnel were now “stuck” at 87% completion because the state had not received the master plan for the 650ha reclamation around the Butterworth Outer Ring Road.

What surprised me is that although no approval has been given by Tokong’s government since the master plan has yet to be completed, reclamation works off Gurney Drive is already in full swing.


“This master reclamation plan has yet to be completed despite the project being awarded in 1999 and despite DAP running the state for nine years. We are aware that large-scale reclamation has started on the island and has progressed at a good pace since a year ago,” Fadillah explained.

Does this mean that the Tokong is accustomed to doing things without following procedures which have been there to curb abuses?

Perhaps this practice has become a norm now in Penang, which is why Emperor Lim Kit Siang is seeking to contest in Penang should his son’s imminent jail term commence.

Penang is a money pot and the dictatorship of both Tokong and the Emperor ensures that no dissenters are allowed.


I would be surprised if the corrupted Tokong and his dictatorial father will continue to have a hold on Penang.

Then again, there will always be the April’s Fools.

Taqweem al-SeaDemon

April 2017
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