Arrogant Chief Minister Diced With Death!
Wednesday, February 16th, 2011 GMT – From Sarawak Report

Safely on the ground - the defects in the Chief Minister's HS125 jet's engine could have had fatal results!

Sarawak Report has uncovered astonishing information that the Chief Minister, Taib Mahmud, unknowingly risked his own death for months by flying in an unsafe plane! Tellingly, the reason he did not realise his peril was that he thought he knew better than the qualified experts and had put crony politicians in charge of the aircraft. We have discovered that over several months in 2004 Taib, along with several family members, ministers and favoured associates were flown about in a jet that pilots and engineers had warned was unsafe. Memos have been uncovered which show that qualified staff were warning of the problems, but were ignored because of the rivalry and chaos that existed in the company Hornbill Skyways, which supplied the jet. It is common knowledge that shortly after no less than 4 Hornbill aircraft crashed in the course of just one year, killing over ten people, including one Minister. Hornbill had its operating licence removed.

Personal jet!

Taib's current jet - a US $19.5 million Cessna 750 Citation Jet, boasted to be the fastest private jet in the world. It has been seen in Europe and Australia where it could only be flown at enormous expense.

The corruption surrounding Taib’s acquistition of his own personal jet service has been widely documented, however the extent to which this put his own safety at risk and that of others has not. One of the numerous key jobs that the Chief Minister has awarded himself is Chairman of the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC). In 2004 this state-controlled organisation owned a 70% share of Hornbill Skyways with the remainder owned by another state organisation, the Sarawak Foundation. Insiders say there is no argument that Taib was the ‘effective CEO’ of Hornbill (several of the airline’s Board Members were also found to be his junior Board Members at STIDC) and he has used his authority to provide himself with highly costly jet transport at the expense of the Sarawak taxpayer. The timber corporation needs helicopters; however the jets belonging to the company are for the sole purpose of providing exclusive travel for the Chief Minister and his family and guests. Senior executives have confirmed that Taib currently keeps a Cessna Citation Jet and a helicopter expensively on standby for his own exclusive use 24/7 every day of the year. A monthly cheque is paid by the State to Hornbill cover the cost!

Risk from ignorance
However, it would seem that the Chief Minister, who is used to getting his way on so many things, likewise assumed he could call the shots when it came to key management and safety issues in an airline where lives were at risk, including his own! Airline industry professionals tell us they were horrified to discover that the key top managers at Hornbill are all ignorant politicians and not industry experts. “The top management of Hornbill knew nothing about aviation at all” one has confided. Another has confirmed “The culture was one of putting deference towards politicians before safety” Industry standards demand that the accountable managers in an airline ought to be professionally familiar with aviation. However Taib and his subservient board have chosen instead to appoint politicially reliable ‘yes men’. The Chairman of Hornbill Airways is the former banker and Assemblyman Aidan Wing, who knows nothing about the airline business or safety issues. Taib may like to run his country using cronies, many of them unqualified, however such practices when applied to aeroplanes will soon spell disaster. The professionals who spoke to Sarawak Report have told us they were not in the least surprised that there were 4 serious crashes in 2004 before Hornbill finally lost its public operating licence!

Top management of Hornbill Skyways - Aidan Wing (seated centre), the Executive Chairman is also a BN State Assemblyman and extremely close to Taib Mahmud.

Taib’s jet was a disaster waiting to happen at any moment
We have exclusive information that this incompetence resulted in the Chief Minister flying for several months in a jet that was seriously unsafe. there is clear evidence that a top engineer had approached Hornbill Management with a written dossier expressing their concerns over the maintenance of the HS125 jet being used by the Chief Minister. However, the engineer was sidelined and removed from active service, leaving less qualified ground staff taking care of the jet as it started to develop a serious problem. Later, It was only a chance service of the aircraft in Singapore, according to our inside information, that picked up the the HS125 was flying with bent blades in one of its jet engines! The jet had been sent over to check on a separate earlier repair. Experts have told Sarawak Report that this damage could have caused the engine to stop at any moment and this could well have resulted in the Chief Minister or his guests falling out of the air.

Bent Blades also ignored by pilots
Further worrying evidence of the dangerous culture of subservience before safety that had developed at Hornbill has been pointed out in the attitude of the pilots. Our sources tell us that the pilots were aware there was a problem with the plane in the months leading up to the discovery of the bent blades, but had got used to doing what they were told. “They said they had learnt to compensate while flying the aircraft” explains one of our sources.

Pilots too subservient to politicians?

