Monday, 11 August 2008
How Incompetent Are We, Really?
I'm upset that Qantas has implied Malaysia lacks competence when it comes to simple maintenance checks.
To begin with, preliminary investigations into the Boeing 747 that had a forced emergency landing in the Philippines on his way from London to Melbourne showed that it was a faulty oxygen cylinder valve that blew the hole in the fuselage and not shoddy maintenance.
But this scare has evolved into a full-fledged flog-anyone-in-sight exercise, which involves a withdrawal of two 737 planes from being sent to Malaysia for heavy maintenance checks.
Qantas' decision to send its 737s to Malaysia for maintenance checks has come under intense scrutiny after the first plane sent there two months ago came back with 95 defects.
It has not been established if the defects rank along the lines of "dodgy staples" or if there is indeed, something with a cause for concern.
Malaysia Airlines issued a statement yesterday defending its checks and calling Australian reports on defects unsubstantiated.
I can understand that Malaysians pose a threat to the Australian Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) industry as we're cheap labour. We're essentially taking their jobs and leaving thm potentially unemployed.
But what really concerns me is whether we do have a hand in our own sorry reputation.
We are a nation with a need of "affirmative action" for the majority. We don't believe in meritocracy. We are steeped in quota systems - be it scholarships, entry into universities and purchase of property.
It is only natural that we have a whole bunch of incompetents walking around.
But have they, through our failed reputation, finally affected the economy?