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Saturday, February 05, 2011

Don't worry. Everything OKAY!

The Star today has lots of stories of how Malaysian students have been evacuated from Cairo in the face of all the protests and violence in the Egyptian capital.

Evacuation of Malaysians from strife-torn country proceeds smoothly.

Students home safely at last.

Malaysians to be out by Monday

Don't politicize evacuation delay says Muhyiddin.

And so, in Bolehland our government wants you to believe that everything is A-Ok!

Okay, now sit down, take a deep breath and read this account of one Malaysian family's experience with Malaysian efficiency in a crisis situation...


Stuck in Cairo, with NO help from the M'sian govt
OK, so my bro and his wife and 3 kids went to Cairo last week for a long-awaited holiday. They had a great time the first few days. Then, on Friday 28th Jan, the whole city 'blew' up. Their Egyptian guide (a Coptic Christian), and the Egyptian hotel staff were incredibly helpful to all of them. Their guide, who had taken them out sight-seeing that morning, KNEW that the situation was going to blow up after the Friday noon prayers, so he made sure he had them back at the hotel by then. The staff at the hotel kept the hotel doors locked, and made sure all their guests were safe.

THEN the "fun" started. No internet (since the Egyptian govt took the whole country off the internet), so my bro tried to call the embassy to find out what was happening - three days of calling, and the phone never got picked up! Very helpful... NOT!!! When they eventually managed to get through on Monday, they asked what the situation at the airport was like, as they were supposed to fly out on Monday night, at 00:15 hours (ie, early Tuesday 1st Feb morning). So, guess what the so-called situation room tells them? "Don't know. When you get to the airport and find out the situation, you call us."... !!!! I mean..... WHAT? What can anyone say to such idiocy? So, as you can see, the situation room had ZERO handle on the situation!

Their wonderful EGYPTIAN guide made sure he picked them up early on Monday and took them to the airport - it should have been just a 1 hour journey, but took far longer than that due to the riots and the craziness! They get to the airport and the guide stays with them, to help them try and get checked into their flights, etc. And the airport was an absolute mad-house. ALL Egypt Air flights were cancelled - and, unfortunately, it meant that their M'sian airlines flight, code share with Egypt Air, was also cancelled!! My bro kept trying to call the Embassy, and the phone was either NEVER picked up, or was engaged. OK, so, forget any possible help from that side. Totally, absolutely, USELESS!! Mind you, all other airlines, apart from EgyptAir, were still flying though with major re-scheduling, and the governments of other countries (US, UK, India, China, Japan, NZ, the Arab countries, EVEN CROATIA) were sending in planes to get their people out of Cairo. But, as of yesterday, no news from our "action-oriented, on the ball" govt about sending in planes to get OUR citizens out of the country! And TODAY they start sending planes? TODAY? What the hell took them so long? Question about LANDING RIGHTS? Hello, how come the OTHER countries did not have that problem? Only Malaysia?????

Embassy personnel from other countries, with jackets emblazoned with their country names, were going round and round the airport, trying to find their citizens... they even approached my bro and his family to see if they needed help..... and where were the so-called "People First, Performance Now" M'sian embassy personnel???? NOWHERE TO BE FOUND!! Not hide, nor hair.

Malaysian students, including lone female students, with no money, no food, no tickets, no nothing, stuck in the airport, not knowing what to do!! At least my bro and his family had the means (and the credit card availability) to get themselves on another flight (Emirates, to Dubai) out of Egypt late on Monday night/Tuesday morning... but what about those who had nothing? Where were our "caring" Embassy personnel? NOWHERE IN SIGHT! Not hide, not hair.

Oh, side story... when my bro called to tell me that their flight out of Cairo was cancelled, I called MAS here in KL, and they tell me the flight is leaving as scheduled!! Obviously news of the rioting, and the Egypt Air flight cancellation did not seep into MAS consciousness!! And they obviously never watched the news! When I told them that my brother and his family are IN CAIRO, and have been TOLD FIRST HAND that the flight is cancelled, the staff here are still insisting that the flight is leaving as scheduled. I mean, don't get me wrong - I absolutely LOVE MAS flight crew - but, MAN, their ground staff and procedures leave a LOT to be desired!

