Archive for March 13th, 2014

Malaysia’s future in hands of ordinary heroes who dare to stand up for racial and religious harmony, clean elections and a better education system

(Speech 4 in Dewan Rakyat when taking part in the debate on Motion of Thanks for the Royal Address on Thursday, 13th March 2014)

Malaysia’s future lies in the hands of ordinary heroes who dare to stand up for racial and religious harmony, clean elections and a better education system – ordinary Malaysians like Azrul Mohd Khalib, Ally Hazran Hashim, Siti Kassim, Major Zaidi Ahmad and Mohd Nor Izzah – who are the salt of the earth who will ensure that Malaysia will achieve her greatness and not become a failed state.

Azrul, Ally and Siti Kassim were involved in the “Walk for Peace” movement among ordinary Malaysians regardless of race or religion who care about the country to push for national healing in the face of the worst racial and religious polarization in the nation’s 56-year history.

It all started on Sunday, January 5 this year outside Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Klang where the nearly 1,000 Catholics who turned up for Sunday mass had expected an angry mob of Muslims protesting against the possible use of the word ‘Allah’ but instead met a group of progressive Muslims bearing flowers to express solidarity and preparedness to defend the Church from the planned protest.

Among the progressive Muslims who turned up was social activist Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir. Read the rest of this entry »

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MAS: Boeing, RR deny getting MH370 data bursts

The Malay Mail Online
By Zurairi AR
March 13, 2014

SEPANG, March 13 — Boeing and Rolls Royce did not receive engine data from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, the flag carrier said today when refuting reports that engine information showed the plane flew four hours longer than previously known.

Speaking during the daily press conference on the search efforts today, MAS group chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said both the plane maker and engine builder have denied they received two bursts of Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) feedback allegedly from the Beijing-bound plane with 239 on board.

“The reports that the plane transmitted data long after the ACARS signal was lost are inaccurate. Our records show that the last ACARS transmission was at 1.07am,” Ahmad said.

“We have contacted both Rolls Royce and Boeing and both deny receiving the data.”

An earlier report by the Wall Street Journal that Rolls Royce such information had raised the possibility that the plane could be anywhere in a 4,400-mile radius. Read the rest of this entry »

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Uncontrolled Development – “Pulau Ubah”

(Speech 3 in Dewan Rakyat when taking part in the debate on Motion of Thanks for the Royal Address on Thursday, 13th March 2014)

Allow me to bring the attention of the House to the problems of uncontrolled and poorly regulated development activities in Iskandar Malaysia which caused irreversible damages to our precious environment and severely hurt local livelihoods especially the poor who are largely dependent on natural resources for their sustenance.

This is the case that took place at Pendas and Tanjung Kupang, within the parliament constituency of Gelang Patah. It is located in the district of Johor Bahru and also part of the Iskandar Development Region.

Since January this year, a coastal reclamation project has rapidly taken shape in the waters of the Johore Straits close to Tanjung Kupang. This is close to the Second Link and the Malaysia – Singapore maritime border. There are no signboards, no public information, no approval from the authorities be it federal agencies like the Department of Environment, the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA), or the State Government which is supposed to regulate and control all earthwork activities.

It is one humongous project as far as coastal reclamation is concerned. The size is 2500 acres to be exact (according to official documents that we have sighted). I visited the ongoing reclamation site by boat twice. First on 15th February 2014 and then on 24th February 2014. It was shocking. The damages were beyond words. In the middle of nowhere, an island was in the making so rapidly that just between my first and second visit, the size of the reclaimed island has doubled. Read the rest of this entry »

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Attempts to disqualify Anwar and Karpal as MPs and to hold by-elections in Permatang Pauh and Bukit Gelugor fly in the face of Najib’s claim that he is serious about national reconciliation and national consensus

(Speech 2 in Dewan Rakyat when taking part in the debate on Motion of Thanks for the Royal Address on Thursday, 13th March 2014)

The traumatic and heart-rending MH370 tragedy is not the only event to darken the horizon of the country in the past week.

The other two somber developments of the country were the attempts to disqualify the Parliamentary Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the DAP National Chairman Karpal Singh as Members of Parliament and to hold parliamentary by-elections in the Permatang Pauh and Bukit Gelugor constituencies, the former probably as early as before the next Parliamentary meeting in June.

The attempts to disqualify Anwar and Karpal as MPs fly in face of the claim by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak that he is serious about national reconciliation and national consensus and is prepared to rise above partisan differences to end national drift and loss of leadership and direction in the country in the past 10 months since the 13th General Elections.

