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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

KLIA2 and Tony Fernandes — Tam Yeng Siang

November 30, 2011

NOV 30 — Reading the two reports, New better KLIA2 takes wings and AirAsia will not use aerobridges at the new LCCT, I feel that these two parties, viz., the MAHB and AA are taking their conflict to the stage of public opinion, and hope that the people’s interests will hold sway.

I also feel this discussion about the aerobridges have gone on for too long, and either party may have good reasons to continue to follow its conviction and do what is right for the party they represent.

As a retired person, who have travelled quite a bit, and who has made use of AirAsia’s flights since its inception, has also contributed to a few of its improvements through feedback, (which has been acknowledged) I would like to ask Tan Sri Fernandes a simple question, which I observe, he has been studiously avoiding, in his condescending comments on not using the aerobridges at the new LCCT, apparently for profit reasons and turnaround times.

Can AirAsia then tell me if by this move, they are in fact telling us, the travelling customers, that Asia’s best low cost airline is not keen to get or even encourage travellers who aredisadvantaged, disabled, the old, the weak and the pregnant and even children to travel on its cheap airline? As the attached picture from a fan of my blog has shown, it can be quite dangerous for a wheelchair bound traveller to embark and exit manually from the airline! Not to mention some loss in personal dignity!

Personally, I have very bad knees and a bad back, and nothing beats being able to walk from the gate to the airline in safety and comfort, and dry!

Further, I also feel that Tony Fernandes’ example of the Singapore budget airline not using aerobridges is a bad one. Sorry, but the Singapore Government has not been well known for caring policies, and do we want to emulate them?

C’mon Tony, don’t be so arrogant…

* Tam Yeng Siang reads The Malaysian Insider.

World class’ KLIA2 may make airlines question KLIA, says Maybank IB

KLIA2 is due to open for business in April 2013. — Picture by Jack Ooi
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — The new low-cost carrier terminal being built by Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) conforms to such high specifications that it risks making airlines question the value of paying a premium for the main KLIA terminal, Maybank Investment Bank said today.

The research house noted in a report today that now any airline can land at KLIA2, which is equipped to cater for even the world’s largest passenger plane — the A380 — and that it is not exclusive to budget airlines like AirAsia.

“We are concerned that if KLIA2 turns out to be as good as according to plans, airlines executives may then question the premium at the KLIA main terminal,” said Maybank.

A model of KLIA2. — Picture courtesy of MAHB
It estimated that by moving from the main terminal to KLIA2, international passengers will only pay RM32 PSC (passenger service charges) as opposed to RM65 at the main terminal, or the equivalent of 51 per cent cost savings.

“This may potentially dilute MAHB’s earnings as KLIA2’s charges are lower than the main terminal,” said the report.

KLIA2, which was originally conceived as a terminal for low cost carriers, grew sizeably in scope including the construction of facilities that will make the terminal a back-up for the main terminal, almost doubling the cost to RM3.9 billion in the process.

MAHB also decided to bring forward capital expenditure in an attempt to future proof the airport — the terminal features a runway capable of handling A380s and 747s and also a higher capacity of 45 million passengers per annum, or three times that of the present low cost carrier terminal and three million more passengers than what Singapore’s Changi Airport handled in 2010.

It also made a publicly popular decision to install aerobridges, a decision which earned the ire of AirAsia which has been against the concept as it would mean longer aircraft turnaround times and additional charges, although MAHB insists the cost to passengers is negligible.

AirAsia chief, Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, who built his empire by focusing on cost-cutting measures, said he feared that the ballooning price tag of KLIA2 would translate to higher airport taxes and fees in the future despite assurances from MAHB that it would not.

Maybank said in its report that it agrees with MAHB that KLIA2 will have an internal rate of return of more than 10 per cent but that was premised on an additional RM2-3 billion in non-aeronautical revenue to be derived from the expanded terminal over the concession period.

KLIA2 will surpass Dubai’s T3 in terms of offering the single largest passenger terminal capacity in the world when it opens. — Picture by Jack Ooi
When it opens for business in April 2013 after a 17-month delay, KLIA2 will feature amenities that will rival those of most full featured airports including a huge shopping mall, premium and VIP lounges, hotels and Asia’s first airport skybridge measuring about 300 metres.

