Tuesday, October 30, 2012

KKIA Blackout: Not Much Will Change

A Kadir Jasin

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I HAVE to say this to the Sabah Deputy Chief Minister, Yee Moh Chai, BRAVO. And I will foolishly join him in calling for heads to roll over the recent two-day runway blackout at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA).

BRAVO from me is all that he is likely to get for his gallant effort. And I am foolish to join him in the call because in Malaysia, heads do not roll. More so now that the airport operations are back to normal.

It appears that heads of ministers, board chairmen, Chief Secretary to the Government, secretaries general and department heads are so securely attached to their necks and shoulders that they could not be easily chopped off.

Ministers, board chairmen, Chief Secretary to the Government, secretaries general, department heads, managing directors and chief executive officers are seldom held responsible and punished. They will always have somebody or something to blame.

So, in the case of the KKIA runway blackout or, in the terminology of Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad, “not up to the required brightness” I dare say that no heads, big or small, will roll.

Already the MAHB had squarely blamed the fiasco on faulty transformers to leaking cables.

It Had Happened Before

Remember the blame game when the radar station at the old Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Subang caught fire in 1994 and two other fires in the two years before that?

Then Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Lim Kit Siang, had called for an emergency sitting of Parliament to debate the radar station fire and whether then Transport Minister, (Tun) Ling Liong Sik and then Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) Director-General, Zaludin Sulong, should be removed.

Ling had gone and the much of DCA’s airport roles had been taken over by MAHB. But has anything changed?

If the Subang Airport fires were old stories, what about last month’s hour-long radar failure at the KLIA in Sepang due to electricity supply problem?

And what about the more recent multi-billion ringgit losses at the enlarged Sime Darby Berhad?

Yes, several top executives were charged in court and found guilty of corruption and criminal breach of trust. But did anybody at the board level take responsibility? The answer is no.

Top civil servants, corporate executives and board members protect each other. Despite the former Prime Minister, (Tun) Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s best efforts to change the attitude of civil servants during his 22-year rule, little has changed.

Soon after the 1994 Subang Airport fire, Dr Mahathir lamented that government officers had a long way to go in shedding their bureaucratic mindset and that although the Look-East Policy was implemented 10 years ago, people do not change so easily, adding that incompetence of airport officials led to the radar breakdown despite two earlier incidents.

If anything, the improvements seemed to have peaked and the quality of public services is on the decline. Look at the ficus (jejawi) trees hanging from buildings and flyovers in Kuala Lumpur and other so-called cities in the country.

The last mayor of Kuala Lumpur that evokes any kind of positive memory was (Tan Sri) Elyas Omar. Even he was prodded by Dr Mahathir, who made a habit of driving himself around the City every weekend and passing on feedbacks to Elyas and other officials.

Today, we have many more cities and many more mayors, but we hardly remember any of them because they are just glorified “pentadbir” (administrator) without any kind of leadership or vision.

Look at how dirty and unkempt Kuala Lumpur is these days! Alor Star, Ipoh and Penang (all cities) are no better.

Even Putrajaya, apart from the continuous multi-million upgrades of Sri Perdana and Sri Satria, the Prime Minister’s and Deputy Prime Minister’s official residence respectively, the administrative centre has started to fall into a state of disrepair.

Promises Made But Many Undelivered

While I thank the new Putrajaya Corporation Berhad’s new President (Tan Sri) Aseh Che Mat for his assurance that conditions and security at Putrajaya’s numerous recreational parks would be improved, I take the promise with a pinch of salt. Civil servants and their political masters are superb at making “janji” (promises). Fulfilling them is a different matter.

The Auditor-General’s 2011 Report had complained about the less-than-satisfactory security and upkeep of the parks.

In short, Sabah Deputy Chief Miniser Yee is naïve if he seriously believes that heads will roll just because he called for it and the KKIA had seen the last of its runway blackout.

