Wednesday, October 14, 2009


The final countdown on the fate of KD Seri Inderapura has began. She is to be sunk and be made a artificial reef for the breeding of maritime life, preempted the Defence Minister. The final decision will however depend on the outcome of the investigation that will be carried out by the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN).

I know for certain that a decision to sink or not to sink a ship is not an easy decision to make. One has to understand the culture of the navy where sailors attachment to the ship is like a mother to a toddler and vice versa. The attachment is mutual, and sailors like to talk fondly about their time serving a ship long after they have left the navy.

The first ship Captain of KD Seri Inderapura was Laskma Noor Azman (Retired) who had captained the ship on many voyages overseas to provide logistical provisions and material support to Malaysian troops serving in Bosnia, Somalia and even sending Vietnamese refugees back to Vietnam.

Upon knowing that KD Seri Inderaputra had caught fire, I quickly called Laksma Noor Azman to hear what he has to say of the incident. From the brief conversation, I sense that he wasn't in the mood to talk about the ship, and I fully understood the reason for it. I suppose he was overcome by emotion to see his ship that has been a part of his life for several years laid in flames, and will no longer be part of his history in the navy.

I then called on some other navy friends to find out what could be the cause of the fire, and why was it that the navy took an unusually long time to stop the fire, despite the ship being at harbour.

Having listened to a long lecture on ship safety and some naval terms that I am not quite familiar with, my navy friend's final reasoning is simply that the crew is not well trained for fire fighting on board, and he believes that there was an element of negligence on the part of somebody. He too could not understand why was the ship allowed to be on fire for several hours, when it was at harbour where the fire fighting gears could easily be made available. Or was there a complete wash-out of all the fire fighting gears and equipments? It is a different matter altogether if the ship is on fire while sailing in the open sea.

I do not know whether heads will roll at the end of the investigation; but I do know that the navy do not compromise on discipline and negligence.

And to quote the final words of Laksma Noor Azman to me when he said that, “for God sake, sinking a ship for the purpose of an artificial reef would be the last thing that a navy would want to do”



maurice said...

Selling it as scrap iron would be a better option, at least it could generate some revenue for the Treasury.

Putting out fire in a ship is not an easy task. The Japanese Navy took 8 hours to put out fire in one their war ships at harbour a few ago using 14 fire engines.

Military people are familiar with the addage:How to PREVENT fire, DETECT fire and FIGHT fire.A Fire Team will always be on standby 24/7 to handle any outbreak of fire in the camp.I suppose with a ship, more vigorous fire drills are necessary to ensure every crew member are up to it.

Also visibly absent is a Fire Fighting Ship to put out the fire.We expect such a ship with their powerful water hoses to be deployed immediately to put out the fire.Don't the RMN have such a ship?

Pak Oncu said...

Dato,,,, displin dalam Navy tidak sehebat zaman sya dalam RMN dulu,,,,

nick said...

It's the sinking of a navy's ship on purpose in order to launch another commission laden military purchases. It's so great being a consulting company for arm purchases... a single deal can net them hundreds of million RM. Only in 1Malaysia and the only 1 in the world, mind you!

Fabian said...

My dear friend,

Military is known for making appreciation resuting in courses open - three courses for example - and then select the best course. It is not known one makes a hasty decision with one course open only. Let see the Navy or MINDEF make known its apppreciation and let the ship die and bury with honour - certainly not be murdered with disgrace.

Fabian Wong

hussin said...

selagi sistem peninggalan mahathir bernafas lega, selagi itulah segar bugarnya virus rasuah. mungkin kebakaran yang berlaku tidak dapat dielakkan kecuali terbukti ada unsur sabotaj. pun gitu boi mana nak determine sabotaji kecuali sudah sedia dgn hujah2 ke arah 'write-off' termasuk membenamkannya ke dasar laut.

janganlah bekas2 anggota tentera hiba dgn apa yang berlaku. kita lihat sendiri. bagaimana anggota2 tentera boleh "dibeli" undi mereka. kita lihat sendiri bagaimana ltg ra mengiringi mp untuk berkempen. itu lah std army kita. mungkin sbg balasan, selepas mat pada akhir bulan ini tptd akan "tinggalkan" kerusinya untuk ke mks atm "membuka" ruang kpd ltg ra, sbgmana kehendak mael polin.

pas nyata gagal di bagan pinang dgn slogan "bersama kehendak rakyat", manakala di dtd "kehendak" mael polin mungkin menjadi kenyataan. keputusan mat akhir bulan ini kita tunggu.

Fabian said...