A Maybank analyst noted that MAHB appeared to be “going for broke” and by catering for 45 million passengers per year instead of the planned 30 million, it will have the single largest passenger terminal capacity in the world, surpassing the previous record holder, Dubai’s T3 which has a capacity of 43 million.

The analyst noted that while KLIA2 will earn MAHB bragging rights, the financial implications have changed.

“As an investor, the investment thesis for MAHB has now changed to a very long-term project. Big mammoth projects take time to grow and churn significant cash flow, the initial period will be a cash flow burden,” said the analyst.

The analyst concluded, however, that the new terminal was “very positive” for Malaysian aviation as the infrastructure will support uninterrupted growth for the next 10-15 years but the cash flow burden in the initial years will likely lower profit margins and undermine valuations.

* This article has been amended from the original to better reflect the contents of the Maybank Investment Bank report on KLIA2. We apologise to Maybank Investment Bank for any inconvenience that our earlier report may have caused.

Fernandes, Malaysia Airports in standoff over KLIA2 cost rise

By Lee Wei Lian

November 30, 2011

Fernandes held up his clashes with MAHB as a sign of the failure in private-public business co-operation. — File pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — Leading local entrepreneur and one of the country’s top GLCs are now locked in a face-off over the ballooning cost of the new low-cost carrier terminal (KLIA2) that could threaten Malaysia’s ambitions to be a regional transport hub.

Also at stake is whether the bad blood brewing between the two parties could affect the overseas growth of both Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) and one of its biggest customers and what is now Asia’s fourth-largest airline, AirAsia.

AirAsia CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes yesterday rubbished MAHB’s justifications for thedoubling of the cost of KLIA2 from the original estimate of RM2 billion in 2009 to RM3.9 billion currently.

He said on Twitter that increasing the terminal capacity from 30 million to 45 million passengers made little sense as it would make it larger than “the whole of Singapore’s Changi Airport” and suggested that the cost would likely inflate even further.

“American Airlines just gone into bankruptcy. And Malaysian Airports spend 3.9 billion. I’m sure that’s not the final figure,” he tweeted, referring to the news that the US airlines’ parent company — AMR Corp — filed for bankruptcy yesterday.

MAHB maintains, however, that it needs to plan for future capacity as other airports are doing and expects KLIA2 traffic to hit 30 million as early as 2017.

A check on Changi Airports International’s website also shows that Changi Airport has a capacity of about 70 million.

The price-sensitive airline magnate also told The Malaysian Insider that he doubted MAHB managing director Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad’s assurances yesterday that the increased cost will not result in higher passenger fees and other airport related charges, adding that he lost faith in the airport operator after it allegedly failed to live up to a previous “guarantee” to not increase in airport fees.

“I am very disappointed in MAHB. They guaranteed no increases even at the present terminal,” he said via text message, referring to the fact that MAHB recently started charging an extra RM7 per international passenger at the existing low cost carrier terminal (LCCT).

Bashir had pointed out yesterday that the airport charges and fees were regulated by the government and said that the fees for KLIA2 when it opens for business in April 2013 would be the same as that of the LCCT, at least until the next government review.

The MAHB managing director, whose contract reportedly ends in June next year, also touched a nerve when he announced yesterday that 80 aerobridges will be installed at KLIA2 despite much lobbying by Fernandes to omit the facility to help keep down costs. Bashir said that aerobridges would help the elderly, infirm and others who suffer restricted movement and said that the average extra cost per passenger was a negligible 25 sen.

Fernandes, however, seized on MAHB’s apparent defiance as an example of a breakdown in private-public co-operation.

“Look across the Causeway and look at Singapore,” he said. “They listen to their airlines. Their budget terminal has no aerobridges.”

He also noted on Twitter that his flight to Boston, US where he is meeting investors also did not utilise an aerobridge.

“Came off US Airways on steps just like AirAsia. Hahahahaa. Can’t believe how Malaysian Airports gets away. Worst run Malaysian company. Full of empty promises,” he tweeted.

Some MAHB executive, however, expressed private fears that the public spat between the two entities could harm the GLC’s image abroad where it is trying to expand its airport business.

Fernandes has built his business around keeping costs down and has often complained that the claimed lack of responsiveness of MAHB could threaten to derail AirAsia’s expansion plans to become the second largest carrier in Asia after Japan Airlines.

