Since 1989 at least 20 peoples (including VIPs) had perished with only a few miraculously survived helicopter crashes in Sarawak.
That’s real scary record. The latest report of indicated a helicopter carrying VIPs was reported missing yesterday, May 5 2016, while en route from Betong to Kuching.
It last record location by radar was somewhere near Sebuyau – where a copter crashed in 2012.
Among the six peopleS on board the missing helicopter yesterday were Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Noriah Kasnon and Kuala Kangsar MP Wan Mohammad Khairil Anuar Wan Ahmad.
Let’s all pray for their safety. Helicopter has help the Barisan Nasional a lot when campaigning in rural areas of Sarawak – where accessibility is often only the river and logging roads.
Here are list of copters incidents involving VIPs in Sarawak over the past 27 years.
Dec 18, 1989: A Nuri helicopter carrying 16 army officers, including Maj-Jen Datuk Mustaffa Awang and Brig-Jen Datuk Hasbullah Yussoff, crashes in bad weather near Sungai Lundu, Sarawak, killing all on board.
Sept 9, 2000: A helicopter on a logging mission crashes in Belaga district, seriously injuring two New Zealanders. Pilot Smert Donald James, 43, and Richard Mills, 41, suffer broken limbs in the 3pm incident.
July 17, 2003: A Bell helicopter crashes at Mt Murud. The incident happens within minutes after taking off from a timber camp located some three and a half hours drive by road from Lawas town. The pilot and SIB Sarawak president Kalib Besar are killed.
July 12, 2004: Seven people, including Dato Dr Judson Sakai Tagal, Marcos Raja and senior officers of Sesco, die when the Bell 206 L 4 helicopter they are in plunges into a mountain.
Aug 16, 2004: A Nuri helicopter belonging to the RMAF goes down 15km North West of Mt Murud while ferrying troops from 20 RAMD to Ba’Kelalan. Three people are killed while seven are injured.
Sept 3, 2004: A Bell 206 helicopter crashed in Kuching division, killing all four on board. The privately chartered helicopter crashes 70 km from Kuching, just five minutes after take-off from the airport. The personal bodyguard of the then Natural Resources and Environment Minister Adenan Satem and the private secretary of Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu are among the four dead.
June 18, 2005: An MHS Super Puma plunges into the South China Sea while ferrying 11 SHELL and contractor’s staff to the B11 gas production platform in Bintulu. All on board survive the incident to tell the tale of their ordeal and how their aircraft sunk to the bottom within minutes.
July 2005: A Bell L-4 helicopter crashes in the mountainous region near Long Singgut, Ulu Baleh, killing three while one survives. The crash site is a day’s journey upriver from Kapit.
Sept 3, 2005: A logging KAMOV KA-32 model helicopter crashes and bursts into flames in Kapit Division during heavy rain, killing three Russian nationals on board. The pilot, an engineer and a mechanic are killed.
Jan 30, 2007: A Super Puma L-2 helicopter belonging to the Malaysian Helicopter Services plunges into the rough South China Sea with eight offshore crews and two pilots. The helicopter goes down at about 2.30 pm between the D-35 and Bayan platform. One passenger is reported missing while the rest are rescued, about 80km from Bintulu.
June 25, 2010: An Erickson Sky Crane, used for carrying logs, crashes in an aerial logging mishap about 50 miles south of Long Akah in Ulu Baram. American pilot William Charles Scott dies while American co-worker, David William Bergin, survives with spinal injuries, bruises and knocks.
May 1, 2015: The door of a helicopter carrying Women, Family, and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim suddenly flungs open in mid-flight from Sibu Airport to Kampung Igan. Rohani and her aide hold the door in place for about 10 minutes before landing safely.
KUCHING: Six individuals including a deputy minister are believed to be on a helicopter which has gone missing in Sarawak.
Plantation Industries and Commodities Deputy Minister Datuk Noriah Kasnon along with her husband Asmuni Abdullah were on the helicopter.