I am saddened, and horribly embarrassed, by the shoddy show put up by our govt and our embassy personnel in Cairo. I am so ashamed at this time to be called a Malaysian. I am also deeply grateful to the people in EGYPT, the EGYPTIANS, who helped my brother and his family so much, and deeply thankful that they made it home safe on Wednesday morning after 2 days stuck in Cairo airport and Dubai airport. My prayers go to all those who went through so much fear and shock, with no help from our govt, in Cairo, and I just hope and pray that they will ALL get home safe, with or without govt help.



Anonymous said...

no VIPs there ma. Else would hv sent the private jets and maybe the super plane badawi bought for himself.

Anonymous said...

dun even bother reading those govt owned paper after GE12. I sincerely hope all tourists, regardless of nationalities, are safe. Peace!!

Trevor said...

Pat, this is shocking.

Two thumbs up for being a reporter here!

And Happy Chinese New Year!

P/S: Finished reading your book. Good one :)

azmie said...

allo pat, 1malaysia first lady need to make a phone call first to madame suzanne be4 the flight can enter egypt airspace. so far no luck lah, phone line is dead. thats why lah

Anonymous said...

everthing is ok lah.even our best brain n former top ceo/ chief is now working in sembawang corporation, singapore, so evrything is ok patrick

tom said...

Hi Pat, pls send this to the star newspaper and let them know a thing or two about 'fair reporting'

Anonymous said...

How the f*@K the embassy supposed to know the airport situation? The airport workers too could be joining the rioting! The country is in chaos laar, including airport!! Don't forget about the thousands foreigner crowd flocking to the airport AT THE SAME TIME. Use some imagination.....

Besides, it's a mega task to evacuate 14,000 souls and need immense planning actions before anything can be PROPERLY executed.

Sorry laa... you think getting out of broken down egypt is going to be efficient and a walk in the park?

get real!

Its a situation out of control. You think can control everything ka? Our planes even got stucked in jeddah / UAE waiting for clearance to land.

Imagine YOU as the airport controller trying to sort ALL flights in and out beyong normal situation.

Obviously the writer have no idea the real situation. expect everything on the plate, ha?

charleskiwi said...

That is what the Malaysian government is good at ! I am not at all disappointed with their all talks and very slow action and some time no action at all because it is in the genes of the Malaysian civil servants.

dori_lukey said...

we need more people like him to speak up and show the rest of malaysia what the truth is

Eric said...

..the performance of the Embassy staff in Cairo is to be expected. Hails from the same UMNO bureaucracy that features collapsed stadiums, flyovers, bridges, deaths in custody, shoddy work in government buildings, unexplained hospital deaths ….financial embezzlement etc. etc. etc.
To be honest I think the Malaysian Armed Forces are "punching" above their weight. I am impressed by their performance this few weeks..

.as for the UMNO government … whole different story, should be put out to pasture like Mubarak

Air Force plans 9 evacuations a day
February 05, 2011
CAIRO, Feb 5 – The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RAMF) plans to mount nine daily flights from Egypt to Jeddah using three C-130 military transport aircraft to evacuate Malaysian students from the crisis-torn country, the mission's chief Col Abdul Mutalib Wahab said.
He said the aircraft could carry up to 200 people in each flight, enabling the air force to evacuate up to 1,800 people a day.

Malaysia navy holds 7 Somali pirates who tried to hijack chemical tanker; 23 crew rescued

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Malaysia's navy was holding seven Somali pirates Saturday after thwarting an attempt to hijack a chemical tanker in the Gulf of Aden, authorities said.
The Royal Malaysian Navy said its commandos injured three pirates in a gunbattle and rescued the 23 crew members of the Malaysian-flagged MT Bunga Laurel early Friday, less than two hours after the assailants stormed the vessel with pistols and assault rifles.
The navy sent a ship and a helicopter, which were then 14 miles (22 kilometres) from the Bunga Laurel, after crew members locked themselves in a safe room and activated a distress call, it said in a statement late Friday.