With AirAsia expected to be the largest budget airline flying out of KLIA2 by far, Fernandes’ response that he will not use the aerobridges despite Bashir’s public plea for support means this is a stalemate that could determine if KLIA2 takes off or simply crashes and burns.

Tony loses fight over KLIA2 aerobridges

November 29, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 ― Tan Sri Tony Fernandes faced a setback today when Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) announced that it will put in aerobridges at the new lost cost carrier terminal.

The AirAsia co-founder has been a vocal opponent of the installation of aerobridges at budget carrier terminals due to alleged extra costs incurred and had pushed for them to be omitted from the new terminal ― KLIA2.

Fernandes (picture) told The Malaysian Insider that aerobridges were a waste of money.

“We will not support the aerobridges,” he said via a text message. “We know what we need. The new terminal does not involve walking. Just down a ramp.”

He added that MAHB will not be able to recover the RM120 million it will spend on putting in 80 aerobridges at KLIA2.

“Even if we did (support the aerobridges) MAB would never recover the charges. Complete waste of money. I am so disappointed with Malaysia Airports.”

MAHB managing director Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad said today that KLIA2 will have aerobridges as it would help the elderly and infirm and the increase in cost to passengers was negligible.

“I am speaking of behalf of those with restricted movement, expectant mothers, young children, the elderly,” he said to applause at the press conference. “I hope airlines will support the aerobridges.”

Bashir said that the average cost per passenger was expected to be only RM0.25 sen for the use of an aerobridge.

“The public has indicated that they are willing to pay,” he said.

An MAHB official later clarified that the cost was based on the charge of RM85 to use an aerobridge for passengers to disembark and embark an A320 aircraft.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Qantas exploring new airline with Tony says Sydney paper

November 29, 2011
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 — Australian airline Qantas is focused on starting a new airline with Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and making Kuala Lumpur its hub reported the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) yesterday.

It said that Qantas CEO Alan Joyce was working to speed up the launch of its new Asian airline despite some reports that it has been shelved.

“Joyce is believed to be continuing to plug away at a number of start-up venture proposals with Fernandes in Malaysia,” said SMH.

It added that a deal with the AirAsia co-founder would give Qantas ready access to a bank of aircraft orders once regulatory approval was granted.

“It also gives Qantas the option to use Kuala Lumpur as a cheap hub to fly passengers to Europe,” said the report. “This means it could scrap the Sydney to London service and instead use its Asian airline to run its international routes to Asia and Europe.”

Joyce was earlier reported to have said that Qantas planned to start a premium airline in either Kuala Lumpur or Singapore next year.

Fernandes meanwhile said on November 14 that he had “ideas” for a super premium airline but declined to reveal the name or any further details.

He also said that if he started a new premium airline, it would involve Malaysia Airlines, in which he also holds a substantial stake.

Attempts to reach Fernandes for comment were unsuccessful.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

APMM turut sertai LIMA 2011

23/11/2011 2:44pm
LANGKAWI 23 Nov. - Agensi Penguatkuasaan Maritim Malaysia (APMM) akan menjadikan Pameran Maritim dan Udara Antarabangsa Langkawi (LIMA) 2011 di sini mulai 6 hingga 10 Disember depan sebagai ruang untuk orang ramai mengetahui mengenai agensi penguatkuasaan berkenaan yang mula beroperasi sejak November 2005.

Ketua Pengarah APMM, Datuk Mohd Amdan Kurish berkata, APMM akan menyertai LIMA 2011 secara besar-besaran dan orang ramai boleh mengetahui fungsi dan kejayaan APMM menerusi pameran sepanjang LIMA berlangsung.

"Empat buah bot pemintas, dua daripadanya buatan Turki dan dua lagi buatan tempatan yang mempunyai kelajuan 65 knot merupakan antara yang akan dipamerkan.
"Selain itu beberapa pesawat termasuk Helikopter AW 139 dan kapal-kapal milik APMM akan turut mengambil bahagian,” katanya pada sidang media sempena majlis serah dan terima tugas Ketua Penguatkuasa Maritim Wilayah Utara di Pangkalan APMM di sini hari ini.

