Advanced Air Traffic Systems (AAT) Sdn Bhd linked to Former Minister’s Son

June 21, 2012

Advanced Air Traffic Systems (AAT) Sdn Bhd linked to Former Minister’s Son

by Koh Jun Lin @

The 25-year-old son of a former minister has been found to be involved in the supply of an allegedly defective 26.05 million euro (RM128.4 million) air traffic control system to the government through a closed tender.

In addition, his Italian partner in the project is already plagued with a series of corruption scandals.

PKR leaders have claimed that the system supplied to the National Air Traffic Control Centre (NATCC) on December 13 last year was defective-on-arrival, but Transport Minister Kong Cho Ha denied this in a written reply to the Dewan Rakyat.

Not satisfied with the response, Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar questioned whether it was the norm of the government to award important projects to the family members of cabinet ministers.

NONEA closed tender is where only selected parties are invited to bid for the contract. The air traffic control system was installed by Advanced Air Traffic Systems (AAT) Sdn Bhd, in which Ikhwan Hafiz Jamaludin is a significant stakeholder and alternate director.

Ikhwan is the son of Rompin MP and former Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Jamaludin Jarjis (right), who is seen as a close ally to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

After his tenure, Jamaludin served as Ambassador to the United States, and is now a special envoy to the US with ministerial status.

Former DCA chief also on the board

Also on AAT’s board as its chairperson is Zolkipli Abdul, who was director-general of the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) until 1997. He and Ikhwan Hafiz were appointed to the board on August 1, 2011, according to the company profile obtained from the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM).

AAT is a joint venture between Italian radar systems provider Selex Sistemi Integriti SpA and two relatively obscure local companies, Tirai Variasi Sdn Bhd and Tahap Harmoni Sdn Bhd.

Google searches on Tirai Variasi Sdn Bhd and Tahap Harmoni yielded very little information.
Ikhwan and Zolkipli are also owners of Tirai Variasi, which holds a 50 percent stake in AAT, with Ikhwan holding a whopping 90 percent, while 70-year-old Zolkipli has the remaining 10 percent.

Tirai Variasi was incorporated in 2003, and Ikhwan has served on its board since August 2008, when he was aged 21.

NONELittle is known about Tahap Harmoni and its owners Muhamad Munip and Puteh Muhamed.

According to a press statement issued in September 2009 by Selex’s parent company Finmeccanica, Selex has been in Malaysia since the 1990s, supplying civilian radar systems.

In 1994, the AAT joint venture was formed, “with the aim of know-how and technology transfer to Malaysia, especially in the air traffic control systems field”.

On the other hand, Selex, which owns 30 percent of the venture, is no stranger to controversy.According to an AFP report, Selex has been investigated since 2010 over allegations that it had been given no-bid contracts by the Italian civil aviation agency Enav.

Most recently, the probe led authorities to search the home of the Vatican’s former de facto bank chief Ettore Gotti Tedeschi on June 6 for documents pertaining to the case.

Selex is also a wholly-owned subsidiary of Finmeccanica SpA, a defence company that is facing its own set of corruption allegations.

These range from claims that its former chairperson had created false invoices and slush funds to pay off politicians to allegations that its current chairperson had greased helicopter deals with India when he was the head of its subsidiary, AgustaWestland. Finmeccanica and Selex have consistently been denying any wrongdoing.

No response from the Italian companies

Repeated attempts by Malaysiakini since June 8 to contact AAT, Selex, Finmeccanica and Zolkipli for comment have not yielded any response.

NONEHowever, Malaysiakini visited Ikhwan’s listed address yesterday, where his aide Siti Zubaidah confirmed that he is the son of Jamaluddin Jarjis.

She also offered to get Ikhwan to contact Malaysiakini to respond to our questions.

When Malaysiakini visited the AAT office in Shah Alam about 12.30pm today, a spokesperson, who declined to be named, said the company was aware of the allegations and had issued a directive to staff not to comment on the matter.