My dear friend,

One of the factors in making the appreciation, Navy or MINDEF should consider is the SENTIMENTS of the past Navy Chiefs, Officers and men, had in one way or another, involved in the purchase of the SHIP or had served in the SHIP.

Let hear what they have to say, their VOICE should be heard and respected.

I for one admire Tun Mahathir for voicing out despite the fact many were against him doing so. Now, more and more people realise he is doing it for the King, Country and UMNO. Tun Mahathir does not have to voice it out, as he is old (IN FIGURES ONLY), rich, known (not only in Malaysia but in the world), and well respected. He does for Malaysia, not for personal glory.

I wish our great past Navy leaders, Officers and men will emulate Tun Mahathir in speaking up and voicing concern and love for the Navy.

Regards to the Navy Veterans.

God bless the Navy.

Fabian Wong

abdulhalimshah said...

Dear Dato' Arshad,
Let us look at the big picture. When the KD Inderapura caught fire, the Minister of Defence made a remark as to what possibly was the cause and he also added that a new ship would replace it. He just acted like a cowboy shooting from the hip. Being new to the ways of how such things are dealt with, the Minister's office having officers from the various branch of the Army, Navy and Air Force acting as advisers should have briefed him immediately as what procedure should be followed under such circumstances.
Instead the Hon. Minister went to ramble on approaching the PM for Cabinet approval about buying a new ship. Obviously he did not understand the ties that bind the ship and its crew that you mentioned of. To me, either the Hon. Minister is totally ignorant or failed to be initiated into the norms of the Defence Ministry. The Admirals in the RMN should do something before more damage is done. Pre-empting an action before a duly constituted investigation team get on with its task is a poor reflection of the top leadership in the respective branch of the Malaysian Armed Forces.

aofuad said...

I was told that there is not enough fire fighting tugboat around, or rather there is none lke the one we see on tv whenever there is a ship fire.
I was also told that the Minister made the statement from Bagan Datok and not at Lumut where the ship is.
The least he could have done was to take the heli and look at the real picture.
I was also told that there is Two and a half million litre of fuel on board, and nothing concrete is being done to overcome it, if the worst case scenario prevails.

But the best part is that there are many other things that we are not told.

What i can foresee is the livelihood of the small fishermen when the oil spillss over.

I might be wrong here, and i know there are more expert redaers here who knows better.

maurice said...

Dear Afofuad,

Just let the 2.5 million litre of fuel burn.That way you minimize the oil spillage!

taming said...

In this beloved country of ours,
multi-millions RMN ship is allowed to burn.
What have happened to the RMN Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for detecting, fighting ship fires and the RMN training?

In countries like USA, Korea and Japan, the Minister of Defence, the Chief of Navy, Commander Fleet Operations Command and Ship Captain
would resign from their jobs if similar incident happen.

Our Minister of Defence preempted KD Seri Inderapura to be sunk and be made articial reef for the breeding of maritime life! Political leaders would now be happy to operationalise ship replacement agenda so that some cronies can make quick millions.

If KD Seri Inderapura is no longer
economically viable to be repaired,
I appeal to Minister of Defence NOT
to sink it in the interest of RMN traditions. If one were to go to Pearl Harbour, Honolulu, Hawaii, US Navy ship, USS Arizona which was
sunk by the Japanese during World War 2 had been proudly preserved as a US Navy historical site.

If Minister of Defence still insists that KD Seri Inderapura be given to the fish, I suggest that Laksma Dato Noor Azman (Rtd), all the former ship captains and crew parade at Mindef Main Gate and voice their last request from Zahid Hamidi to "Save KD Seri Inderapura" as a RMN museum piece instead of making the fish happy.
The Chief of Navy, please speak up
to save His Majesty's ship!

Do we still remember when the RMAF Nuri helicopter crashed in genting Highland area? Immediately after the crash, the Nuri was declared very old and unsafe to fly. The Eurocopter quickly got selected to replace the Nuri but because of the international tender fiasco, the Eurocopter Superpuma purchase was stalled and the faithful Nuris are now safely and happily flying the Malaysian sky!

I can imagine ship builders from Britain, Italy, Spain, France and Korea are hot on their toes with their local partners knocking the Defence Minister's door. It would never be a surprise at all if Minister Zahid Hamidi would be visiting some shipyards in the next few days to shop for KD Seri Inderapura replacement.


komando said...

A new ship, a new name and a new contract!

Who gains?

The navy!

No.. it is UMNO again !

Find our who the bidder is we can join hands and make a fast buck!

MALAYSIA BOLEH...UMNO tentu boleh!