Saturday December 20, 2008
By LESTER KONG
PETALING JAYA: Armed Somali pirates that boarded Chinese crane ship Zhenhua 4 were about to blow the bridge wide open when the Royal Malaysian Navy came to the rescue. Nine pirates ran helter-skelter without firing a single shot after there were surprised by the twin machineguns of KD Sri Inderasakti’s Fennec helicopter gunship.The crew on the Zhenghua 4 had earlier locked themselves on the bridge and held off the pirates, which came on two skiffs, for several hours.The Fennec gunship’s response was the first time an aircraft was deployed to engage pirates holding a merchant vessel in the Gulf of Aden. RMN Fleet Operations Commander Vice-Admiral Datuk Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin said the Sri Inderasakti was in the right place and the right time in the pirate-menaced Gulf of Aden on Wednesday when it received a distress call from Zhenhua 4.
Pirates on the loose: Pirate boats (top) being seen near the Chinese ship ‘Zhenhua 4’ in the Gulf of Aden on Wednesday in this handout photo, while the Chinese vessel’s crew (right) prepare to attempt to repel boarders. — Reuters“And the response from Sri Inderasakti’s response was swift,” he added.Relating the incident, Ahmad Kamarulzaman said that the RMN ship received the distress call from the Chinese ship at 8.30am (local time).“Commanding officer Kapt Mohamad Adib Abdul Samad immediately despatched the Fennec gunship. “At the same time, a request from the European Union’s CTF150 taskforce also came in for us to lend assistance and do whatever was necessary to deter the pirates because we were the nearest vessel to the Zhenhua 4,” he told The Star when contacted in Singapore. Covering 45 nautical miles at 80 knots per hour, the Fennec piloted by Leftenan Muliadi Mohd Noor and air quartermaster Petty Officer Haniffaa Haironi reached Zhenhua 4 in less than 15 minutes.“After quickly assessing the situation, Haniffaa fired several warning shots across the bow of the Zhenhua 4. This created panic among the pirates,” he said.One of the pirates’ skiffs also sank in the battle but not from the Fennec’s gunfire, said Ahmad Kamarulzaman.Not long after, Dutch warship HDMS Absalon of the European Union’s CTF150 taskforce arrived to escort the Zhenhua 4 to its destination.Ahmad Kamarulzaman said that the RMN is sure that there were other pirate vessels in the area as the gunship crew saw what they believed to be the “mother ship.”.The Inderasakti had taken over from the KD Mahawangsa on Dec 12 in the ongoing Ops Fajar to safeguard Malaysian merchant vessels plying the dangerous Gulf of Aden.
Sunday, 21 December 2008
Friday, 19 December 2008
According to a duty officer at the Piracy Reporting Center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, a nearby Malaysian warship was alerted and sent a helicopter to the scene. When the helicopter fired around the Chinese boat, the pirates panicked and fled in a speedboat.The Malaysian warship did not apprehend the pirates, Mody said, because international rules are still unclear about where the pirates could be detained and how they could be tried. "That's the main reason the navies don't pick up pirates," he said. "Once you've got them, what do you do with them?"
Thursday, 18 December 2008
September 24th, 2008 by Marsha
Haritu Bi called.. Walaupun dapat cakap lebih 15 minit tapi rasa tak puas sangat.. Bi tengah tunggu TLDM untuk konvoi bersama lalu Teluk Aden.. Pfffftt.. Bi kata semalam nyaris kena kejar dengan lanun Somalia tu so diorg patah balik.. (Translation : That day Bi called..Even though could only talked for 15 minutes but still not so satisfied..Bi is waiting for the RMN convoy through the Gulf of Aden...PFfftt...Bi said yesterday nearly got chased by the Somalian Pirates so they turned back...)
