Fire in LCCT – another manhole syndrome?

Right after the posting of my last post on the mediocritic work attitude of Malaysians (I call it “The Manhole Syndrome“),  I read in Malaysian Insider that there is a fire in LCCT.

I cant help but write this short post.

Air Asia sets the trend for cheap air travel. We all must thank Air Asia for this, which has made air travel so much more affordable to the middle class and the poor.

But low cost air travel does not need to be equated to “cheap-skate” travel, which is what LCCT makes me feels whenever I visit the LCCT terminals or take an Air Asia flight.

LCCT is so shoddily constructed that it really demeans air travellers. I do not demand 5 star treatment of course, but at least provide us the necessary amenities, such as chairs for the elderly to sit and clean toilets, and enough space to breathe.

With such shoddy work, I am not really surprised that fire broke out and all those in the terminal had to be evacuated.

( Isuspect in this case, it is partly due to the work attitude and partly due to ‘you-know-what’ )


Recommended reading:  ” the manhole syndrome”


23 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. klm
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 15:11:22

    I have never fly in Air Asia so far. Thank God!.
    But I have been to LCCT. It is so temporary. And in typical Malaysian style – permanently temporary.

    There is such a thing as being functional and a dump. LCCT is a dump.

    Built by cheap bangla labour. or cheap indonesia labour and cheap materials for 108M RM. Can you imagine this price tag for a dump.

    If this is supposed to be temporary, they should used the world war 2 Quonset huts.
    We can still see them in Sg Besi Airport. They are cheaper and faster.

    Back to the LCCT fire. Untrained labour again. Overloaded illegal electrical extensions.

    In the main terminal, there is very strict control over electrical extensions and work process. Think, no one care over at the LCCT.


  2. Peter Yew
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 15:12:02

    I traveled only twice on Air Asia and I agree totally that the LCCT is like a bus terminal with people piling disorderly in the departure hall. Its design is so un-airport like and safety and security are wanting. It is not surprising that a fire had occurred.

    It is no wonder that Tony Fernandez is very upset with the high airport tax that is not justified for such a shoddy terminal. I welcome the new Labu LCCT as I expect it to be a better one, plus it will be nearer to where I live!


  3. klm
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 15:12:47

    Oh! And another excuse for Tony Fernandez to justify the new LCCT Labu. Maybe, he started this on purpose.


  4. Peter Yew
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 15:19:13

    I think we should move away from calling it LCCT. It is like naming your newborn Ah Sooi and condemning him to a luckless life. Batter call the new airport Budget Travel Terminal or something equivalent, certainly not Low Cost Carrier Terminal. In our mindset, low cost implies inferior quality and service which equate poor safety and security. We are talking about branding here.


  5. Peter Yew
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 15:20:58

    No lah! Too risky for Tony to be starting a fire to justify his new airport. OK, a new name proposal just cropped up: Tony Fernandez Budget Airport. How’s zat?


  6. klm
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 15:47:45

    I think he will call it Tune Budget Airport – with a Tune Budget Hotel inside.

    BTW. A little bird said that Tony is not the major shareholder of Air Asia. Someone’s son-in-law is the real owner. That is why AA gets all the plump sauce.


  7. A true Malaysian
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 15:48:43

    Everyone can fly, I rather walk than fly now.

    I just can’t understand why we need LCCT or the new proposed airport in Labu. KLIA is grossly underutilised now.

    When KLIA first operational, the authority boasted of taking over Changi Airport as the premier flying hub in this part of the world. What happen now?

    Chicken dung warm for 3 minutes, or second?


  8. Dr Hsu
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 15:59:37

    I think it should just be Sepang Airport or something like that.. Budget travel should be as respectable as expensive travel. So much was spent on LCCT and now it has to be abandoned… there should be proper planning in the first place.

    The power that be must realise this is all tax payers money, meaning you and I foot the bill ultimately.