The chaos is understandable, even the big powers are having challenges:

At least six more flights for US citizens were planned on Tuesday, and about 40 extra consular staff have been deployed to Cairo and the three arrival points in a bid to speed up evacuations, officials said.
China will send at least four more planes to evacuate up to 2,000 Chinese travellers in Egypt, which has been engulfed by more than a week of street protests, according to aviation authorities.
Two planes were reportedly expected to leave China on Tuesday, after two other airliners were dispatched to Egypt on Monday to pick up 480 citizens stranded at Cairo's airport.
Two additional planes would be sent on Wednesday, one of which would fly to Luxor to pick up about 200 Hong Kong tourists stranded there, the administration said in a statement.
More planes would be dispatched if needed, it said, adding that it was endeavouring to bring as many Chinese nationals home as possible before the Lunar New Year, which begins on Thursday.
Japan said it was sending emergency charter planes to evacuate hundreds of Japanese, some of whom have already left while many others were stranded at Cairo airport.
Air India chartered a plane to bring back 320 Indians and decided to divert another flight from its regular Mumbai-Jeddah route to pick up more, airport sources told the Press Trust of India news agency.
In Germany, wholesale distributor Metro said it had brought back 20-30 employees, adding that its two hypermarkets in Cairo had been looted and were closed.
Energy group RWE said it had flown out some 90 people and vehicle maker Daimler fewer than 50.
Russian companies Lukoil and Novatek were also evacuating staff, but Moscow has given no order for some 40,000 tourists to come home and many were happy to stay on the beach, agencies said.
Saudi Arabia said it organized 33 flights between Saturday and Monday to take its nationals home.

CHIA, Chin Yau said...

This is not a surprise to me. I have learned the hard way that:

When people said they are all out to help you means they are either prepare to sit tight and watch, or trying to lure others to help you but they won't get their hands dirty;

Never trust your own people during emergency. Trust your instinct instead.

Eric said...


Watch Operation Flying Eagle:


Singapore's benchmark is Numero Uno, comparable to the US. They were ready to go within 24 hrs. and even thought of packing an Air Traffic Control module, to help guide incoming aircraft from all over the world.

In DISASTER RELIEF 'TEAM AMERICA' is ALWAYS NUMBER ONE simply because of their Carrier battle groups and sheer magnitude of their logistics capabilities. Naval vessels are equipped with everything. Ability to feed & accommodate the personnel, an endless abundance of electricity and the ability to produce freshwater in vast amounts; helicopters; plus other aircraft, landing craft; earth moving equipment , communications, hospital ships etc. etc.

Anonymous said...

What did you expect! Malaysia is a third world country, with third world mentality. The embassy personnel have two functions, issue travel documents and sell curry puff only! Really!

Anonymous said...

Anon@5pm: Isn't it amazing that other countries managed to move incredibly fast to get their planes in and get their people out, and only Malaysia couldn't?

Anonymous said...

aiya, the star paper wont report this lah. someone there is dying for a tan sri ship lah. how to make the govt look bad though everyone knows the UMNOputras in the Embassies are pure incompetent.

permission to circulate this article, Niamah?

Anonymous said...

No wonder there is massive brain drain from this country, soon there will even be a sizeable 'citizen drain'!!

Eric said...

...meanwhile ..NOT HELPING ...Deja Vu

A Thai patrol visited the blast site early on Friday morning and encountered 20 Cambodian soldiers.

"After talks between the two sides failed, the Cambodian side started to walk away and turned back to open fire at Thai troops with rifles and RPG rockets, forcing the Thai side to fire back in self-defense," Thailand's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

DJoker Razgriz Gustav Beouwolf XIII said...

Instead of you guys bashing everything here and there like its so damn good to put your own countrymen to shame, at least have the decency to acknowledge that the RMAF is doing more than it can to evacuate the people.
I have friends who have families there.

