|Occurred : 2/3/2003 (Entered as : 02/11/03)
Reported: 2/11/2003 4:42:52 PM 16:42
Location: Skudai (Malaysia),
|kindly read this news about "Kong Ming lanterns"
((NUFORC Note: The article, copied below, discusses the issue of lighted lanterns floating in the sky above Malaysia for Chinese New Years. PD))
((BEGIN COPIED ARTICLE))
New Straits Times » NewsBreak
Partial ban likely on Kong Ming sky lanterns
PUTRAJAYA, Feb 11: The Government may impose a ban on the hot-air Kong Ming lanterns as their indiscriminate release has proven dangerous to aircraft besides being a fire harzard.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said today that this did not constitute a ban on all lanterns.
"It is not a blanket ban on all lanterns as we understand the requirements and traditions of the Chinese community. But we have to regulate the practise and indentify the type of lanterns which are suitable.
"The huge air-borne ones caused some serious problems when they were released near the Bayan Lepas airport in Penang. We cannot allow this to go an as it poses a serious threat to aircraft," Abdullah, who is also Home Minister, said.
Pointing out that such huge lanterns could cause fires if they were blown onto houses, he said police would come up with clear regulations on lanterns soon.
"I will inform the police about this and they will go into the details of the matter, including approaching tanglung makers and relaying to them the problems that had cropped up," Abdullah said when responding to media queries on the issue.
He was speaking at a Press conference at the Home Ministry after chairing the Cabinet Committee on National Competitiveness (CCNC)'s second meeting today.
The Kong Ming lantern issue made headlines after 12 evening flights at the Bayan Lepas airport were forced to be diverted last Saturday due to the runaway being littered with the lanterns.
The airspace near the airport was also reported to be filled with the hot-air lanterns that night.
Following the incident, Penang Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon called on the Federal Government to impose guidelines on the release of such lanterns while Penang police chief DCP Datuk Arthur Edmonds suggested that the lanterns be banned.
"What happened in Penang is serious enough for us to impose some kind of a partial ban on certain kind of tanglung. Malaysians must know to enjoy themselves but not create things that endanger the the lives of others. That was the same reason why we banned firecrackers," Abdullah said.
((END COPIED ARTICLE FROM THE NEW STRAITS TIMES))