Two weeks ago, PKR Vice-Presidents Nurul Izzah Anwar, N Surendran and Tian Chua had disclosed purported documents leaked from the DCA and NATCC. They claimed that the air traffic control system that had been installed suffered some 68 defects that had led to an increase of workload and stress among the air traffic controllers,

As a consequence, senior officers of the controllers had told controllers to be “extra careful” and had lobbied the director of the NATCC for an immediate remedy, or for the older system to be restored.

One of the documents, purportedly a letter of undertaking from Selex, promised to make the repairs in March this year. When Nurul Izzah raised the issue in Parliament, the Transport Minister wrote back saying that the system “is performing well” and that “there has not been any incident until now”.

19 thoughts on “Advanced Air Traffic Systems (AAT) Sdn Bhd linked to Former Minister’s Son

  1. This is how business is done in Malaysia; one must be a relative of, or is connected to a Minister for special closed tender deals. Cronyism is very much alive and I am sure we will know about other deals that stinks to high heavens as elections is fast approaching.

    We sikhs cannot imagine this happening in our community. Being marginalized as a community (until recently when Najib knows he needs our votes), we have to slog hard for our daily living. Man cannot live by chapati alone but still chapati is chapati. Bendover, tell me what is happening in 1BolehLand where the government does not give a damn for the rakyat.

  2. I have always said that if your expertise is bottom pinching , then you should stick to bottom pinching and not side track to supplying advanced air traffic systems . SEE what happens when you side track !

  3. kayak,
    Bottom pinching brings handsome rewards like being appointed Ambassador.
    If you want to be an ambassador, go pinch women’s bottoms. Oh yea, don’t forget to down a glass of whisker before that. That would bring you to USA.

  4. The shameless thing is the minister in charge even lied in parliament that the air traffic control system is safe when hundreds of lives are at stake – all it takes is a B747-600 making a serious error in judgement and we are in big shit!

    If you go into the website where airline pilots frequent, they do post the recordings released from the black box of the crash of the Merpati Air B737 at Medan Airport, Sumatra. Hear the confusion of the conversation between the air traffic controller and the pilot because both were getting different readings on their radar… anyway the last words before the crash were those of the pilot and they were “bukit didepan… Allahuakhbar, Allahuakhbar, Allahuakhbra!” and then silence…..

  5. Just ask TNB Fuels Sdn Bhd the list of “suppliers of thermal/steam coal” to TNB and see how many are politically connected individuals / companies? TNB Fuels buys 26.8 million tons of coal per year. These suppliers buys cheap in Kalimantan and Sumatra at approx USD75-80 per metric ton FOB and sells at USD120-125 per metric ton to TNB Fuels FOB. So 26,800,000 mt X USD40 profit = USD1.07 billion. Siapa rugi – rakyat yang bayar tariff tinggi untuk guna elektrik!

  6. What would be a classic solution to the problem is when the ” Private jet ” bringing home our Special Envoy to US suffers serious error due to the son’s company Air Traffic control system Forkedup then crash,well I’ll leave the rest to your imagination……….Divine justice.

  7. all it takes is a B747-600 making a serious error in judgement and we are in big shit! – Greenbug
    you mean to say the pilot of the B747 making a serious error in judgement? The B 747 can fly and even land by itself while on auto pilot. Serious error in judgement will be on the part of the pilot.

    In Merpati’s case it was the term/language used. For example the ATC say “drop down two two zero zero” i.e. while pilot interpret it to mean drop “to” two zero zero. ICAO has since made changes . That why pilots have to go for aviation English

  8. 25 years old! He’s hardly out of wearing baby diapers and he got a project worth nearly RM130 million! This is like the NFC case. And I bet the old man is going to say it’s got nothing to do with him.

    This is a case of greedy and irresponsible parents. Flexing their muscles and showing off their highest level of dishonesty , corruption in dealing with Malaysia. They are putting their kids in danger of prosecution, bangkrupcy at an early age.