They were ask to stay, and the busses would have taken them one by one.

We're not talking about 1-2 Malaysians. We're talking in the thousands. How do you expect people to be manning their phone booths in the embassy when everyone's got their hands full trying to figure and coordinate who goes first who goes later (BUT EVERYONE GETS TO LEAVE) in such a rapidly declining situation?

Not to mention that it was our RMAF (ROYAL MALAYSIAN ARMY) that stuck their necks and went in. We're punching WAY above our weight given the expenditure cuts.

And all that you guys do? bla bla the govt sucks.

Eff' this dung, if it was other governments I doubt they'll even use their army transports to bail their countrymen from halfway the world in a situation like us. At least we goddamn flew from halfway the world, all Charlies are go.

Its a feckin' Malaysian lives. Give credits where its due.

Yes, we could have been faster, but nobody would have seen the rapid decline of situation. If we're to evacuate every single time we hear a large scale demonstration, I'll say you folks would be tuning in to "wtf are we wasting to evacuate these people for for such a small alarm? diuz!" tone.

Get over it. This is our country. At least our army intervened.

The comments here are absolutely disgusting. No wonder why the quality of discussions have gone down to the gutters.

Anonymous said...

mr bodek awaiting for tansriship of star paper today commented that 1Malaysia husband and wife tag team's good relationship facilitate the smooth evacuation. ha2 ha2 ha2, truly bodek to the hilt. aiya, dont keep him waiting. just give him the tansriship. and he can preach to his flock every sunday how great his God is.

nstman said...

Tiuniamah, Umno idiots trying to play hero and make a meal out of saving our students. Luckily, these hypocrites have been show up. Shame on you Muhi.

CPL said...

Didnt you guys read about the deputy foreign minster being sent to Egypt to assess the situation ? Now we know that the embassy guys are not doing their jobs

Anonymous said...

Some don't want to be rescued!!!

Selain itu, tambahnya, keputusan Kerajaan Malaysia disifatkan sebagai tidak mempunyai rasa persahabatan sesama umat Islam ekoran membawa pulang ribuan pelajar ketika Mesir dilanda musibah.

Rohidzir yang berpengalaman selama empat tahun (1998 - 2002) belajar di negara itu berpendapat, sewajarnya rakyat Malaysia tidak perlu dibawa pulang.

"Kita dilihat sebagai hanya mementingkan diri sendiri sahaja atau selfish kerana hanya sanggup tinggal di sana ketika senang dan meninggalkannya ketika mereka ditimpa bencana," jelasnya.

Ha! Ha! Ha! Ho! Ho! Ho! YEah, go face the Egyptian bullets!!!

Anonymous said...

Funny, Just one story here.

Let's hear the over 4000 stories that just landed in KLIA.

Let's see the whole truth. And that's another 7000 Stories !!!!

See how different it is the the story above....from the 14,000 truths

najib manaukau said...

Now you know so do everyone else as to why they want to control the Internet !
To the corrupted morons no news is good news for them.

Anonymous said...

if i work in the embassy..fucker i cabut first man....

niamah leh.. somemore want to listen talipon?? fuck you also no time !!!!!!!!

hokkien mee seller.

Huff and puff said...

What is this Joker 9.38 am talking about ? He seems confused and wants us to understand why Malaysians appear so inefficient. He doesn't understand the meaning of priority in difficult situations and instead seeks excuses. Obviously he wouldn't be the one I would put in charge of emergency situations. He would be a bag of excuses trying to cover up his inadequacy.

Wake up boy, don't pretend you are sooooooo understanding. I don't think you even understand who gives the orders to the army.

From your profile , are you really an English teacher and linguist ?

Anonymous said...


The unfortunate fella should have tried calling the FLOM instead of the malaysian embassy in Cairo as the embassy staffs would have already fled Egypt the instant the demonstrations started (which explains why the embassy never answered the telephone calls). I bet if he had called FLOM, our First Lady PM Rosmah would have personally contacted the Saudi royal family to send their own private plane to pick up the unfortunate fella and his family. Well, there is always a next time. We should all get ready and have the FLOM's contact phone numbers (including their cell phones) keyed into our phone memory.