Ketua Penguatkuasa Wilayah Utara, Laksamana Pertama Maritim Muhammad Abdul Basar Taji akan bertukar ke Putrajaya manakala tempatnya diganti oleh Laksamana Pertama Maritim Tan Kok Kwee yang sebelum ini berkhidmat di Lumut.

Amdan berkata, seramai 300 hingga 400 pegawai dan anggota APMM akan terlibat pada keseluruhan penyertaan dalam LIMA kali ini.

Katanya, APMM akan menyertai pameran dan pertunjukan kecekapan para pegawai dan anggotanya menghadapi sebarang kemungkinan di udara dan laut.
Setakat ini lebih 400 syarikat dari 35 negara mengesahkan menyertai LIMA 2011.
Mengenai APMM Wilayah Utara, beliau berkata Ketua Penguatkuasaan Wilayah Utara mempunyai tugas yang berat kerana berada di pintu utama Malaysia dengan Thailand dan Indonesia.

Beliau berkata, ini adalah antara cabaran untuk membendung kemasukan pendatang tanpa inzin kerana perairan wilayah utara ini sangat luas.

Amdan berkata usaha perlu dipertingkatkan untuk membendung kegiatan penyeludupan manusia, barang dan dadah yang perlu dibanteraskan agar ekonomi negara tidak tergugat. - Bernama

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

MAS catat kerugian RM478 juta suku ketiga

KUALA LUMPUR 22 Nov. - Penerbangan Malaysia (MAS) merekodkan kerugian bersih sebanyak RM478 juta bagi suku ketiga berakhir 30 September 2011.

Bagaimanapun, MAS telah mencatatkan peningkatan perolehan sebanyak lima peratus kepada RM3.56 bilion untuk tempoh yang sama.

Menurut kenyataan MAS, kerugian tersebut disebabkan peningkatan kos bahan api dan kerugian tukaran asing dari pinjaman dalam dolar Amerika Syarikat (AS).

''Secara terkumpul kerugian bersih MAS pada masa ini berada pada RM1.2 bilion.

''Bagi suku semasa kerugian operasi adalah pada RM156 juta lebih baik dari dua suku sebelum ini iaitu sebanyak RM412 juta dan RM312 juta,'' katanya.

Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif MAS, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya berkata, walaupun berhadapan dengan suku yang mencabar pihak pengurusan telah bertindak pantas untuk menghadapi situasi itu bagi mengurangkan kerugian.

''Inisiatif proaktif tersebut telah membantu mengurangkan kerugian operasi kami,'' jelasnya.

Bergerak ke hadapan, MAS mengunjurkan operasi syarikat penerbangan secara amnya pada suku terakhir pada tahun ini kekal mencabar.

MAS akan mengumumkan inisiatif strategik yang merupakan Pelan Perniagaan MAS dan ia dijangka diumumkan pada Disember ini.

Sementara itu, beberapa inisiatif Rangka kerja Kerjasama Komprehensif (CCF) antara MAS, AirAsia Bhd. dan AirAsia X, juga akan direalisasikan.

Tuanku Mizan tinjau Pusat Saintifik Antartika

Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin (tengah) mencuba pengalaman menjalani kehidupan seperti saintis dan penyelidik lain di puncak bukit berhampiran tapak kajian dan konservasi penguin, Antartika, semalam. Turut serta, Dr. Maximus Ongkili (kanan) dan Salleh Mohd Nor. - Bernama

SCOTT BASE (ANTARTIKA) 22 Nov. - Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin hari ini melakukan lawatan khas ke pusat-pusat saintifik di Antartika dengan menaiki helikopter.

Helikopter jenis Aerospace EC130 itu dipandu oleh Kapten Rob McPhail, seorang juruterbang berpengalaman selama 20 tahun melakukan penerbangan di Antartika.

Turut sama dalam tinjauan udara itu ialah Menteri Sains, Teknologi dan Inovasi, Datuk Seri Dr. Maximus Ongkili, Pengerusi Badan Bertindak Antartika Akademi Sains Malaysia (ASM), Tan Sri Salleh Mohd. Nor, Ketua Eksekutif Antartika New Zealand, Lou Sanson, dan penulis sendiri.

Helikopter yang pada asalnya dijadual berlepas dari Scott Base, sebuah pusat penyelidikan yang dikendalikan oleh New Zealand di Pulau Ross, pada pukul 9 pagi ini, ditangguh akibat cuaca berubah-ubah dengan salji yang turun serta tiupan angin yang kuat di kawasan lawatan.