All properly trained pilots should know that safety is paramount in flying, however at Hornbill it is alleged that deference to political masters led by the most important person in the company, who was effectively Abdul Taib Mahmud, came first. However, ATM knows nothing about flying or the aviation business. “Ministers would come into the helicopters and sit there smoking and the pilots would be too scared to say anything about it, even though these idiots were inches away from the fuel tanks” remarked one qualified observer. An insider explained that t he culture at Hornbill needed a complete overhaul it was not being run properly. We were told people were putting careers and rivalries before proper practice and safety. “Paperwork was not being properly done, there were no proper procedures, no proper governance or safety”. One engineer we have spoken to insists that “This culture really impacted on flight safety and resulted in malpractices that should have been corrected. If such things happen too often it becomes disastrous”

Taib was in charge
It is a damming indictment of Taib and his airline that engineers and managers who were known to be trying to improve the management of Hornbill were removed and sacked instead of being listened to. As a result, not only his life was put directly at risk but so were the lives of others. The Chief Minister cannot therefore escape personal implication in the tragic deaths of those who did die in the series of crashes that occurred in Hornbill helicopters in 2004. Altogether there were four, of which 3 were fatal. Even one of his own government ministers were killed. The culpability of Hornbill was made plain by the removal of its operating licence by the civil aviation authorities.

Hornbill Skyways helicopter - ministers are said to have even been allowed to smoke on board!

Hornbill has been taken to court by one former top executive, for unfair dismissal. He claims it was because he had tried to reform the company.

Taib’s brother Tufail Mahmud, his nephew Yakoub and his Bomoh Ustaz enjoying a free flight on the Citation Jet, paid by the taxpayer

The Chief Minister has cost Sarawak millions by choosing this form of transport. His latest acquisition for his own use, his Cessna Citation jet, cost US $20 million and is the fastest private jet in the world and is put aside for his personal use. The passenger list shows that it has been frequently used on non-government business, including flying friends, family and even Taib’s Bomoh (witchdoctor) both around Sarawak and abroad. Taib is believed to be looking to buy a new fancier jet at this point of time, also to be funded through Hornbill and the STIDC at the taxpayer’s expense. However, it would seem his wealth and power have gone to an old man’s head. In 2004 the ‘Chief Executive of Sarawak’ nearly ended up crashing in flames in his own aircraft.

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011 GMT This post is also available in: English

Sarawak Report telah membongkar suatu maklumat yang mengejutkan di mana Ketua Menteri Taib Mahmud, tanpa disedarinya sedang mempertaruhkan nyawanya sendiri terbang menaiki pesawat yang kurang selamat! Ini mungkin sikap bongkak dan sombongnya di mana dia sentiasa menganggap dirinya lebih mengetahui daripada para pakar penerbangan, dan dia telah meletakkan ahli politik kroninya mengawasi pesawat peribadinya itu.

Kami telah menemui bukti-bukti di mana selama beberapa bulan dalam tahun 2004, Taib dan ahli-ahli keluarganya dan juga menteri-menteri dan rakan-rakan kroninya diterbangkan di dalam pesawat yang diakui oleh para juruterbang dan jurutera sebagai tidak selamat. Beberapa pucuk memo telah kami temui yang menunjukkan bahawa staf-staf yang bertauliah telah mengeluarkan amaran-amaran mengenai masalah-masalah yang telah dikenalpasti, tetapi telah tidak dihiraukan kerana lebih mengutamakan permusuhan dan persengketaan yang timbul dalam syarikat Hornbill Skyways, yang membekalkan pesawat jet berkenaan.

Tidak lama kemudian setelah 4 buah pesawat Hornbill jatuh terhempas dalam masa setahun sahaja, yang telah meragut lebih sepuluh nyawa, termasuk seorang menteri. Lesen operasi syarikat berkenaan pun digantung.

Pesawat persendirian!
Rasuah yang menyelubungi pemerolehan Taib ke atas pesawat persendiriannya telah didokumentasikan secara meluas. Sebagai Pengerusi dalam Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC), Taib telah menganugerahkan dirinya sebuah pesawat persendirian berkenaan. Dalam tahun 2004, perbadanan yang dikawal oleh Kerajaan Negeri itu memiliki 70% saham dalam Hornbill Airways, dengan baki saham selebihnyha dimiliki oleh sebuah lagi pertubuhan Kerajaan Negeri, Yayasan Sarawak.