  9. Never mind, let them hang themselves….. If the Be-End do not change these old faces ( not faeces ), and still Adament in putting them up as Candidates for the next GE, the rakyat will definitely X them out ! Why, naik muak, jemu lah tengok muka-muka yang tak Senonoh, tiada Berkaliber, kesemua hendak Senang dan Cepat Kaya…
    Please, its already high time albeit a little too late, the Bumis have to really, really workk extremely hard & be Industrious and Resilient like acquring the Chinese-character.
    The change of Faces is very badly required, only them perhaps Be-End might be able to relish some positive changes, that is the Crux of the matter. The Rakyat know ” these ” faces too well, and feel Disgusted – get the message ?
    Change all these Besar-kepala people…..

  10. reminds me of a long ago story about this 27yr old son of ling-a-ding-ding mca prez. His son accumulated some RM700mil and his proud dad announced “…ling jnr is over 21yrs old. He is good in what he does. I have no control over him…blahblahblah.”
    Yeah, right! 3-4 years out of college, he can amassed Rm700million!

    Its always best to let Karma do its work. Watch out! Many private luxury jets carrying the VVIP & VIP are coming in fast @ subang airport…*silent*

  11. “They are putting their kids in danger of prosecution, bankruptcy at an early age.” – headhunter

    Say what???! Hardly those things will happen to them.

  12. This is how much regard Barisan Nasional has for human lives, just so that they can make millions of ringgit.

    A defective air traffic control system could cause planes to crash and innocent lives lost.

    I shudder to think that the pilots and air crews of AirAsia, Firefly and MAS go to work everyday with the thought that they may die a fiery death and may not live to go home after work. I share the agonising wait of the loved ones of these people everyday as they see their husband / wife / father / mother / child leave for work in nice uniforms but may not come back.

    But hey, I am just telling a lie about the dangers that these people face in the air with a defective air traffic control system … but am I?

    To you people who has a loved one who works in the air … spare a thought. This is not about the money that Jarjis’ son stole. It’s about the innocent lives that Jarjis and son will potentially take as a result.

  13. You guys just don’t get it. It’s done on purpose in case Najib’s plane have to suddenly appear or disappear they can claim it didn’t appear on the ATC’s radar. You know how often Najib takes a joyride in the executive jet. Just like the immigration records that were completely wiped out or in this case didn’t exist.

  14. what an asshole this ass pinching ambassador? data ass pinching? dont play with other people live la.. dato pinching ass? why r u still not satisfy pinching la another ass in the US?

  15. Come to think of it, what is a few planes dropping off the air when the entire Malaysia and probably Thailand, Singapore as well, will be wiped out if some idiot press the wrong button at Gebeng Lynas plant…. we are dead anyway so what is a few planes fally off….

  16. “The characters in the following story are all ficticious and if it bears any similarities to what has happened to a person or persons reading this story it is purely coincidental and has no truth at all”

    Sorry guys this is the implementation of Asian Values in reverse. You see, in 1960 my brother got a job in the Veterinary Department as a Veterinary Assistant ( this is a State appoinment) because the connections my father had as a clerk in the State Veterinary Department. In those days jobs were chasing the unemployed. My goog brother got into his comfort zone very quickly and began going to work late. The State Veterinary Officer called in my father and told him that if my brother continues to come late for work he will have to get rid of him. The three year probationary period was not over and therefore this action could be taken by the State Veterinary Officer. My father imediately pulled up my brother and conveyed the warning to him. That was the end of the issue he was never late for work for the rest of his working days in Government. That my friends is the true Asian Values in action.

    Fast foward to today you will see example after example of parents giving excuses and not reason for the wrongdoings of their children.That is the new definition of Asian Values and because we have the power we do not have to heed lest be we become powerless if we do. But we still do not get it.And we will never get it. And as a wise man once said if you are you are a fool and know that you are a fool you are indeed a wise man. But if you are a fool and do not know that you are a fool then you are indeed a fool.

  17. For info, DZJJ Sdn Bhd (JJ = Jamaludin Jarjis) together with Siemen, installed the Air Traffic Control systems for KLIA back in 1998. No major issues reported.
    Since then, different ATC systems maintenance contractors come and go ( maintenance contract valid for 3 years), no major issues reported.
    For National Air Traffic Control Center (NATCC) in Subang, the ATC systems maintenance contracts have been awarded to the same company for quite some time, ie complacency sets in?

    More info on JJ =

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