Anonymous said...

this is what exactly my nenek told me..negeri arab[middle east countries] mana ada anak orang vvip,menteri and orang beniaga[corp players]jadi pelajar atau mau hantar anak belajar disana,ini negri tidak pernah jadi penjajah malaysia.dia[vvip.menteri etc] hantar anak belajar negri orang puteh,itu negri penjajah banyak ilmu penjajah boleh belajar nanti balik boleh sambong menjajah orang 1malaysia yang bukan elite atau vvip.buat apa mau cepat pergi tolong,lagi bagus ini pelajar jadi mangsa missing in action.

Anonymous said...

From PERSONAL experiences in at least 6 countries (3 in which I faced emergency evacuation), let me tell you tht our dear Malaysian Embassy is next to hopeless. I pity them too. They were also as helpless as ended up I HAD to feed them info!
Here's why they're hopeless & helpless
1. Msian embassy staff are largely incompetent, unknowledgeable & lives in a Msian bubble. Their main event is Aug 31st & arranging logistics for VVIPs when they visit. Plus their shopping

2. Their language skills are hopeless. Plse hv embassy staff tested for their English skills. See how many can string together a sentence coherently.

Surprisingly (for us) BM is not the lingua franca of any other c'try except Indonesia in this world.

3. A**e kissing is impt to their promotion. It's not WHAT u know BUT WHO u know that gets u the postings

4. They do as little as possible & provide as little services as possible to citizens because their mission in any country isnt to serve citizens there but to serve special interest groups

5. I will so EAT MY SHORTS if anyone were to tell me our embassy personnel were trained in emergency evacuation or situations

6. My experience in ctries where emergencies necessitated Embassy personnel to inform & advise their citizens, the best were ALWAYS the Americans & Europeans.

On any given day, they can even tell u which days are safe to venture out & what the airport situation is like.

So let's not make excuses for our pathetic quality of staff.
Malaysia Sentiasa BOLEH!

Anonymous said...

The Arab Sheiks must have a fetish obsession with our Flom's Lostmah!!!

Mat Sempoi said...

Hishamudin should advise Mubarak to use water cannon and tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Harris H said...

The excerpt is from;

from the news,some Malaysian students were embolden not to be rescued.Talk about not having your own priorities (to your country let alone your own family) right.

Henley said...

The prime minister said the government was concerned over the safety of Malaysians, saying there was a total breakdown of law and order in Egypt at the moment.

“Anything can happen in a total breakdown of law and order. We are worried that our children might get hurt or be exposed to life-threatening situations,” he said.

And Muhyiddin wants us to believe everything is ok?? wtf!! what a joke!!

Anonymous said...

I saw a picture which shows our students from Egypt holding a banner saying "thank you, our government" together with our PM and the airport.

Eric said...

Meanwhile Elsewhere:

2/7/2011 – The Israeli army chief has urged Tel Aviv to make preparations for an all-out war over the recent developments across the Middle East , a report says.

Israel’s Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi has said that given the recent revolution protests across Middle East, Israel must prepare for a battle in several theaters, Ynet news quoted him as saying on Monday.

The outgoing military chief also said, “The connection between the different players requires us to contend with more than one theater.”

Ashkenazi warned of the transpiration of a “radical camp” in the Middle East, adding that “the moderate camp among the traditional Arab leadership is weakening.”


Eric said...

Can understand Israeli concerns ...for the month of February not counting the burnt churches in Indonesia:

Disturbing trend

2011.02.08 Thailand Yala
1 Killed 1 Injured
A 58-year-old Buddhist man and his wife are shot in their pickup truck by Muslim ‘insurgents’.

