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Bad experience on AirAsia
Published on: Sunday, December 24, 2017

I wish to share my very bad experience on an Air Asia flight for public knowledge and guidance.

My trip was from Kota Kinabalu to Shenzen (China) Nov 15 on AK 1520 scheduled to depart at 9am. Upon arrival at the Kota Kinabalu airport at 7am there was a long queue at the Air Asia check-in counter, reason being their computer system was down.

Nonetheless after clearing check-in, a lady staff from the airline wheeled me to departure lounge B3 on a wheelchair which I prebooked and paid for and was left alone there and told that someone would push me to the aircraft at boarding time.

I waited there alone for more than two hours at great inconvenience, unable to visit the washroom until an announcement on the public address system that the boarding gate had changed to B6. I was still all alone then in B3 and decided to walk to B6 with my walking stick and lugging my cabin bag, having to firstly walk up a non-operation steep escalator. Fortunately, a good samaritan noticed my plight and offered to carry my bag and escorted me, an 82-year-old man gingerly to the B6 gate.

In fact my three travelling companions had alerted the Air Asia ground staff that they had a colleague (me) on wheelchair somewhere in the lounge area but no attempt was made to scout for me and no announcement made on the PA system for the final passenger to board.

When I arrived at the aircraft door, I saw the flight captain there and commented to him that I just had the worst experience on a Air Asia flight and he apologised in a spontaneous response.

I was taken to my booked premium aisle seat 10C by an air stewardess but was then told that I could not sit there because I was a wheelchair-bound passenger and quickly assigned me a window seat 3 rows behind.

I was the final passenger to board and the aircraft door closed about 15 minutes thereafter, departing almost 2 hours behind time.

On the return flight AK 1521 on November 22, I went to the same premium booked seat of 10C without any fuss.

My abhorrence is that Air Asia seems to have no standard operating procedure in handling an elderly wheelchair-bound passenger and totally “abandoned” me and left me to my own devise at the Kota Kinabalu airport.

Datuk John Lim


Ensure our streets and neighbourhoods are safe first
THE horrible “Rob, kill and burn” incident in Kuala Langat and stabbing and running over a suspected gang leader in JB awakens once again our shared experiences of how unsafe our own backyards and streets are turning out to be.

The murder of the couple and their two grandchildren and the loss of a house that was also burnt down by the robbers in Tanjung Sepat is a clarion call for serious remedies to the fast declining safety and security of citizens.

Politicians have been screaming for a long time, unabated, championing race and religion. They have been so obsessed with securing voter sentiments that they would go the distance to divide the people of Malaysia and rule with impunity.

But let us face some harsh facts.

It is not any more merely perceptions as some politicians would have us believe. Neither is it anymore “isolated incidents” as what has been preached down to us time and time again.

Street crimes are on the rise and the police themselves have admitted it.

Home robberies are everywhere and not just in big cities as these daring break-ins are also snaking their way into smaller townships.
Even public transport operators and shopping complexes have seen the pressing need to keep blaring warnings on the public address systems and post notices reminding the public to guard one’s personal belongings and to be wary of snatch thieves.

Let us get real. Why do our citizens have to live in fear and cannot be guaranteed safety and security from robbers?
It is time that politicians especially those from the ruling government stopped their preoccupation of creating fear and enemies between their own citizens for political survival.

Instead it is time for the rakyat to say enough is enough and put their foot down to demand that politicians and governments (BN and Opposition-led states) to take responsibility in ensuring that our streets, playgrounds, malls and public spaces are free from such heinous, dangerous and frightening crimes.

Home-owners have gone to great distance to install all kinds of security measures in their homes including paying hefty fees to have gated and guarded premises.

Pedestrians and shoppers have taken great effort to stay vigilant even in broad daylight, to and from work or leisure.

But there is a limit to what citizens can do. It is time that the government of the day prioritised and took on that responsibility of governing which includes making our living safe from growing crime.

J. D. Lovrenciear Kuala Lumpur


Plastic waste eventually ends up in our seafood

THIS is an open letter to all my fellow Malaysians and operators of food outlets in the country.

Our planet is dying – even our children are aware of this reality – yet we are doing very little to help save it. Our air is polluted and our environment, food and water sources are being destroyed.

A major concern is the plastic that is in our food sources, especially marine food sources. Due to our heavy use and careless disposal of plastic, these materials ultimately end up in the sea, contaminating our seafood.

Thus, most of us are currently consuming plastic through our food.

There are many sources of plastic waste, from disposable water bottles and plastic bags to take- away containers for our food and drinks. On the whole, our recycling rate is poor. Malaysians in general have limited awareness of ecological concerns and saving our environment is not on the mind of the average person.

We need to recognise that every bit counts, but while we wait for the average Malaysian to change his or her mindset for the betterment of our environment, we appeal to all owners and operators of food outlets, whether regular or fast food, to stop dispensing straws with any cold or hot drink and make them only available to customers upon request. Offer straws only to people who need them, perhaps to people with motor dysfunction or other disabilities.

Remember, it saves money besides making your outlet more eco-friendly.

I also appeal to all Malaysians to request that their drinks come without straws. We all need to acknowledge the damage we have done to the environment and also educate our fellow Malaysians to avoid using straws as far as possible.

Make the plastic straw you used yesterday the last one you will ever use.

The following are five important facts on plastic and plastic straws:

1. 80pc to 90pc of all marine debris is made from plastic.
2. Straws are too small to be easily recycled, so they are disposed as trash and often end up in the ocean.

3. Straws are very harmful to animals, especially marine life. Most are ingested or entrap them.

4. Plastic takes 400 to 500 years to degrade.

5. Some studies have shown that one-third of all fish that we eat has ingested plastics.

One review of plastic waste into the oceans put Malaysia as a moderate plastic polluter, and that Asian countries are among the highest polluters.

So the next time you go out for a meal or drink, remember to say “give me that drink without a straw, please”.

And operators of all food outlets, please move to a “straws on request” policy.

If we want our children and grandchildren to have a meaningful future, we have to act today to reduce our plastic waste.
Tomorrow may be one straw too late.

Datuk Dr Amar Singh, Hss


Even basic maintenance of drains not done

Thank for your report on the floods in Penampang and for highlighting it on your front page for two days.
I do not stay in Penampang, but I travel there for work often.

Even on Sunday, I use the Jalan Datuk Panglima Banting-Bantayan Minintod a lot.

Since a few months back when KK experienced a heavy rainfall and flooded Penampang, I passed by that stretch when the weather was dry for weeks.

I noticed the drains are filled to the brim with mud, flowing from land clearing and covered with grass.

This is not new, it has been like this for months. That time when the weather was dry I was thinking that the authorities should take this time to clear the drain.

You can’t control if the rainfall is exceptionally high or when the river overflows due to high tide, but the basic work of keeping the drain functioning is not even carried out.

It is with utter disgust, as I read about this flood again these few days. Thank God I was away and didn’t get stuck there this time during flood, but really sad for the Penampang-Donggongon folks. I have many colleagues and staff whose houses were affected.

The authorities do nothing when they should be carrying basic maintenance work. Now it happened again they blame on high tides, what utter crap attitude they have.

Just interview any of the victims in that area, ask them when did the authorities last did a clearing of the drain?

I am glad Daily Express is reminding the useless authorities that they really need to buck up.


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