Business Commentary

Tickled by jokes from Guan Eng & Tiong Lai


Written by Aziz Hassan

“Mid-week Notes” – A weekly column – 27/07/16

IT’S not every week or every day that we wake up to be greeted by something joyous that perks you up.

But there have been ticklish news in recent days, including one reported by the press today.

Such nonsensical news is a big joke and jokes, even if they are not entirely funny, are supposed to make us laugh. Otherwise you can’t call them jokes.

So there is this story about a certain politician up north who has to deal with a personal matter but according to the prosecutors, linked to his position as head of the state’s administration.

Lim Guan Eng, Penang Chief Minister-cum-DAP secretary-general, will have his day in court to answer two charges but like many others in a similar position, he turns around to accuse those in authority of fabricating the case against him and that it’s politically motivated, nothing more.

When politicians from the other side were alleged to have been up to no good, Guan Eng was one of those quick to seize the moment, to ask them to resign or take leave of absence.

But not surprisingly the same doesn’t apply to him, which means he is staying put at his office high up at Komtar.

As if that’s not bad enough where integrity and credibility is concerned, he has been pushing his party’s partners to agree to his call for snap polls in Penang.

No matter where you search for it, you will not find one sensible reason why there should be such an election when no one has questioned the position of the DAP, as the lead party in the Penang government. It is not the DAP’s credibility or hold on power there that is the issue. It never has been.

The issue is one that concerns Guan Eng, and Guan Eng alone.

The Penang government is not going to collapse even if Guan Eng is eventually found guilty and sent to jail a second time, of that people must not forget.

So far PAS is dead against Guan Eng’s proposal, Amanah seems not to adopt a strong position and will most likely “follow the crowd”. PKR doesn’t sound enthusiastic but until now has yet to decide.

An Umno Penang politician today gave a statement to say that all the 10 PKR assemblymen in the state had rejected the idea when it was brought at the PKR supreme council meeting yesterday but we can’t take this to be PKR’s official position.

This appears also the season to be merry with anything connected to our transport sector.

Over the years quite a number of people have been very excited about the sky and they all want to own an airline.

After what happened to Rayani Air a few months, you would think that people would be more cautious about throwing their money into aviation. But no, there are some who are still up in the clouds.

Now there’s Monspace Sky Airlines and Suasa Airlines – two entities but apparently only one is the real thing flying. Never mind that.

One side of the story is that Suasa was given approval by the Department of Civila Aviation to fly a one-off flight from Subang to KLIA and also a “demonstration flight” from KLIA to Langkawi. The permit for both, said a newspaper, was valid for only 72 hours from the date of issue. If that’s correct by now it’s history.

The other side however says that Suasa’s application for an Air Service Permit was rejected.

Hence, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai says the operator had violated local aviation laws.


Every flight in this country, especially for a big bird that can carry 50 or more people, cannot avoid the DCA and its air traffic controllers.

If Suasa or Monspace didn’t have the permit to fly, how could its aircraft take off from KLIA to go to Langkawi last Friday?

On this Liow and the press report I read today were silent and that’s baffling, as if the DCA and ATC had nothing to do with that maiden or demonstration flight by Suasa.

It’s high time Liow first finds out more about matters under his jurisdiction before making statements that apportion blame to others.

Or is Liow too up in the clouds?



About the author

Aziz Hassan

A journalist since July 1976 with both the English and Malaya press and was with two newspaper groups before The Mole. Does corporate report-writing and translation in his free time. Currently also a contributing weekly rugby columnist for the New Straits Times.