In his written reply to the PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang on National Reconciliation Plan, Najib smuggled for the first time in the past 10 months a reference to the 1Malaysia Policy, which he seemed to have forgotten or abandoned although he promulgated as his signature policy when he first became Prime Minister in April 2009. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call for immediate formation of Parliamentary Select Committee on Disasters to give full support to MH 370 “search and rescue” operation and to conduct investigations after SAR ops to address all queries on the MH 370 tragedy

(Speech in Dewan Rakyat when taking part in the debate on Motion of Thanks for the Royal Address on Thursday, 13th March 2014)

I rise with a heavy heart to take part in the Motion of Thanks on the Royal Address.

This is the sixth day of the disappearance of MH 370 with 239 passengers and crew, and what has made the past five days so excruciating and tormenting to the families, relatives and friends of the 239 people on board and well-wishers regardless of race, religion, political affiliation or nationality in Malaysia and world-wide is that nothing has been found despite a massive multi-national SAR operation involving 35 aircraft and 42 vessels to give any clue as to what actually happened or to indicate the final location of the aircraft.

With each passing day, our hopes and prayers that the 239 passengers and crew of MH 370 can survive safely through their ordeal become more and more tenuous, but even so, we must not give up hope and must continue to pray for a miracle for MH 370.

All Malaysians, in fact all humanity, regardless of race, religion, politics or nationality, have come together as one to pray for the safety of the 239 passengers and crew on board MH 370.

We cannot pretend that many questions are not being asked, whether by the aggrieved families, relatives and friends or by the humanity at large, whether in Malaysia or internationally, and which increase with each passing day, about the MH 370 tragedy, but the answers to these questions will have to wait as the sole focus and priority must be to find the aircraft. Read the rest of this entry »

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In search for MH370, why did China take so long to release satellite photos?

The Malay Mail Online
MARCH 13, 2014 UPDATED: MARCH 13, 2014 03:04 PM

BEIJING, March 13 — Beijing was unusually open in revealing its satellite capabilities when it released photographs of possible debris from a missing airplane, despite taking four days to make the images public, analysts said today.

China’s State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND) published three pictures late yesterday of what it said were suspected large floating objects in the South China Sea.

The images were taken on Sunday, it said, raising questions as to why it took several days for them to emerge, and whether—and if so, when—they had been passed to the Malaysian authorities co-ordinating the search.

China’s space programme is military-run and normally be shrouded in secrecy.

Malaysian and Vietnamese flights in the area of the photographs failed to spot anything, officials said.

But Morris Jones, an independent space analyst based in Australia, said Beijing’s disclosure of the pictures was surprisingly open.

“Satellite imagery is a strategic tool that has military applications, and nations are usually very cautious in revealing how much these satellites can do and how much they can see,” he told AFP.

“I am surprised that the Chinese have openly released this image because we don’t normally see images of this quality.”
Read the rest of this entry »

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Lost MH370 flew on for hours after vanishing from radar, reports Wall Street Journal

The Malaysian Insider
MARCH 13, 2014

American investigators suspect that Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 stayed in the air for about four hours past the time it reached its last confirmed location, the Wall Street Journal reported today.

The business paper said this raised the possibility that the Boeing 777-200ER jet could have flown on for hundreds of additional kilometres under conditions that remain murky.

Aviation investigators and national security officials believe the plane flew for a total of five hours based on data automatically downloaded and sent to the ground from the Boeing Co 777′s engines as part of a routine maintenance and monitoring programme, the paper said.

That raised a host of new questions and possibilities about what happened aboard the wide-body jet carrying 239 people, which vanished from civilian air-traffic control radar over the weekend, about one hour into a flight to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur.

Six days after the mysterious disappearance prompted a massive international air and water search that so far hasn’t produced any results, the investigation appears to be broadening in scope.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia sends search aircraft to possible crash site

The Malaysian Insider
MARCH 13, 2014
LATEST UPDATE: MARCH 13, 2014 10:10 AM

Malaysia is sending a search aircraft to check the possible crash site identified by Chinese satellite images, said a Malaysian air force official.

Chinese satellites searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have “observed a suspected crash area at sea”, a government agency has revealed.

The Chinese have released days-old images of potential wreckage in the South China Sea in what is possibly the first indication of a crash site five days after the Boeing 777 disappeared with 239 people onboard.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Chinese satellite images key on Day 6 of search for MH370

The Malay Mail Online
March 13, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 — A Chinese satellite hunting for the missing Malaysian jet detected three floating objects at sea along Flight 370’s intended route, the latest lead for investigators on the sixth day of a multi-nation search.

Images showed the pieces were as large as 24 metres by 22 metres, China’s State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense said on its website. The pictures were taken on March 9, the day after the Boeing Co. 777-200 vanished while flying to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. Malaysian Airline System Bhd. is verifying the data with the search and rescue team, said Lincoln Lee, a spokesman.

