20 September 2002
The SDP claims to be fighting on the side of the common man. But the Party is keeping its lips sealed on a most unjustifiable dismissal of the SQ006 pilots. Never have I expected that SIA would sack the pilots…after pointing the finger at the airport’s confusing signs and guiding lights at that fateful night!
It is very perplexing that SIA would now sack the pilots, which vindicates the Taiwanese authorities’ position that the pilots should shoulder the fault of the mishap (thus putting our Ministry of Transport’s findings as wrong and just a national chest-thumping exercise), and it is predictable, though regrettable, that the trade unions are not calling for strike actions against SIA.
But I would expect that the SDP would rally to the cause of the pilots’ efforts to have their rice bowls back (and ask the PAP, where is their “forgiving society” they preached?). Is the SDP as impotent and as silent as our trade unions? The pilots have no backing except the lip service of the trade unions, the moral support of their families as well as the indignant of the international aviation lobby groups.
Come on, SDP, we are Singapore, Singaporeans. Let’s rally behind the pilots in their uphill battle against SIA for their livelihood.
This is especially when both the SIA and the Ministry of Transport argue that the pilots are not to blame for the SQ006 mishap. If the pilots are indeed responsible, then let’s make SIA and MOT admit that pilot error was the decisive factor for the mishap, and not blame the Chiang Kai Shek airport’s facilities AND deprive the misled pilots of a means to support their families.
Are you up to the task of campaigning for SIA to re-instate the 3 pilots if they are truly blameless (ie. MOT’s report is correct), SDP?
SDP: The fact of the matter is that both the SIA pilots and Taiwan airport authorities were to blame for the mishap where many lives were lost. The SDP does not have details of SIAs decision to sack the pilots and the evidence on which the decision was made.
The pilots unions would have more information and would be best placed to decide whether or not to take up the fight on behalf of their colleagues.
Many of those who perished in the SQ006 crash were also Singaporeans. By standing up for the pilots are we not also being insensitive to the families of the victims who are our fellows Singaporeans too?