By S Pathmawathy
Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar has demanded that the Transport Ministry reveal why the RM128.4 million air traffic control system was awarded to a minister’s family member through “closed tender”.
“What is the ministry’s excuse as well as the Department of Civil Aviation’s (DCA), and is it a norm to award such an important project to a minister’s family?” she asked.
A closed tender limits the list of tenderers to a few selected parties who are invited to submit their bids.
After futile attempts at seeking answers on the costly yet allegedly faulty air traffic control system installed at the National Air Traffic Control Centre (NATCC), Nurul Izzah had submitted a question to Parliament.
However, Transport Minister Kong Cho Ha dismissed the allegation in a succinct written reply on Tuesday, claiming that the system installed in December last year is “working fine”.
According to the MP, the documents in her possession revealed that HMI was “unstable with substantial weaknesses”.
Nurul Izzah said the system is supplied by Advanced Air Traffic System (M) Sdn Bhd (AAT), of which 50 percent is owned by Tirai Variasi Sdn Bhd, whose largest stakeholder is Ikwan Hafiz Jamaluddin.
She also alleged that NATCC’s director had sent out a memo to “all traffic controllers, in particular highlighting the inconsistency in cleared flight level”.
Among the documents she distributed was a letter dated Jan 4, bearing signatures of 11 people including NATCC’s deputy directors of air traffic control.
In the letter addressed to their director, they complained that efforts to rectify the problems up to then were “very disappointing”, and air traffic controllers had been advised to be cautious.
Nurul Izzah, at a press conference in Parliament lobby today, also asked the DCA to explain whether the the concerns raised in the letter were addressed and measures taken to rectify the problems.
“If the problems and shortcomings highlighted have been repaired, when will the DCA arrange for an audit by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)?
Kong had said that the purported problems with the Human Machine Interface (HMI) were untrue and that the system was functioning well without any incidents. – Mkini