    When you want to plan something, plan it well and take into consideration the next 10 years or so.. not so ad hoc like putting up at huge cost a LCCT and then plan for a new one just few years down the road.

    After this fire, it would have more excuse to build a new terminal at LAbu.


  9. Frank
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 19:26:50

    I took Air Asia to Hanoi and return on several occasions. Terminal at Hanoi is not divided and is based in the same international Air Port. The check-in counters are manned by pretty Viet ladies well trained to have broad smile and tendering good service, friendly and warmingly! Better at least, it does not like LCCT, those ‘government servants’ are most of the time, flash on the customers the imagery of ‘stiff-iced’ ox-like faces as if they are not paid their salaries for months! It makes me really feel cheap to have been served in such a cheapo manner, as if I can.t afford the more luxurious flight, so will have to be entertained like the foreign workers!

    Two weeks ago, I took Air Asia again back from Senai to Penang. A group of ‘kumpung-folks- like’ Penangites, while I and my family queued up second to the counter for check in, the leader of the group who was in front of me, commanded his buddies toeing behind me and ‘jumped queue’ to check in, in the face of me and other passengers in the line up. He looked more ‘kampung’, probably from Balik Pulau, and sorry to say – pariah! He was so act-cy as if he wanted to show off he can afford to fly, cheaply though!

    It makes me feel even more cheapo to have squeezed in the same cabin to fly all the way back to Penang!

    Is Air Asia meant for this kinds of cheap and ‘kampung-style’ characters – the hill billies?!


  10. petestop
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 19:29:24

    Frankly I flew AirAsia often, mostly medium haul trips to China, and I quite like the format.

    Especially where you pay for what you need, instead of you pay upfront whether you need it or not.

    Like you can choose to eat as many meals you want, or not eat at all, and AirAsia have one of
    the more decent food selection compared to any
    other flight.

    MAS and most commercial flight pales in comparison, and I’m not surprise they are bleeding more and more.

    Over a short period the LCCT have become too crowded and I once almost missed my connecting flight, as my luggage took 45min to come out !!

    Therefore I agree that AirAsia needs a bigger terminal to serve its increasing business.

    Note that LCCT is not owned by AirAsia, but rather AirAsia was forced to rent it at an arm-and-a-leg.

    Given the choice, I believe Tony Fernandez would choose to build his own terminal.

    However, like all things in Malaysia, you need to kowtow to a political master in order to do any big business. Thus the brilliant idea of the Labu Airport.
    Dr M is just being a sour-grape bcoz he can’t get a thumb in the pie, thus his scorch earth bombardment on Badawi.

    Still, Dr M have his point, why not open KLIA to AirAsia, since it is practically a ghost town nowadays, that it is laughable contrast compared to the LCCT.

    In fact MAS should move to the LCCT since it has such low passengers.

    So, how about it, AirAsia swap place with MAS ?
    And save us taxpayers billions of RM…


  11. Dr Hsu
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 19:42:00

    They should have used the existing Subang airport for air asia. Subang has 3 terminals, and is big enough for both firefly and air asia.

    Instead of building the LCCT and now the Labu airport, they could have used the money to build a high speed levitation train from subang to KLIA for connecting flights… Going by the speed of levitation train , it would probably take 15 minutes to reach there.

    It would have save KL folks on taxi fares, which is some times more than the air asia ticket fares, not to mention the time ..


  12. Dr Hsu
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 19:57:14

    Dear readers,

    read this post by Jed Yoong on air aisa and the Proposed Labu airport titled: Is Badawi bailing out his friends?

    klm, your little bird may be right……


  13. A true Malaysian
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 21:38:54


    I love your idea, switching airport. Frankly, this idea is brilliant. Hahaha.

    Dr. Hsu’s levitation train idea is logical, but what about the speed train from KL Sentral to KLIA?


  14. A true Malaysian
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 22:13:53

    Brilliant article by Jed Yoong.