Confirming the pirate hijack of a Malaysian tug boat off Yemen yesterday, the National Security Council is now awaiting the latest development on the incident.Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said the council had not received any report on the hijack and was worried over the fate of the crew.He said Malaysia had reported the hijack to the United Nations and pressed the need for drastic measures to be taken against Somali pirates."The council is expecting a report either tonight or tomorrow morning," he told reporters after attending the ministry's Excellent Service Awards here.AFP reported that pirates had hijacked a Malaysian tug boat and a Turkish cargo ship yesterday, and attacked three other vessels in the Gulf of Aden in the past week.The tug boat with 11 crew on board was heading to Malaysia from West Asia.In three other incidents last week, Somali pirates attempted to hijack a Singapore tanker, an Italian cargo ship and a Greek ship.Meanwhile, Rais described the United Nations Security Council resolution to combat piracy as "powerless"."Merely announcing it is of no use, it must be followed up with physical force," he said.
In LUMUT, Acting Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) chief Vice-Admiral Datuk Mohammed Noordin Ali said that next February, the RMN would cease ongoing 'Ops Fajar' operations to protect the country's commercial vessels from pirate threats in the Gulf of Aden near Somalia.He said the decision was also agreed upon by Army chief Gen Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Zainal.Mohammed Noordin said any decision to resume operations would depend on the prime minister, defence minister and the National Security Council.He said the decision to stop the operations was mainly due to its exorbitant costs and RMN obliogations to protect the sovereignity of the national waters.Mohammed Noordin said this after receiving RMN vessel 'KD Mahawangsa' which had returned from Ops Fajar at the RMN Lumut base today.Another RMN vessel, 'KD Indera Sakti', is expected to conclude the operation in February.'Ops Fajar' was launched after Malaysian International Shipping Corporation (MISC) vessel MT Bunga Melati Dua was hijacked by Somalian pirates in the Gulf of Aden while heading to Rotterdam from Dumai, Indonesia on Aug 19.Ten days later, another MISC vessel, MT Bunga Melati Lima, with 36 crewmen, was also hijacked while crossing the same waters.Meanwhile, a Wisma Putra source identified the two ships as those of the AMD 1 cargo ship and Masindra 7 tugboat.The source said that a National Security Division meeting was held at 2.30pm today to discuss the matter.No Malaysians were involved in the incident as the crew members of both vessels were Indonesians, he said.-- BERNAMA
Tuesday, 16 December 2008
KD Mahawangsa Leading Her Convoy Through The Gulf
A Super Lynx On Eagle Valencia's Deck Indicating Her Size
Sunday, 7 December 2008
These early beginnings was part of a long term strategic measure for the RMN as it allowed the Air Wing to learn and deepen their knowledge in the various aspects of helicopter operations in maritime warfare scenarios including logistic support. Such operational experience is not only limited to the people of KD Rajawali but is also shared with the navy’s fleet personnel when the Navy trains their pilots and air engineering team to carry out various maritime operations with the fleet’s ships. This is because the role of KD Rajawali is primarily to meet the aviation support for the surface fleet of the Navy, in times of peace and war. These roles include reconnaissance, search and rescue, oil spill detection, trans-border criminal activities interventions and oil platform and EEZ protection. Vast emphasis therefore is placed on training of personnel, enhancing flying skills and expanding the air wing so that it will not only be able to operate rotary aircraft currently but fixed wing maritime patrol aircraft in the future. With the entry of such aircraft and training of its personnel in advance flying and weaponry, KD Rajawali is geared to meet the many challenges ahead as the Fleet Air Arm of the Navy. What is unique about the Air Wing is that with the procurement of twelve new highly sophisticated naval helicopters; the RMN now owns the most modern and capable combat helicopter fleet than the other branches of the Armed Forces.
