Singapore Airlines yesterday sacked the two pilots who were controlling a jumbo jet that crashed at CKS International Airport two years ago, killing 83 people. \n"We felt it was the right thing to do," an airline spokesman said, but the Air Line Pilots Association called the decision "harsh and inappropriate." \nPilots Foong Chee Kong and Latiff Cyrano had mistakenly turned on to a runway at the airport that was closed for repairs when preparing to take off on a stormy night, and their jumbo jet exploded when it ploughed into construction equipment. \nNinety-six people aboard the plane survived, including the pilots. Taiwanese authorities blamed pilot error for the tragedy, with manslaughter charges against the pair conditionally suspended for three years. \nSingapore Airlines said in a statement it had "terminated the services of captain Foong and first officer Latiff in accordance with their terms of employment." \nThe airline spokesman said a clause in the pilots' contracts allowed for their services to be terminated with three months' salary in lieu of notice. \nA third pilot in the cockpit, first officer Ng Kheng Leng, was not held liable by Taiwanese officials and retained his job with the airline, as he was not engaged in the actual operation of flight SQ600. \nAn Air Line Pilots Association official told the Straits Times' online edition there was "no evidence to show that the pilots were reckless or had disregarded any rules, so this decision is harsh and inappropriate." \nFoong and Latiff were told of their dismissal yesterday, two days after the airline received confirmation from the Taiwan High Prosecutor's Office endorsing a lower court decision to suspend the manslaughter charges. \nThe original decision by the Taoyuan District Court said the charges would be lifted if Foong and Latiff complied with certain conditions during a three-year probation period. \nThe conditions included a ban on the pilots operating any aircraft entering or leaving Taiwan for one year, and a requirement that they perform 240 hours of community service in Singapore. \nThe decision to suspend the sentence was taken because of the better-than-average flying record of the pilots, the remorse they showed to the victims and the low visibility on the night of the accident, Taoyuan prosecutor Chiang Yuan-chen said.
‘LOW PROBABILITY’: China still ‘has a ways to go to develop the actual, no-kidding capability’ to seize Taiwan militarily, US General Mark Milley said The US’ top general on Thursday downplayed concern that China would attempt a military takeover of Taiwan in the near term, saying Beijing does not have the capability to do so. While there has been rising concern in Taiwan and among US lawmakers about Chinese military activity near Taiwan, such as flying jets in Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), US military officials said that such moves are not overly concerning. US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley told lawmakers that while Taiwan was still a core national interest of China, “there’s little intent right now, or motivation,
The Canadian House of Commons on Thursday unanimously passed the first reading of a proposal to create a legal framework for efforts to strengthen relations with Taiwan. The Canada-Taiwan Relations Framework Act was introduced by Canadian Member of Parliament Michael Cooper, who said that not having a formal diplomatic relationship with Taiwan has complicated interactions between the two nations. Taiwan is one of Canada’s largest trading partners, and the two share strong people-to-people links and common values, he said. Taiwan “is a vibrant economy and one of the world’s top 20 economies. It is time Canada’s relations with Taiwan reflect
A Kaohsiung woman who thought that she was dating Hollywood actor Keanu Reeves was found not guilty of abetting fraud, the Kaohsiung District Court has ruled. Citing insufficient evidence to prove intent, the court on May 27 dismissed fraud and money-laundering charges against the woman, surnamed Chang (張), saying that the evidence suggested that she had been duped. The verdict can be appealed. The verdict said that police opened an investigation into Chang after her bank account was linked to an online catfishing scheme, which involves luring someone into a relationship by using a fictional online persona. The scheme claimed two victims, including a
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday condemned Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) Institute of Revolutionary Practice director Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) for calling the government a “vaccine beggar” for receiving a donation of COVID-19 vaccines from the US. “Lo is still living in feudal China,” DPP Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) told a news conference. “When Taiwan needs unity, he uses malicious words to malign our president’s character and Taiwan’s national integrity. This person is either evil or he is completely ignorant,” she said. Taiwan donated 2 million masks to the US, and provided 2 million masks and 50,000 protective gowns to Japan when they