    It seems there is a lot of smokescreens here and there.

    After all, some Malaysians are of ‘oxbrigde’ material.


  15. klm
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 07:43:17

    Read this is in Malaysian insider.

    Dad want’s explanation on son’s ‘shock’ death in Taman KLCC.

    This is another pothole syndrome.



  16. klm
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 07:52:10

    Dr Hsu. My little bird knows some of the going on in the high place finagling. AA was allow to grow at the expense of MAS. And AA was given he opportunity to cream the routes, ie only fly places where the routes are profitable. And no social responsibility.

    I am not saying Tony Fernandez is not good at what he did in AA. But he can be successful only in Malaysia Boleh “transparent” environment.


  17. Chauncey Gardener
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 08:18:22

    The reason why MAS was losing money was because it had to subsidise unprofitable routes.

    While the international routes were making money, the short haul internal routes were not.

    Air Asia, as KLM mentioned, flies only the routes which are profitable and not required to fly routes that have low passenger yield.

    If Air Asia is supposedly such a well run business, perhaps they should take over all of MAS’s routes … but I think they will vehemently object because they know it will hurt their business model. Basically, Air Asia and MAS are not playing on the same field simply because they (Air Asia) have picked and chosen the best routes for their business case while MAS could not exit from the money-losing ones.

    As for LCCT terminals, why is it that in many other countries, budget airlines deliver thier passengers to the same airports as mainline carriers ? I understand that lower landing fees may be charged for docking into less “desirable” gateways, so why can’t KLIA practice the same ?


  18. mgabr
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 09:58:39

    thanks this interesting article


  19. A true Malaysian
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 10:59:12

    C. Gardener,

    I am of the same opinion as yours on delivering budget airline passengers at the main airport. We don’t need another airport exclusively for budget airline.

    By the way, ‘budget’ is a word more decent than low cost. Low cost sound like ‘cheap skate’ to me.

    As on non-profitable routes, I do not think any airline should have such routes out of ‘social responsibiltiy’ reason. For a business entity to continue its operation, it needs to be profitable.

    If the government insists to continue with such profitable routes, then, it should subsidise the airline concerned, definitely not at the expense of the shareholders of the airline.


  20. Dalbinder Singh Gill
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 16:43:14

    I agree with you, its mentality problem here as well, whenever you visit a bus station to ride on a bus, you are thought to be poor, all this thoughts must be taken off our thinking, and where is the EQUALITY, is KLIA only for VVIP’s and VIP’s, where is the EQUALITY FOR ALL THE RAKYAT, THIS IS WHERE BARISAN NASIONAL SCREWS THEMSELVES UP BY RULING BY CLASS AND EATING THE PEOPLES MONEY, IN THE END, WHO IS BIGGER THAN A TAN SRI, GOD !!

    (Note: Why call it LCCT in the first place, i remember KLIA was supposed to be renamed to some Mahathir Airport, sorry DR.M, Pak Lah loves not physical or open revenge but through such ways, so you can dream the airport be renamed after Dr. M, i suggest the LCCT be renamed to MALAYSIA/KUALA LUMPUR STANDARD AIRPORT!!


  21. omo
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 11:55:53

    KLIA is pale and under utilised as compare with Bangkok and Sinkapore Airport. So why build another terminal? Can’t the have one or two wings for Budget airlines? If they do not want the areo bridge, so be it as the passengers can walk. The point is that the Main terminal is lifeless, dead and impression given to overseas visitors think they reach a kampong airport. Mind you, KLIA is build with our taxpayer’s money.


  22. rashidjailani
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 12:01:23

    i’ve never been and never got the chance to fly on Air Asia (since i dont need to go elsewhere abroad.haha).but i heard many “interesting” stories about LCCT.thus,it makes me wonder if really LCCT is like the airport version of Pudu busstation.heee 🙂


  23. petestop
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 12:56:07

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