The four other individuals were the ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Dr Sundaran Annamalai, Kuala Kangsar MP and Malaysian Palm Oil Board member Datuk Wan Mohammad Khairil Anuar Wan Ahmad and personal bodyguard Ahmad Sobri Harun as well as the pilot of the flight RP-C 6828 Captain Rudolf Rex Ragas.
According to reports, the helicopter lost contact at 5pm near Sebuyau on Thursday.
It is believed to have been travelling from Betong to Kuching.
Department of Civil Aviation Director Datuk Azharudin Abdul Rahman has confirmed the report, saying that a search and rescue operation has been launched.
Noriah is also Sungai Besar MP.
When contacted, Minister Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah Embas said he last he saw Noriah at 12.30pm at his constituency in Bukit Saban.
He, however, has no details of the missing helicopter. — The Star
Campaigning in rural Sarawak is an arduous journey for opposition candidates without helicopters.
Visiting longhouses in the sparsely populated rural constituencies such as Mulu, Belaga and Murum – as it involves hours of longboat, four wheel-drive travels passing rapids, fast flowing rivers and slippery logging roads.
In a typical day, assuming it shines all day, they could make it to three or four longhouses before nightfall. And for BN candidates, they would have covered the entire constituency!
To compound the odds, these days, if it is not public holidays like Gawai Festival and Christmas, these longhouses often empty, except for the elderly folks and school children.
That again lies the problem. In most cases, these elderly folks are often hardcore BN supporters, make one thinking if it really worth the efforts reaching out to these peoples.
The young, tech savvy generations – the one most likely to support opposition parties, have long gone, migrating to towns and cities to seek greener pasture.
Thus, partly the reasons why BN still continue to have the upper hand in rural constituencies.
Banning is probably too much. So Sarawak Immigration Department opted to restrict the visit by a Chief Minister and Menteri Besar to Sarawak to only few days instead of the 90-days as usual.
Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali on May 2 and Penang Chief Minister before May 5, before the polling day.
“Sarawak immigration orders me to leave by May 2. Whose orders?” Azmin Tweeted shortly after arriving.
The common practiced was that visitors from Sabah and peninsular states were given a 90-days social pass by the state immigration department.
This is unprecedented as no such order had been issued under previous Chief Ministers – including Taib Mahmud.
Under Adenan several opposition leaders which include Amanah president Mohamad Sabu, PKR vice-presidents Rafizi Ramli and Nurul Izzah Anwar, as well as DAP lawmakers Hannah Yeoh and Gobind Singh Deo have been barred from Sarawak without any explanation.
After 20mins wait allowed entry 2Swk only till 5 May. Not allowed in after that until Swk electn on 7 May is over pic.twitter.com/X1AH14feIz
Banned from Sarawak, DAP lawmakers from peninsular had to employ technology and social media to help its candidates campaigning in Sarawak.
Tony Pua, an outspoken parliamentarian couple of days ago were immediately to board the next available flight out of Sarawak upon touching down in Miri airport.
He landed in Miri at 9.30am, only to be detained by Sarawak Immigration officers while he was having lunch in Lutong, Miri at 2.00pm.
He immediately escorted to the airport was flown back to Kuala Lumpur at 4.20pm.
“Adenan told the International Anti-Corruption Conference that only racists and bigots will be barred from Sarawak. Why is it that I, who have never issued a racial statement, what more a racist statement, been barred from entering Sarawak?” Pua said in a text message.
Unable to campaign in Miri, Tony Pua had to stand in front of camera in Kuala Lumpur, live stream to peoples in Miri.
Tony Pua isn’t the only one being barred entry into Sarawak by Adenan during this election campaign.
Selangor State Speaker Hannah Yeoh was among the many opposition lawmakers on the ‘No Entry’ list which the Sarawak State Government keeps as a secret.