Friday, April 11, 2008

The Next Time If There's A Terrorist Threat At The Airport, Can We Say That 'It's Not A Security Breach As It Happened At Public Area'?

From the mouth of our spanking new Minister of Transport.

IGP: Why moneychangers carried so much cash?
R. Surenthira Kumar and Giam Say Khoon

PUTRAJAYA (April 10, 2008): While police are going all out to nab the robbers who made two moneychangers S$1.5 million (RM3.5 million) poorer in the KL International Airport (KLIA) on Wednesday evening, they are also focusing on the attempt to "take out of the country" such a large amount of cash.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said: "We want to know the reason. We also have to investigate who they are (the moneychangers and the friend from Singapore who was due to be meet them in KLIA)."

On the robbery, Musa declined to elaborate on the case as investigations are still in progress.

He said the police had sent a letter to the Home Ministry’s secretary-general last month to discuss about enhancing security at KLIA.

Musa said a meeting between the ministry, police and Malaysia Airports Berhad were being arranged when "this happened".

He said he had called for the meeting following several incidents of security breach at the airport, including the case of a Bangladeshi who was cleared for boarding with a knife, resulting in the Biman Airlines pilot making an emergency landing in Bangkok on Tuesday (April 8).

Musa spoke to reporters on the sidelines of a four-corner discussion between the judiciary, police, Attorney-General's Chambers and Anti-Corruption Agency at the judges’ annual conference today.

In KANGAR, Deputy IGP Datuk Ismail Omar said Sepang is still a safe location because the robbery and shootout tin KLIA "is an isolated case".

"The public should not perceive KLIA as an unsafe location," he told reporters after launching Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) Undergraduate Volunteer Corps (SukSis) here today.

He said the KLIA did not have closed circuit cameras at scene of the robbery and shootout where some 40 spent shells were recovered. The two moneychangers and their two bodyguards and a Nepali were injured in the shootout with the two armed robbers who are believed to have at least two accomplices.

In SUBANG, Transport Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat said the robbery and shootout " is not a security breach".

"It occurred outside the airport (Departure Hall's Gate 7) and it was not the Malaysia Airports Bhd (MAB)'s jurisdiction to handle security outside the airport. The shotout in a public zone of the airport is a police case.

"We will help the police in investigations and I will also personally meet the IGP," he told reporters after visiting Malaysia Airlines' headquarters here yesterday.

On the case of the Bangladeshi who boarded a plane with a knife, Ong said the MAB had suspended three security officers.

"It was a security breach at the airport and we have initiated an investigation. MAB has also sent its representatives to visit its Thai counterpart to facilitate the probe," he said.

Stressing that the security system and equipment in KLIA was good , Ong said the attitude of security officers cannot be said the same.

"They must be sensitive and serious in screening the passengers before allowing them to board the aircraft," he added.

It was reported that the passenger, who was believed to be mentally unstable, had been unruly and frightened other passengers.

However, Airports of Thailand president Chana U-Sathaporn said: "This is not a hijacking or terrorism. The pilot asked for an emergency landing just to be safe."

He said the aviation authorities then directed the plane to land on Bangkok's domestic Don Muang airport.

Asked whether the image of the award-winning airport will be affected by the incident, Ong said the airport was bound to international standard, rules and regulations.

"I agree that the image may be affected. However, the incident was unexpected by the airport management and I hope that the MAB will improve on this matter," he said.

KLIA was voted Best Airport in the 15-25 million passengers per annum category and it also bagged third place for both Best Airport Worldwide and Best Airport in Asia/Pacific categories in 2006.

Updated: 05:51PM Thu, 10 Apr 2008

The 2007 Glasgow International Airport foiled terror attack. If this is to happen in Malaysia (and the terrorist succeeds), will Ong Tee Keat say that this is not a security breach as it is a 'public space'?

The blame game again. And they say the Police and BN are not the birds of a feather?

Still remember BN's election slogan? Selamat, Aman, Meletup?

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