Orang dalaman menyatakan bahawa Taib yang menjawat jawatan sebagai ‘Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif (CEO)’ dalam Hornbill dan dia telah didapati membekalkan diri sendiri dengan pesawat yang mahal dan mewah yang dibiayai oleh wang pembayar cukai Sarawak. Perbadanan pembalakan itu memerlukan helicopter, tetapi jet-jet milik perbadanan itu hanya dikhaskan untuk kegunaan Ketua Menteri sekeluarga termasuk juga tetamu-tetamunya. Pegawai-pegawai eksekutif yang lebih senior menyatakan bahawa Taib kini memiliki sebuah pesawat Cessna Citation dan sebuah helicopter yang diletakkan dalam keadaan bersedia digunakan pada bila-bila masa sepanjang 24/7 setiap hari untuk sepanjang tahun. Sekeping cek akan dikeluarkan oleh kerajaan Negeri untuk membiayai kos perkhidmatan berkenaan!

Sikap acuh-tak acuh yang berisiko
Namun, Ketua Menteri dilihat sebagai seorang yang sentiasa menguruskan banyak perkara dengan caranya sendiri, dan dalam pada itu sentiasa menganggap dirinya boleh mengatasi sebarang masalah termasuk menguruskan isu-isu keselamatan di mana nyawa-nyawa orang lain dipertaruhkan, termasuk nyawanya sendiri! Para professional dalam industri penerbangan memberitahu kami bahawa mereka amat terkejut setelah mereka mengetahui bahawa barisan pengurus dalam Hornbill adalah terdiri daripada ahli-ahli politik yang kurang berpengetahuan dalam soal penerbangan, dan bukannya para pakar dalam industri tersebut.

“Pihak pengurusan Hornbill langsung tiada pengetahuan tentang penerbangan” kata seorang dari pakar yang memberikan maklumat kepada kami.

Manakala seorang lagi mengesahkan, “Kini sudah menjadi suatu budaya di kalangan mereka untuk mengutamakan soal politik dari keselamatan”

Piawaian-piawaian industri menuntut bahawa sebarang syarikat penerbangan haruslah diuruskan oleh seseorang yang professional dan bertauliah dalam bidang penerbangan. Tetapi Taib dan lembaga pengarahnya telah memilih untuk melantik mana-mana ahli politik yang bersifat ‘ya, tuan’. Pengerusi Hornbill Airways merupakan seorang bekas pegawai bank dan ahli politik Aidan Wing, yang tidak mengetahui apa-apa dalam bidang penerbangan atau isu-isu keselamatan. Dengan kegemaran Taib menggunakan khidmat kroni-kroninya untuk mentadbir sesuatu, kebanyakannya tidak berkelayakan, suatu masa nanti, tanpa dapat kita duga, akan berlakunya malapetaka. Para professional yang memberikan maklumat kepada Sarawak Report mengatakan, masalah-masalah dalam pentadbiran dan pengurusan telah sedikit sebanyak menjadi penyumbang kepada 4 kejadian buruk yang berlaku dalam tahun 2004, dan akhirnya mengakibatkan lesen operasi mereka terpaksa dihentikan!

Pesawat Taib hanya menunggu masa untuk menemui kemalangan
Kami telah menerima maklumat yang ekslusif yang mengatakan bahawa kecuaian yang berlarutan dan tanpa disedari sesiapa di mana Ketua Menteri kerap menaiki pesawat yang tidak selamat selama beberapa bulan. Seorang jurutera utama telah mengutuskan surat kepada pihak pengurusan Hornbill dengan menyatakan kebimbangan pasukannya terhadap soal pembaik-pulihan pesawat HS125 yang digunakan oleh Ketua Menteri. Tetapi, luahan kebimbangan jurutera berkenaan telah tidak dihiraukan dan akhirnya dia diberhentikan bekerja dengansyarikat berkenaan, meninggalkan para staf yang kurang mahir mengambil alih tugasnya ke atas pesawat yang semakin hari semakin menjadi serius.

Beberapa ketika selepas itu, setelah pesawat itu menjalani pemeriksaan keselamatan di Singapura, menurut sumber dalaman, telah mengatakan bahawa pesawat berkenaan telah selama ini diterbangkan dengan bilah-bilah kipas yang bengkok pada salah sebuah enjin jetnya! Para pakar penerbangan telah memberitahu Sarawak Report bahawa kerosakan tersebut, jika tidak dihiraukan, boleh menyebabkan pesawat itu rosak di udara dan jatuh terhempas bersama-sama Ketua Menteri dan penumpang-penumpangnya.

