Thursday, January 20, 2011
Recently my mum and my brother's family went to Melaka for the weekend, well more as my brother's treat for our mother's birthday. Anyway they did their touristy things there. As many have already known, one of Melaka's attraction was the beca ride. The becas are brightly painted and for the most part, outrageously decorated. Anyway, as with most individuals in the tourism industry they need to be conversant with the tourists and can be tour guides in their own right.
So my mum told me about this particular pakcik who brought her around Bandar Hilir, pointing out the various landmarks around. One of the landmarks there was the pedestal mounted ex-TUDM Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer STOL transport. Originally located at Muzium Negara, it was transferred to Melaka a number of years ago. My mum told me that this pakcik confidently told her that that particular plane was the one used by the late Tunku Abdul Rahman for 'Rombongan Merdeka' in London in 1956. Even though my mum basically doesn't know much about airplanes, even she was bemused by the pakcik's claim!
I laughed rather hard at that and told my mum that that pakcik definitely didn't know what he's talking about. The plane used by Rombongan Merdeka was the Malayan Airways' (the forerunner of MAS) Douglas DC-3 (there are photos of Tunku boarding the plane); basically the standard airliner of the early 1950s (something like today's Boeing 737). The Twin Pioneer was waaay to small for such long-haul flights. Even the larger DC-3 could not make a continuous flight from KL to London - Tunku would have to make a number of transfers on his way to London. My mum said even she finds it almost impossible for such a (relatively) small plane to hop all the way to London while carrying dignitaries in much discomfort!
So pakcik, I hope you can get the facts straight!