Call on MAS to take action against MAS General Sales Agent Silkways Cargo Services Ltd owned by Mohamad Zin as his company continues to practise weight cheating in its cargo service

Press Statement
by Teresa Kok Suh Sim

(Kuala Lumpur, Tuesday):

The General Sales Agent of MAS in Dhaka, Silkways Cargo Services Ltd still continues to practise weight cheating despite a police report lodge against it last month. I have been informed that the method of cheating carried out by Silkways Cargo Ltd now is even more complicated compared to its past practice, as it involves the manipulation of shipment data in the flight manifest and information storage media.


The latest findings of the weight manipulation by Silkways Cargo Ltd are as follows:


1.      On 22nd May 2003, the flight MH197 carried 2 shipments of garments handled by Silkways Cargo Ltd. They were said to come from Dhaka to Kuala Lumpur for onward transmission to Madrid, Spain. The Airway bill numbers of the two shipments are 232-82998871 and 232-83776766.


These two shipments (232-82998871 and 232-83776766) were loaded on pallet number PMC5983MH and the total gross weight of the shipments is 3270kgs (attachment A).


However, what is odd is that according to the flight manifest of flight MH197/22nd May 2003, the said pallet (PMC5983MH) was loaded with 133pcs of garments with a net weight of 1925kgs under a different Airway bill number of 232-82998871 (attachment B).


The manipulation is very clear as the Airwaybill number 232-83776766 was not registered in the flight manifest of MH197/22nd May 2003 but registered in the information storage media.


The total losses caused by the missing shipment is USD3,132.25.

2.      Two shipments of garments were sent from Dhaka to Kuala Lumpur on flight MH197/22nd May for onward transmission to Lille, France via Paris (CDG).The  Airway bill numbers were: i) 232-82998801 which has 95pcs of garments with a net weight of 960kgs; and ii) 232-82998705 which has 24pcs of garments with a net weight of 344kgs. Both shipments (232-82998801 and 232-82998705) were loaded on a pallet number PMC32562MH as per the flight manifest of MH197/22nd May 2003 (attachment A).


When the pallet arrived in Kuala Lumpur (PMC32562MH) it was reweighed at random by MAS KARGO personnel. It was found that the gross weight of the pallet was 1,424kg.


Upon calculation, the following weight cheating was revealed:


The gross weight of pallet PMC32562MH is 1,300kg as stated in the information storage media while the net weight (less 120kgs of pallet weight to obtain a net weight) is 1180kg.


When we take the manifest weight 1304kg less the actual weight after the re-weight in Kuala Lumpur, we will get 1304-1180kg and a weight difference of 124kg.


This will result in loss of revenue for MAS of USD231.88 [124kg x 1.87 USD/kg (the rate from Dhaka to Lille in France)].


The weight cheating practiced by Silkways Cargo Ltd was earlier highlighted in a letter from 6 MAS sub-agents (freight forwarders) in their joint letter dated 9th July 2002 to the managing director of MAS in Kuala Lumpur Datuk Md Noor bin Md Yusof, but unfortunately the complainants did not receive any reply from MAS to date.


Besides, the Association of Travel Agents of Bangladesh (ATAB) had made a complaint to MAS via its area manager based in Dhaka. A copy of the letter was sent to the MAS regional office in New Delhi. So far, the association did not receive any reply from the MAS management.


Despite lodging a police report, highlighting the issue in Parliament and forwarding a memorandum to the top-level officers of MAS, the national carrier is still keeping mum on the matter. MAS top management should realize that it is no longer a private company but a public company owned by the Ministry of Finance. Therefore, MAS needs to be accountable to taxpayers as well as to the government. Stern action must also be taken against Silkways Cargo Ltd and its chairman YB Datuk Mohd Zin bin Mohamed who is also MP for Shah Alam, as the weight cheating carried out by Silkways Cargo Ltd has caused great losses to MAS.


The silence of MAS will only perpetuate the suspicion that MAS and its officers are collaborating with Silkways Cargo Services Ltd to conceal the kind of manipulation and malpractices that I have clearly shown today.


* Teresa Kok Suh Sim, DAP MP for Seputih