Keadaan itu membuatkan jarak penglihatan terbatas yang tidak mengizinkan rombongan itu memulakan perjalanan.

Bagaimanapun, rombongan berlepas pada 11.30 pagi dalam cuaca sejuk bersuhu sekitar bawah 6 darjah Celcius (-6'C) hingga bawah 17 darjah Celcius (-17'C) dengan berlatar pemandangan langit dan bumi Antartika yang amat mempesonakan.

Tempoh 20 minit penerbangan menyaksikan pemandangan glasier dan saujana mata memandang lautan salji yang memutih sebelum tiba di Cape Royds.

Cape Royds ialah kawasan berbatu berwarna hitam menghadap McMurdo Sound yang menempatkan Pondok Shackleton, sebuah pondok yang dibina oleh Ernest Shackleton semasa ekspedisi beliau dalam tahun 1901 hingga 1904.

Seterusnya Tuanku Mizan dan rombongan dibawa melihat Glasier Barne, sebuah glasier setinggi 30 meter yang terletak di bahagian Timur Pergunungan Erebus dan juga menyaksikan penguin Emperor, sejenis penguin paling tinggi (kira-kira satu meter) dan besar dalam spesies keluarga penguin.

Lawatan berakhir dengan kunjungan ke Scott"s Hut di Cape Evans, sebuah pondok yang dibina oleh Robert Falcon Scott ketika ekspedisinya dalam tahun 1910-1913.

Kerja pemuliharaan pondok itu sedang giat dilakukan sebagai usaha untuk mengekalkan sejarah warisan saintis dan penyelidik di benua Antartika ini.

Kedua-dua pondok berkenaan kini menjadi destinasi bersejarah dan ikon bagi para saintis dan penyelidik di Antartika.

Semasa perjalanan pulang dari Cape Royds sejauh 35 kilometer, Tuanku Mizan juga dibawa meninjau dari udara kawasan sekitar Pusat Penyelidikan Scott. - BERNAMA

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Siasatan terhadap MAS, AirAsia bermula

KUALA LUMPUR 21 Nov. - Saksi-saksi Rangka Kerja Kolaborasi Komprehensif (CCF) antara Malaysia Airlines (MAS) dan AirAsia memberitahu Jawatankuasa Kira-Kira Wang Negara (PAC) bahawa pertukaran saham antara dua syarikat penerbangan itu adalah strategi jangka panjang.

Perkara itu dimaklumkan Pengerusi PAC, Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid kepada pemberita selepas beliau mempengerusikan mesyuarat jawatankuasa itu yang berlangsung selama dua jam bagi menyiasat kontroversi CCF MAS-AirAsia di bangunan Parlimen hari ini.

Menurut Azmi, saksi-saksi terbabit juga menjelaskan mengenai objektif pertukaran saham tersebut dibuat iaitu bagi membolehkan kedua-dua syarikat penerbangan negara itu menghadapi cabaran masa depan dalam industri penerbangan antarabangsa.

"Mereka juga memberi penerangan mengenai industri penerbangan antarabangsa iaitu banyak syarikat penerbangan menghadapi masalah. PAC diberitahu bahawa ini (pertukaran saham) merupakan strategi jangka panjang untuk tangani masalah ini," katanya.

Pada mesyuarat tersebut, antara saksi-saksi yang dipanggil memberi keterangan ialah Ketua Setiausaha Perbendaharaan, Tan Sri Dr. Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah dan Ketua Setiausaha Kementerian Pengangkutan, Datuk Long See Wool.

Turut memberi penjelasan ialah Ketua Eksekutif Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar dan Pengarah Urusan MAS, Ravi Menon.

Dalam pada itu, Azmi berkata, pihaknya berkemungkinan akan memanggil semua agensi-agensi berkaitan sekali lagi, termasuk AirAsia untuk mendapat keterangan lanjut.

4 syarikat penerbangan dilarang guna ruang udara Eropah

BRUSSELS 22 Nov. - Kesatuan Eropah semalam menyenaraihitam empat syarikat penerbangan dari Filipina, Honduras, Republik Congo dan Demokratik Congo daripada menggunakan ruang udara di 27 buah negara anggota pertubuhan tersebut.