Hand Held Warning Receiver-ARI 23241/1
Empty Weight : 1,566 kg
Flight Weight : 2,495 kg maximum
Engine : 1 x Rolls Royce Nimbus Mk 103
Maximum Speed : 90 knots
Flight Hours : 2 hours 20 minutes
Weapons : Sea Skua Anti Ship Missile
0.5 Cal M3M HMG
Radar and Sensors : Seaspray 3600 radar
Sea Owl Thermal Imager
Sky Guardian 2500 ESM
Teleguidance Mk2 (TG2)
Empty Weight : 3,645 kg
Flight Weight : 5,330 kg maximum
Engine : 2 x LHTEC CTS800-4N
Maximum Speed : 168 knots
Flight Hours : 2 hours 20 minutes
502 Squadron Fennec – Agile Et Fute
While awaiting the delivery of the Super Lynx helicopters, the RMN leased two units of AS355 F2 Ecureuil so that KD Rajawali can continue operations after the Wasp helicopters were decommissioned. So it was no surprise that during LIMA 2001, an agreement to purchase six units of the naval version AS355 SN Fennec was signed and the 502 Squadron officially became operational on 28 April 2004. Specifically the primary role of the squadron is to act as a training platform where the Fennec acts as the Lead In Trainer for the Navy’s aircrew and technicians. The Fennec is also the secondary aircraft for the Navy’s maritime combat operations in support of the Super Lynxes. Thus the helicopter’s supporting roles are surface surveillance, naval gun fire support, reconnaissance and search and rescue in addition to general duties. The Fennec can also assist navy divers in mine clearing operations by using the hover jump technique where the mine clearance dive team will make a direct dive into the sea from the helicopter. It is also tasked to support the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency for littoral operations and enforcement. Unlike the Super Lynx, the Fennec is not armed with heavy weapons and is only equipped with a door mounted MAG 58M 7.62mm machinegun. Since the Fennec’s duties are littoral focused, she is equipped with a 240 kg load winch on the port side and a 30 million candela powered search light for night operations. The Fennecs are supposed to be organically detached to the Kedah class patrol vessels while for operations support, they will be short termed deployed on any ship that has a helideck and flight facilities.
Weapons : MAG 58M 7.62mm GPMG
Radar and Sensors : Bendix 1500B radar
Fruit 99 EWR
LEO II A5 FLIR
Empty Weight : 1,890 kg
Flight Weight : 2,600 kg maximum
Engine : 2 x Turbomecca Arius 1A
Maximum Speed : 150 knots
Maximum Flight Hours : 3 hours 20 minutes
Friday, 28 November 2008
Friday November 28, 2008
PUT it down to animal attraction but Hollywood has had a soft spot for putting heroic canine crime-fighters and life-savers on screen for decades. The truth of the matter is that Bolt is merely the latest in a long line of do-good dogs to topline their very own movie or television show over the years.
One hot dog: Scooby-Doo is the iconic Great Dane.
·Scooby-Doo: The star of the longest continually running cartoon series in television history, Scooby-Doo is the iconic Great Dane who remains instantly recognisable to most kids and adults as Mystery Inc’s crime-busting mascot. Just like his best friend and owner Norville “Shaggy” Rogers, Scooby loves his food and is scared of almost anyone and anything. Amazingly, Scooby has managed to outlast most of his on-screen counterparts and has enjoyed the distinction of not only being the star of his own cartoon series but also two Hollywood movies.
·Underdog: TV’s crime-busting beagle from the mid-60s to early 70s may not nearly be as famous as Scooby-Doo but he’s just as potent to baddies nevertheless. A cartoon parody of Superman and other heroes with secret identities, Underdog’s premise was that geeky Shoeshine Boy, a cartoon dog, was in truth the superhero pup Underdog.
·Lassie: Have a conversation about heroic dogs and Lassie’s name will pretty much come up. Lassie’s heyday might have been in the 50s but this brave and selfless collie’s amazing exploits still manage to live long in the memories of TV addicts worldwide.
·Benji: Another heroic dog to have captured the imagination is Benji, the small, lovable mixed breed pup with the uncanny knack of being always being in the right place at the right time. Such was Benji’s appeal that it has managed to remain a star of the small and silver screens for more than three decades and counting. The latest news on Benji is that he will be starring in an episode of Season Five of the popular HBO series Entourage.
