“Hi Singapore, Seletar Airport is yours, but Pasir Gudang, Johor, Malaysia is ours. So please hear us out.”
This was the friendly reminder given by Malaysia’s Transport Minister Anthony Loke on Tuesday (11 Dec), which accompanied a video that was posted on his official Facebook page.
The video begins with the question: “Why did Firefly suspend ALL its flights into Singapore after the airline was told to relocate to Seletar Airport starting 1st Dec 2018?”
The reason given following the question is that “Malaysia opposes the new ILS (Instrument Landing System that Singapore wants to use in the airport effective 3 Jan 2019”.
The video then progresses into a brief explanation of the ILS: “The ILS is a precision runway approach aid that helps airplanes to land even with poor visibility. It’s safer for the landing of aeroplanes.
The video then goes on to explain that Malaysia’s objection towards the implementation of the ILS is grounded in “the flight path that Singapore wants to use for that ILS”.
“Singapore’s Seletar Airport is merely 2km from Pasir Gudang, Malaysia,” the video illustrates, along with a Google terrain map image, before it goes on to illustrate height restrictions that it claimed “even a mobile crane would have breached” at 103m.
In a footage from a press conference that was included in the 1:35-minute long video, Mr Loke was observed as saying: “We can’t even build tall buildings over Pasir Gudang if we allow that flight path”.
The video goes on to stress that “our Pasir Gudang Port will be subjected to higher risks and multiple restrictions”.
Previously, it says, even in the absence of the ILS, “pilots can maneuver around obstacles, and no height regulation is required around the flight path area”.
However, with the implementation of the ILS, the imposition of height limits is now “compulsory”, the video states, as it demonstrates the area that will be adversely affected by the height restrictions, “from Pasir Gudang up north to Ayer Tawar and almost to Kota Tinggi”.
The footage of the same press conference is again seen at 1:19, with Mr Loke emphasising that “Our position is very clear – we are not against Seletar, but as far as the descending flight path is concerned, it cannot be over Pasir Gudang”.
“We urge Singapore to withdraw the ILS announcement and to amend the flight path as per our request,” concluded Mr Loke in the video’s description.
He also urged Malaysians to “please watch and share” the video.
The video has generally attracted praise and support from Malaysian netizens:
The video has also created heated debates between Malaysian netizens and Singaporean netizens:
However, several Singaporean netizens have shown understanding towards Mr Loke and the Malaysian MOT’s stance.