Helicopter owner behind 'nasi ganja' pick-up says papers are in order
The owner of the helicopter behind the airborne food delivery of "nasi ganja" from Ipoh to Kuala Lumpur last Friday reportedly left the matter for police investigation, stating that "all papers were in order".
Online portal Free Malaysia Today reported the helicopter that landed at Padang Ipoh, Perak, to pick up 36 packets of the famed nasi ganja for a customer is owned by KL-Kuala Selangor Expressway (Latar) managing director Mohamed Raffe Chekku.
"I have nothing much to say except that it was a quick pick-up.
"I have appointed my lawyers to handle the matter and we will give our full cooperation," Raffe reportedly said.
Reports of the Bell 505 helicopter's special pick-up created a buzz on social media over the weekend with questions raised whether it was a novel way to bypass ongoing inter-state travel restrictions.
Perak police chief Mior Faridalathrash Wahid previously said the helicopter did not have permission to land at Padang Ipoh, as checks with the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) confirmed it was only cleared for landing at the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport.
Mior said police had identified the individuals and the company involved and would record their statements soon.
"We have also called up the owner of the nasi ganja outlet to facilitate the investigation," he reportedly said.
The report also quoted a senior helicopter pilot who said the helicopter, leased by its owner to Systematic Air Services (SAS), has apparently been operating out of Tanjung Rambutan to ferry medical staff to the interior areas for Orang Asli vaccination.
"As far as we know, SAS had been given the contract and was carrying this out over the last month or so. From what they claim, the chopper was picking up the 36 packs on the return trip to Subang,” the anonymous pilot reportedly said.
He added that helicopters are permitted to land anywhere with clearance from local air traffic controllers (ATCs), barring any security or safety threat.
"So, frankly, I am not sure what all the excitement is about as what they did was perfectly legal provided the ATC had given them the clearance.
"The company obviously must have had inter-state travel permission as the government contracted them for the vaccination drive," he was quoted as saying.
According to the report, SAS chief executive officer Ida Adora Ismail said none of its crew was involved in the food pick-up.
"While we confirm that the aircraft is under a leasing agreement with us, the Ipoh flight was a private one flown by the owner and his passenger from Subang Airport to Ipoh and back," she was quoted as saying.
CAAM yesterday said it was investigating to determine if the flight had breached any regulations under the Malaysian Civil Aviation Regulations 2016 and the Civil Aviation Directives.