Saturday, May 04, 2013
Well, it has been nearly four years after KD Tunku Abdul Rahman was inducted into the Royal Malaysian Navy and received bad press for it's perceived 'inability' to dive. Blown out of all proportion by certain individuals, the problem had been solved, and even certain members of the Parliament had taken a ride in the submerged boat during LIMA 2011. However, many still believe that KD TAR remain 'unsubmergeable' and was actually a hands-me-down boat (how come a new-build boat can be considered a second-hand item?). I found them in Facebook (where else?) commenting on the photo of the ex-Ouessant of the French Navy, now at Klebang, Melaka:
Okay, first of all, the Facebook page is called 'Only In Malaysia' - possibly implying ridiculous things that only happen in Malaysia and nowhere else. Underneath the photo, the administrator wrote: " Cool submarine...Take a look, for the first time ever in musuem (sic) now :D " Hello, there were six submarine museums in the US, two in the UK and a number of others in India, Germany, Australia and a few other countries...so how it could be 'only in Malaysia'? And as for the rest of the comments, here's the crown jewels:
"Submarine that cant go into water, only in malaysia indeed." (Commented above)
"mmng bleh dive...tp kang takut x timbul2....." (there is no news about sub disaster till today)
" OIC.....so buy 2 get 1 free lah! I wonder is our country really have a great history in Maritime??" (Yes we did, all the way from the days of the Malaccan Sultanate, go read your history books)
"BRAVO! CHEERS! More taxpayers' money used to buy a very expensive piece of historical monument. I'm pretty sure the museum is overcrowded with people wanting to see the submarine that never worked..." (That submarine served the French Navy from 1978 to 2001. From 2005 to 2009 it was used to train Malaysian submariners, so it did work!)
"Right. Explains why I keep seeing our Royal Navy training very hard with that submarine. I'm pretty sure our seas are MUCH safer." (Right, belittling our navy men huh? The two comments above were made by the same person. At least he has the balls to apologize)
"this is our money in the form of unsinkable submarine. put some sails on it and wallah! a yatch." (Another soul who get their Scorpenes and Agostas mixed up)
"Beli 2 besi buruk, free 1 sampah karat". (There were photos of the Scorpene's hull halves being mated together, so how come it's scrap metal?)
But I guess this one takes the cake:
"Training should be done using simulation, so u can cut cost, upgrade newer version software without spending so much money on the older stuff.... To our previous government please not all Malaysian are stupid. Don't cook up some bullshit story. I am not buying it" (emphasis added)
Kid, (I don't know if a bearded man can still be called a kid) being in the military is not like playing Command and Conquer. And seeing that you're an employee of TNB made my palm and face sore from being facepalmed again and again. I don't how TNB do their job but I guess computer simulations were followed by actual tests right, that is, if you're one of the engineers / tech guys and not some admin type. Heck even pilots who started with simulations have to pilot the real aircraft eventually. As for submarine training, sure, simulations are useful that CANNOT take place of being inside a real submarine, hundreds of feet below crushing water, hearing the hull creak from differing pressure when they change depth. and since the first time we ever operate a submarine, we sure need a real sub to train the initial batch of submariners. Of course not all Malaysians are stupid, unfortunately, you're not one of them....sorry!!
The rest of the comments mainly reflected the public's confusion between Ouessant and Scorpene. To be fair though, it is quite clear why. Politicians and their supporters harp upon the Scorpene's (solved) problem, then came photos of Ouessant with its dirty, unkempt-looking hull. Certain people simply tie the two together, not noting the difference and came up with the comments such as quoted above. The organisation that decided to turn Ouessant into a museum should at least repaint the boat before hauling it onto Klebang. Just look at other museum subs and ships elsewhere....like HMS Belfast at London, or even the 200-year old HMS Victory. Let's hope they get their act together and make the ex-Ouessant a really worthwhile museum to visit.