The government is not keen to punish civil servants and heads of corporations because they are powerful, more so in the run-up to the general election. Instead they are being rewarded with bonuses and better service terms.

Since (Tun) Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s solitary “raid” on the Immigration Department in the early days of his rule in 2003, we have not heard of ministers making surprised checks on government departments and district offices. Wallahualam.


Charles F. Moreira said...

" what about last month’s hour-long radar failure at the KLIA in Sepang due to electricity supply problem?"

Don't these places have standby generator sets?

Way back in 1970, my late uncle, then acting Director General of Civil Aviation took me, my father and cousin to see the VOR (VHF omnidirectional range) beacon station in Batu Arang.

While we were there, there was a power failure and the standby generator started up automatically and ran for about 20 minutes till the LLN power supply was restored.

I'm sorry to say we have a very poor maintenance culture in Malaysia, which has got worse over the years.

Just look at the many lamp post along the roads with service panels missing and exposing wires and contacts which are a danger to the general public.

It's obvious that whoever maintains them are lazy to unlock and lock back these panels, so doe it the easy way by leaving them open or discrading the panel.

As Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi rightly said, Malaysia has a first world infrastructure but a third world mentality.

How do we change that? Can we change that?

fatimah said...

Yes this is so true. Sadly this is a malaysian malady. Kajang for example has seen it all - BN, DAP, PAS, PKR, but still in a sorry state of affairs all the time.Still the stupid vases along the road, but mind you if you look carefully, the vases changes with change of seat of power. But they are all out of place and equally stupid. Last weekend i came across a large gaping hole near the market, fortunately stuffed with a mattress- a 21st century solution.

Avatar said...

Dear Datuk A. Kadir Jasin,

Hi! Wanted to send an email to you but couldn't find it anywhere.

Sorry to trouble you but I just bought a copy of Malaysian Business which featured the Largest Listed Companies in 2011/2012 in Malaysia. I'm planning to do some research on corporate Malaysia and found this information very useful. I also would like to inquire about the Highest Paid Director survey.

However, I was wondering when did Malaysia Business started these surveys? If possible:

1. Do you have back copies of the Magazines that I could purchase which included this surveys (e.g. Oct 2011, Oct 2010..../ Aug 2011, Aug 2010)

2. Failing that, is there a compilation (whether hard copy or soft copy), I could purchase?

3. Or do you have a library that I could use to photocopy out extracts of this survey during the past years?

I tried emailing directly to the one of the reporters at Malaysian Business on the article(s) but there is no response from them so far. Datuk, I would really appreciate if you could direct me as to who to inquire on this matter.

Kind regards

Roseli said...

MAHB is a major disappointment.Look at the state of KLIA and compare it during it early years of operation you will noticed the deterioration and how low the standard set by MAHB for its upkeeping.Noticed the dingy car park - dimly lighted as well as exposed wiring duct as you climb its ramp.I'm quite certain Tan Sri Bashir never used the car park as otherwise he would have noticed how mediocre his people's mentality is. In addition there are stupid barriers at certain level cark park for what I don't know - symtomatic of Malaysians love for renovation.The car park entrance and exit are also poorly aligned for entry and exit not to mentioned the ever presence of plastics cone barriers the one we find at road and other construction site. Again for what I don't know.

The airport arrival hall is becoming a safety hazard to public in case of a fire outbreak.With numerous small shops operating everywhere, even under the staircase you cant help but feel that MAHB is being run by a bunch lowly educated people who have no taste. Dear Tan Sri this is an airport not GIANT SUPERMAKET!

The toilets !!! sigh. Sorry Datuk I'm tired of this country's civil servants.

raja2u said...

YBhg Dato dan Pembahas yang saya hormati. It is good to know the root of the problem. Is there a change in the maintenance standards.For airport facilities we used to have standby to standby to ensure if one sistem breakdown we have another to fall back. To ensure Subang airport is safe for example ,the power for the airport come from two different sources.I think it is not fair to blame the airport authority entirely. The is because sometime their decision is over ruled by the power to be.Sometime commercial consideration take over norms and standards.