Thursday, 27 November 2008
Coming to the main event I have noticed that the price for these holiday packages actually are quite stable even for a period of one month unlike the price of their flight tickets. Nonetheless this where both budget airlines’ price indication differs and if you are not careful you may actually be paying more if you just accept without reading the fine print properly. For JBA their prices are all inclusive meaning you pay what they quoted, while TBA’s will charge additional taxes and fees that actually makes their nett price more than their rival's. Even though TBA serves refreshments in their flight, a glass of fruit juice and a muffin is not worth an extra two hundred bucks in my books. That is basically the additional cost of the package that I have to pay to TBA if I had opted for their package to stay in Renaissance Hotel In Kota Bharu. Although TBA offers two hotels with the other being a two star hotel, it surprised me that theirs cost more for basically the same package. And the funny thing is that TBA no longer offers Renaissance when I first logged in last night but I manage to get it after trying several times but I finally dropped it after doing a last minute comparison with JBA’s quotation which saved me the two hundred bucks. In fact if you logged in now, you will no longer get to book at Renaissance although JBA continues to offer the hotel in their inventory. So I have managed to make a booking at a five star hotel at a good price, better than if I had made separate bookings.
Well what is the comparison between booking the hotel and flight tickets separately you might ask. You can actually reserve the hotel rooms at a good rate from the hotel’s website but when you add up the cost, it can actually cost you an extra four hundred ringgit than if you buy the package from JBA. Surprisingly TBA’s final package price is quite similar to the price of booking separately, so there seems to be no reason to buy from them unless you buy your flight ticket early on. However I must say that both airlines are actually having promotional fares for the period that cost less than seventy ringgit one way which I suspect would be quite similar in pricing if you had bought it early. Well at least I have finished the first step in the process to having the budget airline holiday, and when the departure date strikes nearer I will write on how I prepared to travel on the budget airline with their numerous restrictions especially baggage limits and how to overcome them. I stop with the following travel tips from JBA’s website! Cheers then!.
Go Holiday offers low prices packages (combining flights and hotels). Here are some ways to keep your costs down.
Depart on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. These days often reflect the lowest fares.
Check for "low' periods. When you travel during off peak periods, there are less people and
fares are lower.
When you see a good deal, buy it! Inventory changes constantly for both flights and hotel. A good deal might not be available later.
Travel just after a major holiday. Holiday travel is always in demand, and prices often drop as the demand does.
Thursday, 20 November 2008
Nonetheless I must confess that I personally came by to the taste of Lingham's quite late in life, since a bottle of Lingham’s chilli sauce do cost more than the average chilli sauce the Malaysian family consumes and thus Lingham’s was not stocked by my own average Malaysian family. In fact it was my wife who introduced me to this sauce early in my marriage, and only then as a special occasion chilli sauce and not as a table sauce. I actually think I tasted Tabasco much earlier as it was brought back by my sister who was studying in the states, but to this day I actually have not taken to its taste, possibly because its nourish salty taste is too piquant for me. Maybe it is because our taste buds, or mine at least, are more used to a sweet and sour taste even though both sauces share a salt and vinegar base. Thus the addition of sugar makes Lingham’s taste more palatable to me and I guess many others especially their international fans, and this is where the strength of Lingham’s markets are. And Lingham’s has long claimed itself to be organic even before it was fashionable to be so as it is made without any preservatives. Although not made of any chilli padi like Tabasco, the heat from a bottle of Lingham’s is still hot enough for me as our own long red chilli’s has a heat signature of their own and hotness does not need to be just a matter of fieriness in your mouth to register its heat level.
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
Let not the taking of another of our ships force our hand again to send our naval ships there to provide naval security for our national assets in the area. Our shipping companies and the MAF must come up with a reasonable security solution for the ships passing through the are, and soon. Posting our Paskal men on board after embarking from a safe port after dispatch by air to provide security in the area before disembarking at the other end and returning home may allow irregular presence in the are without constant deployment of our naval ships, thus reducing overall cost. Just my two cents to put into the discussion hat.
