Minister questions why airplane passenger in labour had to disembark using staircase

Screenshot of Fatimah’s Facebook post.

By Nancy Nais

KUCHING, Sept 3: Minister of Welfare, Community Well-being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah is wondering why an airplane passenger in labour had to walk down stairs to disembark from a plane instead of using the aerobridge at Miri Airport.

In a Facebook post today, Fatimah wrote, “The first thing that came to my mind when I look at the picture n read the story is …why oh why can’t Air Asia work with MAB so as to provide Aerobridge?”

According to several news reports yesterday, an AirAsia plane travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Sandakan had to make an emergency stop in Miri on Sept 1, after a pregnant woman showed early signs of labour.

The flight AK5194, made an emergency landing at 5.28pm.

When contacted, Fatimah said although it was an excellent move by the pilots to make an emergency stop in Miri, she was saddened by the incident based on the picture.

“When they knew the lady was in labour, they could have contacted MAB to arrange for an aerobridge. The woman was seen wearing some sort of towel and barefooted. Instead, she had to walk down the air stairs and it is dangerous,” Fatimah lamented.

Efforts to contact the Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad office in Miri for comment were not successful as of press time.

An online New Straits Times report yesterday quoted MAB Miri manager Zainal Abidin Harun, who said the moment the plane landed in Miri, the woman was immediately rushed to Miri Hospital.

She gave birth to a baby boy at 5.58pm.

The woman, who is from Sandakan was on her way back home.

The flight, which carried 130 passengers and six crew members departed Miri at 6.27pm. — DayakDaily