Raja Abdul Rahman bin Raja Mohammad Dain,
Petaling Jaya

Cina Sarawak said...

Salam Datuk

Saya lihat kakitangan-2 kerajaan banyak mengadakan kursus, seminar dan workshop di Hotel Kuching. Sekiranya budaya tanggungjawab tiada, teknik pengurusan dan motivasi yang disampaikan tidak akan berakar dan diamalkan dari kerja harian. Yang untung hanya penjual tikar, kek lapis dan ikan masin.

rahimlpp@yahoo.com said...

Y.Bhg Dato',

We live in a country that respects the basics principle of rule of law which clearly stated that a person is not guilty unless proven otherwise. To ask someone who is responsible to step down before a full inquiry to ascertain the cause of any failure or incident is unjustifiable under our system of law.

2.We should continue to respect this principle, but a proper procedure must be clearly made known to the public that every public official is accountable to their functions and an effective procedure of punishment will deal with them in the event they fail in their duties.

3.I believe the general public wants to see the fairness to all. For those who are negligence in their duties, an immediate action must be initiated by their superiors and it must be conducted in a transparent manner.

4. For those holding positions in Government, they must be fair to the public in dealings with incidents that involve losses to the nation by showing their urgency to handle any unforeseen incidents.

5.In any unforeseen incidents, the public must be informed with correct information to disallow the oppositions from exploiting the issues for their political gains.

6.We should be grateful to Allah because we continue to live in peace despite from time to time we have experienced some failures in our governmental systems but more importantly the general public still trusts the rule of law that governs our country.



ab said...

Salam dato,

Mana ada problem!.

Semua OK..kalau tak caya tanya la mana mana department pun..semua OK, depa akan kata you all saja kata tak OK!...buat kecoh sana sini,kacau orang tu kacau orang ni..

Boss OK, assistant boss OK, bawah sikit punya boss pun OK....laaasssst punya boss itu bangla dan geng pun kata OK...apaalaa you all ni mana ada problem.....`the problem is your head la!'.

THE TRUTH OUT THERE IS NOBODY CARES about anything anymore except his/her KPI....the KPI is, MAKE SURE tahun depan dapat sambung kerja dan naik gaji,make sure dapat bonus!!!

Yang dah tua tua tu,KPI depa
ialah MAKE SURE TAHUN DEPAN dapat sambung kontrek!..

Kalau ikut tabiaat ketua ketua orang jepun,kalau buat silap atau kalau ministry atau jabatan silap/salah,depa letak jawatan atau mati bunuh diri,saya pikiaq
dah luas dan penuh kubuq untuk kakitangan kakitangan yang sedemikian jenisnya,dan tentu terlalu banyak jawatan jawatan kosong didalam iklan iklan
kabinet dan pentadbiran negara...

Aduhai.... teruknya.

Abu Bakar Ab Rahman

GoldTrex said...

Y Bhg. Dato' Kadiaq

We all must do our bit to cultivate the culture of accountability. You Dato', would be better than anybody else, to be the messenger on behalf of the Rakyat.

We saw what happened at Sime Darby. People were charged but not for losing the RM2.0 billion.

We also saw what transpired at the Securities Commission. We have to wait for her term of office to end before we saw her back.

The same with the MAS saga. It took many months of protestations before the share suap was rolled back. Even then, the plunder and pillage of MAS is still going on.

And now we have the AES. The contractors are paid from the summons issued. And collected? Or will the Federal treasury advance first??

We are all asking - when are these going to end, and the people responsible held accountable. Is this too much to ask??

With the GE13 round the corner, the people may develop the answer themselves. They are to tired to wait for an HONEST answer from the BN government.

Thank you

Ruz said...

