It should also draw up a timeframe for the team to return the loan.
But there is more here than just the
question of money. The whole country
was misled into believing a government sanctioned mission accomplished
something it did not.
To put it bluntly, the Malaysian Millennium Jump 2000 skydivers were poles apart from their target.
The eight members of the team should not
expect the nation to applaud them for
landing at Patriot Hills, 1,800km away
from the intended location the
goegraphical South Pole on Jan 1.
The distance between Alor Star and Singapore is only 868km.
One team member even justified: “The
area is in the South Pole. For example, if we did not land at the Petronas Twin Towers but the Royal Selangor Club instead,
we still parachuted over Kuala Lumpur,
Fikiran Syndicate's G. Siva Kumar owes
the Government and all Malaysians an explanation.
He should not blame the Russian co-ordinator at the base camp in Patriot
Hills for feeding him with the
His defence was there was only one phone
line which was monopolised by the
Russians and that he could not get back to the Malaysian team to verify the truth.
When The Star called him in Los Angeles, Siva Kumar still maintained there was a jump.
The fact is that a lot of Malaysians are
now jumping for being misled.
The controversy started even before the
team left Malaysia following a report of
a fall-out between team members. This
was followed by a denial with threats of a legal suit.
It is now clear everything was wrong
from Day One. Malaysians cannot help
but get the impression that the preparations were insufficient.
Fikiran Syndicate must understand it is
all right to admit failure. Even if we did not make it, no one would fault the
There was no pressure on them to succeed and Malaysians understand the
difficulties of a team from a tropical country
adjusting to sub-zero temperatures.
If the weather had not permitted them to
jump, it would be foolish for us to expect them to risk their lives.
Besides the bad weather, poor logistical
management and the breakdown of snow
buggies were among the reasons for the
In a face-saving gesture, team members are now saying they are proud because
the jump qualified them as the first
Asian team to reach the South pole.
Not many of us will be elated with this
annoucement. We should have, perhaps,
settled for a lesser target.
In our frenzy to be the first, the biggest
and the largest in everything, we seem to have gone overboard.
It is commendable to strive for excellence, to build the spirit of patrotism
and to achieve success.
The South Pole jump fiasco, however,
should not deter Malaysians from going
for other challenges. No doubt it has been a damper but we should put that behind us.
There is no need to review the Malaysia
Boleh campaign as the country must continue to encourage the people to
strive for excellence, particularly
among the young.
What we want is to put a stop to the pursuit of aimless targets just to enter
the book of records.
The South Pole jump controversy is a
lesson to all of us. The Government will, from now, be more careful with people who come to them with various
We should check these people's backgrounds and abilities. After giving
them the loan, sponsorship and the flag,
the job does not end there.
The Government must keep track of developments of those involved in such a project, particularly if the project is a
difficult one, to ensure its success.
Malaysians must understand that when we
announce a feat, it is watched by everyone, including our neighbours.
Our rivals would love to see us fail. In
fact, the South Pole jump fiasco was given wide coverage in a neighbouring
If that's not bad enough, some of our
Malaysian politicians must have jumped
with joy to see the team flop so they can take a dig at the Malaysia Boleh
But it's okay. There's nothing wrong in
tumbling once after our string of successes.