2011.02.07 Iraq Iskandariya
2 Killed 0 Injured
A woman is among two Iraqis murdered by Mujahideen bombers.

2011.02.07 Afghanistan Bak
1 Killed 0 Injured
A local official is assassinated by Sunni fundamentalists.

2011.02.07 Afghanistan Kandahar
1 Killed 5 Injured
An Afghan is taken out by a Fedayeen suicide bomber.

2011.02.06 Pakistan Nut Kallan
1 Killed 0 Injured
A young Christian is tortured to death by several Muslims.

2011.02.06 Philippines Kabacan
6 Killed 6 Injured
A 4-year-old boy is among six civilians killed in the crossfire when rival Religion of Peace groups shoot at each other.

2011.02.06 Pakistan Quetta
1 Killed 0 Injured
Muslim radicals are suspected in the shooting death of a Hindu man.

2011.02.06 Indonesia Banten
3 Killed 6 Injured
Three members of the Ahmadiyah minority sect are dragged out of their homes and beaten to death by a Sunni mob chanting ‘Allah Akbar’.

2011.02.05 Iraq Balad
2 Killed 3 Injured
Sunni bombers target a Shia shrine, killing two pilgrims.

2011.02.05 Philippines M’lang
2 Killed 0 Injured
Two farmers are shot to death in their field by Moro Islamists.

2011.02.05 Pakistan Khyber
3 Killed 2 Iinjured
Three civilians are ripped to pieces by a car bomb.

2011.02.05 Pakistan Karak
4 Killed 0 Injured
Four civilians are abducted and shot to death. Notes pinned to their bodies accuse them of being Jewish spies.

2011.02.04 Thailand Yala
2 Killed 0 Injured
Two security personnel are murdered by Muslim bombers.

2011.02.04 Afghanistan Kandahar
1 Killed 3 Injured
Women and children are among the casualties when Jihadi bombers target a market.

2011.02.04 Pakistan Karachi
1 Killed 0 Injured
A Shia leader dies from wounds suffered in a sectarian attack the night before.

2011.02.04 Iraq Tuz Khormato
3 Killed 0 Injured
Two teenage boys are among three Iraqis blown to bits in a targeted bombing.

2011.02.04 Thailand Pattani
1 Killed 2 Injured
Militant Muslims fire into a Buddhist village, killing one.

2011.02.03 Thailand Pattani
5 Killed 2 Injured
Muslim militants spray a group of elderly Buddhists at a market with machine-gun fire, killing five.

2011.02.03 Mauritania Bezoul
1 Killed 0 Injured
A local cop is gunned down by al-Qaeda militants.

2011.02.03 Afghanistan Kunduz
3 Killed 0 Injured
A man and his two young sons are ripped to shreds by Taliban bombers.

2011.02.03 Pakistan Lahore
3 Killed 27 Injured
Islamic militants bomb a rival shrine during food distribution, killing three.

2011.02.03 Iraq Baghdad
6 Killed 24 Injured
Three Mujahid bombings take down six Iraqis.

2011.02.03 Thailand Pattani
1 Killed 0 Injured
Muslim radicals slit the throat of a 49-year-old plantation worker.

2011.02.03 Iraq Ramadi
6 Killed 19 Injured
A Shahid suicide bomber murders six Iraqis.

2011.02.02 Pakistan Peshawar
10 Killed 26 Injured
Women and children are among a dozen innocents slain when Sunnis set off a bomb at a crowded market.

2011.02.02 Somalia Mogadishu
3 Killed 0 Injured
Three civlians are murdered by Muslim roadside bombers.

2011.02.02 Pakistan Anargi
3 Killed 4 Injured
Three local security forces are killed in a Tehreek-e-Taliban attack on their post.

2011.02.02 Iraq Baghdad
6 Killed 18 Injured
Six Iraqis are killed in a series of Jihad attacks.

2011.02.02 Russia Chegem
5 Killed 0 Injured
Islamic radicals burst into a cafe and gun down five traffic cops in cold blood.

2011.02.02 Pakistan Vehari
1 Killed 0 Injured
A 14-year-old girl is slowly shocked to death by her family for refusing to marry a cousin.

Anonymous said...

Tell me about it..They never pick up phone call...