Dear Datuk

What was written is true and that is one of the main reason the youngsters are voicing their disappointment towards the govt. I don't know why,but it seems that the govt knows, govt politicians knows, but yet little has been done over the years. so, how many years more does the govt think the people should wait for them to make things right? some may think that it is already too late. so much time wasted and we can't waste anymore time. that is why they think it is time for change!

fed up said...


"Top civil servants, corporate executives and board members protect each other."

Dalam budaya kerja di mana;

1.Anugerah cemerlang diberi kerana mahu tutup mulut atau hadiah pencen.

2.Kenaikan pangkat berasaskan kronisma. (Ada persaingan walaupun bagi pengikut dua individual politik dari parti yang sama)

3.Jawatan akhir pencen sebagai asas untuk lantikan ke lembaga pengarah GLC selepas pencen.

Sesiapa yang berdedikasi dan ada ilmu hanya dinaikkan pangkat sekadar mana dia boleh bekerja untuk membolehkan ketuanya mengambil kredit.

Fed Up

ab said...

Salam Dato,

Bagero betui.....

Nak bagi lagi rakyat sakit hati, depa beritakan pulak nak naikan insuran keenderaan pulak dah!...

Ni bukan macam nak kurangkan ramai orang kemalangan jalanraya, NAMPAK MACAM BARISAN NASIONAL MENEMPAH A FATAL TRAFFIC ACCIDENT ni!!!


JANGAN laa oiii...jangan buat macam ni, BETUIKA HAMPA DULUKAN
keselesaan rakyat atawa mampuihkan dulu rakyat ramai ramai...?.

GERAAAAMMMMMM betui saya ni.....

Jangan jadi harapkan pagar,pagar makan padi.....ni tuanpagaq racun sekali bendang dan taliayaq.

Tak bolih harap langsungggggg,kita tutup mata sat,dah kena putaq...

Abu Bakar Ab Rahman

Rosiah Ismail said...

Salam para pengupas sungguh berdidikasi dan penuh semangat kalau semangat ini dibawa ke PRU13 sudah pasti BN/UMNO tumPAS....Ala lari dari tajuk pulak DATO ia makan cili rasa pedas makan nasi kenyang perut mata ngantuk sorong bantal pasti tertidur la kita semua....itu bidasan saya tak faham kot sebab bahasa aku bahasa orang kerja kilang kuli batak pulak tu gaji pun ciput2 jer mana nak faham bahasa dato2 ni...
"KKIA Blackout: Not Much Will Change"KKIA Blackout: Not Much Will Change" No sense of responsibility and some say will not matter what you want to relax this busy government's responsibility is in their spirit .... surely there will be finger pointing her right one but yourself. factory .... I'm looking for a place to eat even sometimes tu blackout as well but do not know this because jer little things .... so that a victim of passengers and crew itself but for electricity operators do not care what so already fixed salary any profit or loss that he entahla's sake .... I do not even know,,,,

Lahuma said...


KKIA Lampu Landasan Padam.

Biasalah sifat baharu begitulah adatnya.

Kena faham sehebat mana pun yg dinamakan baharu ini berdepan juga dgn kelemahan.

Apa pun dari segi kepentingan perjalanan jentera kerajaan atau syarikat umpama Kemarau Bertahun-tahun akan bertukar imej dengan hanya hujan sehari dua.

Ditambah pula perangai manusia kita ini mudah terabai atau terlupa akan pesan peribahasa klasik Sediakan Payung Sebelum Hujan atau jangan Terantuk Baru Nak Ternadah.

Salah siapa drp begitu ramai pegawai.Maka yg kena bertanggung jawab ialah Pegawal/Penguasa teratas .

Itulah jangan percaya sangat tentang laporan atas kertas.Ada laporan bodek yg membawa mudarat.

Imej kerajaan pun banyak rosak kerana pegawai kerajaan yg buat lece.

Rakyat marah kerajaan.Sedangkan kerajaan itu termasuklah pegawai kerajaan.Bukan parti yg perintah sahaja.