Saturday, 15 November 2008
And what about our very own special brand of discrimination, Fatwa on Tomboys? The National Fatwa Council, this paper reported recently, has ruled that tomboy-ism – where a girl behaves or dresses in a boyish manner – is forbidden in Islam. seemingly, the decision was prompted by the recent propensity of young women to behave like men and indulge in homosexuality. The Star 9 November 2008
Sunday, 9 November 2008
Tuesday, 4 November 2008
PAC finds no evidence of abuse in Eurocopter tender process
By: Husna Yusop and Giam Say Khoon (Mon, 03 Nov 2008)KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 3, 2008) :The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) did not find any evidence of abuse of power in the tender process by the Defence Ministry for the RM1.6 billion purchase of 12 Eurocopter EC725 helicopters.Azmi and his deputy Tan Seng Giew at the PAC meeting yesterday.However, PAC chairman Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid expressed concern that the deal, now on hold, was struck without any physical inspection. "Although we did not find anything incriminating in the two-day inquiry, PAC members have expressed the need to continue monitoring the progress of the deal because it is a high-profile case. We will not to conduct inquiries and call back witnesses or new witnesses if necessary," he said today.Azmi said the committee the tender process conducted according to international standard and transparent. " We were unable to determine the correct price for the deal because we could only evaluate from the best tender. According to the terms of tender, the tendered price of RM1.604 billion from the Eurocopter will only hold until February. "After that, it will have to depend on whether the manufacturer is still willing to sell at the same price," he added.However, Azmi said PAC was not satisfied with the ministry for not having a physical inspection before choosing Eurocopter. He said the test flight pilots of the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) had tried the helicopter and thus opined that physical inspection was not necessary. "So we suggested to the RMAF to make physical inspection compulsory in future and a decision was made that a thorough pre-delivery inspection will be conducted when the deal is done,," he said.To those who cleverly claim no flight-test was done in alleging improper tender process, please note that the finding is that such a flight test was done aaa but now the recommendation is that physical inspection is carried out upon receiving the helicopters. For those of you with no brain, this means when the helicopters have finished being manufactured and ready to be received aaa, not before. Anyway this is a no brainer as it is an established industry practise, so does this imply we have not done pre-receiving inspection before. That would be a surprise and is worth further investigation.Azmi said PAC also proposed that the government set up an independent review panel to monitor any expensive procurement. "It is up to the government to determine whether procurement involving RM100 million and above should be monitored by a panel but that will ensure that a purchase is done in a more transparent manner. Azmi also explained that there was confusion in the price of the helicopters as different figures had been reported. "All figures were incorrect as we had seven tenders and only three of them were suitable. Of the three, the lowest tender was RM1.262 billion, followed by RM1.604 billion and RM2.442 billion, but the government had chosen the RM1.604 billion tender as it met the requirements set by the Air Force," he said. Asked why the government did not choose the lowest tender, Azmi said only Eurocopter has managed to meet the requirements set by the ministry. The requirements, I cannot reveal," he said.To all of you so called experts out there, please note that only this helicopter meet all the requirements by the Air Force, so even though the price was not the lowest it was the lowest fully compliant tender so naturally it was selected la. By the way, even the PAC cannot disclose the requirements, so don't play-play and clever-clever speculate your own specs aa...definitely not like your spectacles one...."The Nuri helicopters are in the process of being phased out although RMAF has ensured that the helicopters are still airworthy until 2015. A total of 95 persons died in helicopter crashes involved Nuris and it is difficult to determine whether the crashes were due to human error. " We are also worried about delaying the replacement of the Nuri," said Azmi.So please-please my Dear Government, stop politicising this issue with your political fears and issue your LOA to Eurocopter before the price validity ends in February 2009 .On the allegation by Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) that the Nuris can still function for another 20 years, Azmi said the Nuris did not have night flight capability and were unable to perform auto-pilot rescue in the air. These can only be overcome by using new helicopters and it will cost more for the Nuris to be upgraded" he said. --- end ---Aiyaa Uncle Lim, now you understand aa...Nuri not suitable for CSAR as cannot hover one and cannot fly night time. And to modify to include all these items as proposed for the cougar "radar warning receiver, laser warning receiver, missile launch warning receiver etc", it would cost more la, so the only advantage is for you politically but our airmen will still be risking their lifes for your political games only. So if any Nuri drop I put it on your head aaaa !Ptui!