The Deputy Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Bakri should resign or be sacked for plunging the government and country into a greater credibility crisis in the long-running MH370 disaster.
Already, Malaysia is in the eye of the storm not only over the hitherto inexplicable 21-day disappearance of the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft but the centre of an international hurricane over our crisis management with great distrust that the aggrieved families are not given all the relevant information.
As a Canadian media specialist has rightly pointed out, in the world of crisis communications, perceptions can be killers.
In these circumstances of an international crisis over our crisis management, it is just unacceptable that we have a bumbling and bungling Deputy Defence Minister who could be so irresponsible and reckless as to talk rubbish in Parliament on Wednesday, saying during the winding-up speech for the Defence Ministry in the debate on the motion of thanks for the royal address, that the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) did not attempt to intercept MH370 when it was detected on military radar off the Straits of Malacca on March 8 as the RMAF had “assumed” that the plane was ordered to turn back by flight traffic controllers.
It is not good enough for him to make a U-turn after more than 24 hours of shaming the RMAF, the government and the nation and say that his remarks in the Dewan Rakyat on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370’s turn back had been proven erroneous, and that it was based on his own assumptions.
Compounding his egregious error in Parliament, Abdul Rahim claimed yesterday that conclusive answers will only be available when the debris from the plane is found.
This is another “rubbish”. Is Abdul Rahim now claiming that unless the “black box” is recovered, it is not possible to find out why there were no follow-up actions by RMAF when MH370 disappeared from civilian radar but were detected by military radar?
This question remains unanswered, and its answer need not wait for the retrieval of the “black box”, as Parliament and Malaysians are entitled to know why there were no follow-up actions by both the RMAF and Civil Aviation air-traffic controllers in the early hours of March 8 when MH370 first disappeared into the skies!
As I have always maintained in Parliament and outside, the MH370 disaster must unite all mankind, not just Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, politics or nationality in the common mission to locate the plane and to pray for the safety of the 239 passengers and crew on board.
There can be no room for petty politics or differences. At the same time, the crisis should not be used to ignore or deflect the thousand-and-one-questions that have cropped up as a result of the 20-day MH 370 disaster – as up to now, nobody is closer to the answers as to what, how and why the series of disastrous MH370 events unfolded on March 8.
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim has arranged for a briefing on the MH370 disaster for Pakatan Rakyat MPs by the acting Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hashim, on Tuesday night.
Together with other PR MPs, I will attend the briefing by Hishammuddin, to hear the latest updates of the MH370 disaster and to convey to him the burning questions about the MH370 crisis, not only in Malaysia but also world-wide.