Biasanya yg banyak kuasa ialah pegawai atasan kerajaan.Mereka adalah jentera.

Maka sebilangan besar dasar kerajaan adalah datangnya dari DASAR PEGAWAI KERAJAAN.

Sekarang ini yg hidup paling susah dan tertekan ialah petani dan nelayan.Macam-macam kerenah dibendang,diladang dijabatan dan cuaca mereka hadapi.

Eloklah semua orang atasan dan yg ada kuasa kerap turun padang sama ada dibendang diladang berjumpa dgn mereka.Bukan kerap perjumpaan dalam dewan atau khemah.

Jumpalah mereka ini.Tak perlu angkut dgn bas.Turun sendiri.Sembang-sembang lah dgn mereka.

Barulah mesra.

Terima kasih.

jebat said...


there aren't any peoblems at KKIA,
the only problem is Dato' Bashir and his smart company ..

Can't you see it ?

So what can we say/

ali ahmad said...

Salam buat Dato',

25hb Oktober.....malam mau raya haji......

semua dah ambil cuti......yang tinggal pun "curi ayam".....bos dah balik kampung......

semua talian tidak dapat dihubungi...faham aja lah...dah cuti....

sama kalau time raya ni....semua line jammed macam highway juga.....apa sistem 3g ka 4g ka....GG ka (gila-gila)....semua tak jalan...heran juga.....

26hb Oktober....hari raya....jangan harap la..........sebab semua kerja kena "contract out"......faham-faham la.......mana nak dapat buat...tinggal tengok aja......

jadi....nak salahkan siapa?

Panasonic ada jual "emergency light".....RM115.00 satu...kalau padam "karan" boleh menyala otomatik.....ini boleh jadi satu pilihan ka atau depa kata la ni satu "alternatif".....RTM pun pakai kata "alternatif".....'PENGKHIANAT BAHASA', kata OSMAN BAKU!!!!!!!

Hambali ® said...

Assalam Datuk.

Sebagai seorang kakitangan awam yang masih baru, saya sangat bersetuju dengan apa yang Datuk katakan terutamanya berkaitan dengan budaya kerja perkhidmatan awam.

Ketika mula menyertainya pada 2003, saya mengalami kejutan budaya (cultural shock) melihat cara kakitangan awam bertugas.

Budaya tak apa, budaya yes boss, budaya ok boss yang melampau telah menjadikan kakitangan kerajaan telah perlahan2 berubah dari berperanan sebagai advisor / penasihat dan pelaksana kepada hanya pelaksana (dan pembodek) semata-mata. Ini kadangkala mewujudkan situasi di mana setiap arahan atau "wahyu" yang disampaikan itu mesti dibuat tanpa ada kompromi sama ada menyalahi atau tidak peraturan yang sedia wujud.

Keadaan ini lama kelamaan telah mewujudkan budaya tidak sihat di mana semua orang nak melaporkan "yang elok-elok belaka" demi menjaga periuk nasi sendiri.

About Me

My photo
I was born in 1947 in Kedah. I came from a rice farming family. I have been a journalist since 1969. I am the Editor-in-Chief of magazine publishing company, Berita Publishing Sdn Bhd. I was Group Editor NST Sdn Bhd and Group Editor-in-Chief of NSTP Bhd between 1988 and 2000. I write fortnightly column “Other Thots” in the Malaysian Business magazine, Kunta Kinte Original in Berita Harian and A Kadir Jasin Bercerita in Dewan Masyarakat. Books: Biar Putih Tulang (1998), Other Thots – Opinions & Observations 1992-2001 (2001), The Wings of an Eagle (2003), Mencari Dugalia Huso (2006), Damned That Thots (2006), Blogger (2006), PRU 2008-Rakyat Sahut Cabaran (2008), Komedi & Tragedi-Latest in Contemporary Malaysian Politics (2009) and Membangun Bangsa dengan Pena (2009).