Syarikat penerbangan Aeromajestic and Interisland Airlines dari Filipina, Stellar Airways dari Demokratik Congo, Equatorial Congo dari Republik Congo dilarang ekoran kegagalan firma-firma tersebut menyediakan dokumen yang menyatakan mereka mengikut tahap keselamatan yang ditetapkan.

Syarikat Rollins Air dari Honduras pula dikenakan larangan selepas Perancis membangkitkan kebimbangan mengenai tahap keselamatan syarikat penerbangan itu.

Eksekutif keselamatan EU juga mengenakan larangan yang sama ke atas tiga kapal terbang Boeing 767 yang dioperasikan oleh Jordan Aviation dari Jordan.

"Soal keselamatan harus diutamakan. Kami tidak boleh berkompromi dalam hal ini,"

"Kami perlu mengambil tindakan demi keselamatan sekiranya mendapati mana-mana syarikat penerbangan sama ada dari dalam atau luar Eropah, tidak melaksanakan tahap keselamatan yang ditetapkan," kata Pesuruhjaya Pengangkutan EU, Siim Kallas. - AFP

RHB disappointed by preview of ‘simplistic’ MAS turnaround plan

November 22, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 – Malaysia Airlines (MAS) lacks a plan for deep structural reforms said RHB Research Institute following a briefing by airline management ahead of the official unveiling of the national carrier’s turnaround strategy.

The research house said in a report today that the plan lacked cost cutting measures, revamps to the procurement systems or recapitalisation of its balance sheet.

RHB also said that it didn’t detect any evidence that the new collaboration with AirAsia has rejuvenated the airline.

“We did not find any significant ‘traces of entrepreneurial spirit’, if this is supposed to come with the entrance of Tune Air (controlled by AirAsia’s Tan Sri Tony Fernandes) as a 20.5 per cent shareholder of MAS,” said the report.

The report revealed that in the MAS briefing the management had said that they would cut unprofitable routes, improve fuel burn, negotiate better terms with aircraft manufacturers and redeploy capacity based on yield.

“We have to admit that we came out of MAS’ analysts’ tele-conference this morning feeling a little disappointed,” said RHB.

“Dubbed a preview to MAS’ grand turnaround plan scheduled to be officially unveiled next month, we did not find indications of any bold and dramatic moves that will turn things around, but just some logical things an airline will do in its normal course of business.”

RHB said that MAS’ key structural issues include a mature and saturated full-service segment and its main hub Kuala Lumpur not being a natural market for higher-yielding full-service business travelers unlike Singapore and Hong Kong.

It added that it hoped MAS would rope in a leading international airline as equity partner to help strengthening processes, revitalise work culture, broaden market reach and presence, and effect more constructive branding or co-branding exercises.

MAS reported a third quarter loss of RM477.6 million today, bringing total losses so far this year to RM962 million.

The airlines’ lacklustre financial performance in recent quarters had resulted in the share swap between MAS and AirAsia on August 9.

It saw state investment arm Khazanah taking a 10 per cent stake in Asia’s top budget carrier in exchange for a 20.5 per cent stake in the flag carrier.

This paved the way for AirAsia boss Tan Sri Tony Fernandes to sit on the MAS board, ostensibly to help turn the ailing airline around.

The share swap and accompanying collaboration framework agreement raised public concerns that it would give rise to an industry cartel.

Firefly’s budget jet operations were shuttered last month.

The Finance Ministry revealed on November 3, however, that the share swap between MAS and AirAsia is being probed by Bursa Malaysia and the Securities Commission (SC) for insider trading.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tuanku Mizan tiba di Antartika

SCOTT BASE (ANTARTIKA) 21 Nov. - Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin tiba pada Isnin bagi lawatan khas ke Artartika.

Seri Paduka Baginda dan rombongan tiba di benua selatan itu dengan pesawat khas C-17 Globe Master Tentera Udara Amerika yang mendarat di Lapangan Ais Pegasus, sebuah lapangan terbang yang dibina di atas lautan ais yang beku, pada 1 tengah hari waktu tempatan.

