Lam Thye calls for setting up of RCI to probe helicopter crashes

KOTA KINABALU: Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, chairman of the Alliance for a Safe Community, has called for the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry in order to ascertain the reasons behind the recent devastating helicopter crashes.


He said this is crucial in order to identify the necessary measures to prevent any future occurrences of such tragic incidents.

According to Lee, a Royal Commission would possess the authority to conduct a comprehensive and impartial investigation.

He stated that this heart-wrenching tragedy represents the most severe helicopter crash in the country over the past nine years, and the eighth incident within the same timeframe.

He said the deadliest accident occurred in Sarawak on May 5, 2016, resulting in the loss of six lives.

Lee stressed that the Royal Commission must carry out its investigation in a transparent and thorough manner, leaving no stone unturned and exposing any negligence or shortcomings, if present.

“It is imperative to swiftly uncover the truth and determine the actual cause of this tragedy,” he said in a statement.

Given the gravity of the situation, Lee expressed his belief that the establishment of a board of inquiry, as previously announced, is insufficient.

He stressed that only individuals who are truly qualified and competent should be appointed to the Royal Commission in order to conduct a thorough investigation.

Lee emphasised the importance of conducting a thorough investigation, which should encompass gathering evidence from the crash site, analyzing flight data recorders, and interviewing any available witnesses.

Additionally, he suggested seeking expert advice from aviation professionals, engineers, and meteorologists to determine whether the incident was caused by natural factors, human error, or mechanical issues.

Lee believes that the Commission should be solely responsible for the investigation and subsequent findings.

“Only then can necessary measures be taken to strengthen existing aviation regulations and prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future,” he said.

He acknowledged that this tragedy not only affects the Ministry of Defence and the families involved but also impacts the entire nation.

Lee stressed the need for providing adequate support to the victims’ families, including counseling services and financial assistance.

He commended the Defence Minister for pledging RM10,000 as initial aid to the families affected by the Lumut crash.

Lee expressed his hope for the continuation of such aid through counseling and additional assistance in the upcoming days and years.

He emphasised the importance of collaboration between government agencies, aviation authorities, airlines, and industry stakeholders in order to implement thorough safety measures.

“It is crucial to organise regular meetings, conferences, and forums to facilitate the exchange of best practices, lessons learned, and to promote a safety-oriented culture within the aviation sector,” he added.

Lee stressed the urgency of learning from past tragedies to prevent future incidents and save lives.

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