Bilah-bilah kipas yang bengkok juga tidak dihiraukan oleh juru-juruterbang
Bukti-bukti yang kami terima berkenaan dengan budaya mengenepikan soal-soal keselamatan ini juga telah merebak kepada para juruterbang yang bekerja dengan syarikat Hornbill. Pemberi maklumat kami menyatakan bahawa para juruterbang mereka sedar akan kerosakan-kerosakan yang mereka alami, tetapi mereka terpaksa akur dengan segala perintah dan arahan yang mereka terima daripada pihak pengurusan syarikat.

Semua juruterbang terlatih harus tahu betapa pentingnya mereka mengutamakan hal-hal keselematan, tetapi dalam syarikat Hornbill, terutama dengan Taib yang bertindak sebagai tuannya, hal-hal keselamatan diketepikan. Namun Abdul Taib Mahmud sendiri langsung tidak mengetahui tentang seloh-belok penerbangan. “Menteri-menteri akan menaiki helikopter-helikopter berkenaan, duduk sambil merokok di dalam pesawat, dan juru-juruterbang pula terlalu sopan untuk menegur mereka, walaupun menteri-menteri yang bodoh itu berada hanya beberapa inci jaraknya dari tangki minyak”, kata seorang lagi pemerhati.

Taib sebagai pentadbir
Adalah terlalu daif bagi Taib dan syarikat penerbangannya untuk mengenepikan pendapat dan kepakaran para jurutera dan juruterbang mereka yang sentiasa cuba membantu memperbaiki hal-hal pentadbiran dalam syarikat. Kedaifan seperti ini bukan hanya menyebabkan Taib menemui ajalnya, tetapi juga para penumpangnya. Syarikat Hornbill telah didakwa di dalam mahkamah oleh salah seorang bekas eksekutifnya, Asharat Ali, kerana telah dilayan dengan tidak adil. Asharat mendakwa dia cuba memberikan pandangan untuk memperbaiki kelemahan-kelemahan dalam syarikat berkenaan. Kes berkenaan yang didengar semula sekitar bulan Mei ini nanti. Ketua Menteri Sarawak telah menyebabkan Sarawak mengeluarkan perbelanjaan berjuta-juta ringgit untuk membiayai sistem pengangkutan ini. Pemilikannya yang terkini merupakan jet Cessna Citation, bernilai USD19.5 juta dan merupakan pesawat persendirian yang termahal di dunia hanya dikhaskan untuk kegunaan peribadinya sahaja. Senarai para penumpang yang pernah bersama-samanya menaiki pesawat tersebut terdiri daripada ahli-ahli keluarganya, rakan-rakannya dan juga bomohnya di sekitar Sarawak dan juga ke tempat-tempat lain di luar negara, bukan atas sebarang urusan rasmi.

Taib dipercayai akan membeli sebuah lagi pesawat yang lebih baik, yang juga akan dibiayai menggunakan wang pembayar-pembayar cukai Sarawak menerusi syarikat Hornbill dan STIDC. Namun pertimbangannya kali ini sudah dipengaruhi oleh nafsunya. Dalam tahun 2004 orang tua itu hampir-hampir terkorban dalam pesawatnya sendiri.

PS: Dari tanah hingga ke sungai dan udara kalau boleh semuanya akan dibolot oleh CM, keluarga dan kroni2nya. Tanpa menghirau akan keselamatan diri dan orang disekeliling mereka seolah-olah tidak takut akan kematian. Kalau nyawa boleh dibeli sudah pasti merekalah yang akan membolot semua nyawa dimuka bumi ini.
Dengan adanya kemudahan pengangkutan udara maka dengan mudah mereka melihat dari atas udara tanah mana lagi yang masih kosong dan akan dirampok dari rakyat dan dibagi-bagi sesama mereka sendiri. Rakyat yang setia menyokong mereka terganga-ganga mulut melihat kekayaan dan kemewahan kehidupan pemimpin mereka sedangkan rakyat hidup dalam kemiskinan umpama kais pagi makan pagi kais petang makan petang macam ayam kampung yang mencari makanan untuk mengisi perut dan meneruskan kehidupan seharian. Malang sungguh nasib rakyat Sarawak yang miskin bertambah miskin yang kaya bertambah kaya. Bila lagi rakyat Sarawak mahu sedar??? Adakah menunggu tanah mereka kena rampas dan dihalau dari tanah sendiri baru nak bangkit.

Bah kita kena ubah sekarang dengan menyokong PAS dan PAKATAN Rakyat dalam pilihanraya umum nanti, Insya-Allah pasti ada perubahan yang lebih baik lagi buat rakyat semua.