Hazy days in Kuala Lumpur
Outside of the luxury confines of the air conditioned convention centre, there was one thing troubling Kuala Lumpur – the haze that has engulfed the country as a result of illegal forest fires in neighbouring Indonesia.
I was on my first trip to South East Asia for the law enforcement and special equipment show GPEC Asia but my dreams of spending an evening gazing at views from the Petronas tower were shattered as visibility in the city was pretty poor.
Chatting with people at the local bars many said that the haze was the worst they had experienced in years and concerns were raised over how it might put people off coming to the city in the future.
More needs to be done to raise the awareness of the issue internationally, according to some, as a solution to the problem does not seem to be on the horizon any time soon.
The show itself was a modest one but there was plenty of interesting equipment on offer from the smaller unmanned aircraft to the amphibious craft – aptly named Sea Legs. Most exhibitors were local Malaysian companies trying to offer up solutions to the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP).
Attendance at the show was good and there was a substantial crowd of Malaysian RMP personnel walking around the event taking a look at what equipment they may be issued with in the future. I deduced that the female police officers seem to be issued RMP standard handbags as part of their uniform, either that or they all went to the same shop and bought the same bag.
One exhibitor noted that the number of delegates at the exhibition seemed to be substantially less than previous years saying that the company only had visits from Chinese, Malaysian and Vietnamese delegations at the 2015 event.
While big contract signings and product unveilings were few and far between one notable announcement was the purchase of two AW139s by the RMP Air Wing Unit from local company Galaxy Helicopters. The aircraft are set to accompany the currently in service Airbus Helicopter AS355 N2 and F2 aircraft that are in service with the police force.
Back on land, the RMP had signed an agreement with another local company, Global Komited, for eight armoured personnel carriers to assist in security operations.
All in all, Kuala Lumpur is a pretty awesome city; I’m sure someone from the Shephard A team will be back in the near future.