“People will be watching closely today,” said Jeff Walker, an aviation security consultant at JKG Global Group in Sydney. “The Chinese have very good equipment, so let’s wait and see if it’s the wreckage.”
Read the rest of this entry »

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Boeing: MH370 not subject to FAA inspection order

The Malay Mail Online
March 13, 2014

WASHINGTON, March 13 — Boeing Co yesterday said the missing 777 Malaysia Airlines jetliner was not subject to a new US safety directive that ordered additional inspections for cracking and corrosion on certain 777 planes.

The Federal Aviation Administration last week ordered additional, repeated inspections of certain Boeing 777 aircraft, warning that corrosion and cracking could lead to rapid decompression and damage to the structure of the aircraft.

The Federal Aviation Administration told airlines to inspect US registered aircraft for cracking, corrosion and potential repairs after receiving a report about a 16-inch crack in the fuselage skin underneath an adapter for the airplane’s satellite communications antenna.

Boeing said it worked closely with the FAA to monitor the fleet for potential safety issues and take appropriate actions.

But it said the 777-200ER Malaysia Airlines aircraft did not have that antenna installed and was not subject to the FAA order. Read the rest of this entry »

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No quick fix in search for MH370

The Malay Mail Online
March 13, 2014

Kuala Lumpur, March 13 — The search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has entered its sixth day with multinational planes and ships scouring seas on both sides of Peninsular Malaysia.

Stumped for answers after a fruitless five days spent looking for the missing jetliner mainly in seas off Vietnam’s south coast, Malaysia has expanded the search area to include the Straits of Malacca and the Andaman Sea.

The search area is now so wide it spans seas from India to China, but Malaysia insists there is still hope for the missing passengers and crew, 239 in all.

Malaysian authorities reached the decision to widen the search under the unrelenting gaze of worldwide media and found themselves on the back foot for much of the time.

Perhaps it was inevitable there were some lapses and inconsistencies. Read the rest of this entry »

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Experts slam Malaysia’s struggle to chart MH370 crisis

The Malay Mail Online
March 12, 2014

BANGKOK, March 12 — Criticised for contradictory statements, slow reactions and a lack of information, the “incompetence” of Malaysian authorities in communicating effectively during a crisis on the scale of its missing jet is painfully evident, analysts say.

With the search for flight MH370 now swinging away from the original zone, the airline and the government are accused of floundering as they face increasing demands for clarity.

“They have not experienced anything of this magnitude. It’s a bit difficult for them to grasp the scale,” Shukor Yusof, aviation analyst at Standard and Poor’s Capital IQ, told AFP.

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has issued more than a dozen statements to the media since the disappearance, including the full flight manifest, details of the search and rescue operation, and offered support to families while authorities have given regular briefings.

The airline has also offered to fly relatives to Kuala Lumpur to be closer to the search and has made 31,000 yuan (RM16,600) available to the family of each missing passenger.

Some experts in public relations said the airline was doing its best in unprecedented circumstances.

But Yusof said the authorities had at times appeared “abrasive” and “flippant”, while airline representatives had seemed “lacking in contrition” which belied poor staff training for crisis situations.

“This is an extremely serious tragedy and it has to be treated as such… I think communication has been very poor,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Triggered transmission’ system instead of black box can help to locate aircraft faster

The Malaysian Insider
MARCH 12, 2014

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has brought a long-debated issue into focus – whether it is high time to install the “triggered transmission” sytem which records and transmits flight data the moment it senses something is wrong.

An editorial by the Bloomberg news wire service said the high cost of having a “triggered transmission” system, which one manufacturer put at less than US$100,000 (RM329,000) per aircraft, is the reason many airlines are reluctant to have them installed on their planes.

The cost of transmitting and storing huge amounts of data is also prohibitive.

The “triggered transmission” system was among the recommendations made by Investigators following the Air France tragedy on June 1, 2009. Read the rest of this entry »

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Failing to show the way in search for flight MH370

The Malaysian Insider
March 13, 2014

Across the world, top newspapers and leading news agencies have started to rap Malaysia for the “mystery, confusion and disarray” in the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

So far, government leaders from Datuk Seri Najib Razak down have failed in one critical aspect: inspiring confidence and assuring Malaysians and the international community that they know what they are saying and doing.

There have been inconsistencies and discrepancies that have even led to Vietnam suspending its air search operations until Putrajaya lets it know the latest direction of the massive hunt for the lost Boeing 777-200ER.

Then there is the irony of China asking Putrajaya to be more “forthcoming” in its information about the passenger jet where two-thirds of the 239 people on board are Chinese.

The thing is, government is only as good at the people on top and the cream of Malaysians politicians have either been hiding, waffling or in a stupor. Read the rest of this entry »

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