Rombongan Seri Paduka terdiri dari Menteri Sains, Teknologi dan Inovasi, Datuk Seri Dr. Maximus Ongkili, Pengerusi Badan Bertindak Antartika Akademi Sains Malaysia (ASM), Tan Sri Salleh Mohd Nor, Pengarah Pusat Penyelidikan Antartika Kebangsaan (NARC), Prof. Datuk Dr. Azizan Abu Samah dan Juruiring Kepada Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Brigadier Jeneral Datuk Zaharin Ahmad selain Pengarah Bahagian Alam Sekitar, Kementerian Perdagangan dan Luar Negara New Zealand, Caroline McDonald, Ketua Eksekutif Antartika New Zealand, Lou Sanson dan petugas Pertubuhan Berita Nasional Malaysia (Bernama) Mohamad Mudanoran Mohamad Mushaari, yang akan membuat liputan sepanjang lawatan baginda ke Antartika.

Pesawat berkenaan juga membawa sekumpulan 70 petugas lain terdiri daripada para penyelidik dan saintis antarabangsa yang akan melakukan penyelidikan di sekitar kawasan benua itu.

Tuanku Mizan yang disambut Penyelia Perkhidmatan Antartika, David Washer, kemudiannya dibawa ke Pusat Penyelidikan Scott dalam perjalanan yang mengambil masa 20 minit sambil menikmati pemandangan di sekitar kawasan itu.

Seri Paduka Baginda kemudian diberikan taklimat oleh Sanson di Kem Scott sebelum dibawa melawat Castle Rock dan Kem Lapangan Latihan Antartika dengan menaiki kenderaan khas dipanggil Hagglund, iaitu kenderaan litar permukaan ais.

Pada hari kedua di Antartika, Seri Paduka Baginda dijadual menaiki helikopter bagi lawatan saintifik melalui udara ke kawasan McMurdo Sound termasuk singgah melawat pondok yang digunakan oleh Kapten Scott pada tahun 1910-1912 di Cape Evans dan pondok Sir Ernest Shackleton pada tahun 1907-1909 di Cape Royds.

Kedua-dua pondok tersebut kini menjadi destinasi bersejarah dan ikon bagi para saintis dan penyelidik di Antartika. - Bernama

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bumbung rosak helikopter terbang rendah

KUANTAN 19 Nov. - Bumbung beberapa buah kedai di Jalan Bukit Ubi di sini rosak diterbangkan angin, berpunca daripada sebuah helikopter milik Jabatan Bomba dan Penyelamat Negeri yang terbang rendah di kawasan tersebut, hari ini.

Turut rosak papan-papan tanda selain lima buah motosikal di hadapan premis itu yang terbalik.

Kejadian berlaku pukul 1 petang itu turut menggemparkan kira-kira 15 pelanggan dan peniaga yang menyaksikan pesawat tersebut terbang rendah dan seolah-olah mahu terhempas.

Pesawat itu kemudian melakukan pendaratan di padang Majlis Perbandaran Kuantan (MPK) 2 di sini yang terletak berhadapan Balai Bomba dan Penyelamat Bukit Ubi di sini.

Pemilik kedai alat ganti motosikal, Ta Kuan Yew, 40, berkata, semasa kejadian, dia melayan pelanggan di kedainya sebelum terdengar bunyi deruman dan angin kuat dari atas bumbung premisnya.

"Panik dengan bunyi deruman dan tiupan angin kuat itu, pelanggan saya bertempiaran lari masuk ke dalam kedai.

"Pada masa sama, lima motosikal yang diletakkan di depan kedai saya terbalik dan dahan pokok turut patah," katanya ketika ditemui pemberita di sini hari ini.

Pemilik kedai peralatan menjual alatan sembahyang, Ng Ah Noi, 50, berkata, dia melihat pekerjanya berlari masuk ke dalam kedai dan terdengar bunyi objek diterbangkan dari atas bumbung premisnya.

"Papan tanda perniagaan yang dipasang di kedai terjatuh kerana tempias angin kuat pesawat itu," katanya.

Sementara itu, Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri (ADUN) Teruntum, Chang Hong Seong berkata, pihaknya menerima lima aduan kerosakan premis perniagaan ekoran kejadian tersebut.

"Saya sudah maklumkan perkara itu kepada pihak Bomba dan mereka bersedia membayar ganti rugi kepada peniaga terbabit. Mereka akan melakukan siasatan sebelum tindakan diambil," katanya lagi.