Latest bombshell on 34th day of MH 370’s disappearance fuelled further doubts about government’s readiness to be fully transparent following reneging of promises to brief PR MPs and to establish PSC


A bombshell was dropped on the grieving families and loved ones of the 239 passengers and crew, Malaysians and the world on the 34th day of MH370’s disappearance – CNN report last night that the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) had scrambled its search aircraft on the morning of the missing Malaysian Airlines Boeing 737 at around 8 am, but did not inform authorities until three days later and the denial by the Defence Minister, Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein.

Quoting a senior Malaysian government official and another source involved in the investigation, CNN reported last night that “Malaysian air force search aircraft were scrambled around 8am, soon after Malaysia Airlines (MAS) reported that its plane was missing early March 8.”

It reported that aircraft were scrambled before authorities could corroborate data indicating the Boeing 777 turned westward from its northbound flight path.

The unnamed source stated RMAF had “not informed the Department of Civil Aviation or search and rescue operations until three days later, March 11″.

It further reported Flight MH 370 disappeared from military radar for some 120 nautical miles after it crossed back over Peninsular Malaysia.

“Based on available data, this means the plane must have dipped in altitude to between 4,000 and 5,000 feet,” claimed the senior government official.

Hishammuddin has denied the CNN report, describing it as “a false allegation”.

Who is right, Hishammuddin or CNN?

Unless CNN is prepared to name the “senior Malaysian government official and another source” to substantiate its report, it would be difficult for anyone to accept it as gospel truth.

But the bare denial by Hishammuddin, after the drips and drabs of information being doled out; clarifications, confusions and contradictions; frequent twists and turns and “flip-flops” and the vast “black holes” in information in the past 35 days of the MH370 disaster is just not adequate, satisfactory or acceptable.

If an opposition-headed Parliamentary Select Committee on the MH 370 has been set up before the Dewan Rakyat adjourned yesterday, it would be a proper body to investigate into the veracity or otherwise of the CNN report that Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) had scrambled its search aircraft on the morning of the missing Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777, but did not inform the authorities until three days later, and come out with a credible and authoritative report to back Hishammuddin’s denial and put all doubts on the matter to rest.

In fact, the Parliamentary Select Committee could not only inquire whether RMAF had scrambled search aircraft on the morning of March 8 at about 8 am, but also:

- whether or why there was no scrambling of RMAF search aircraft when the military radar tracked MH370 as having diverted from its course from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, when in the first few minutes between 1.40 and 1.45 am, at least two RMAF Sukhoi-30s from Gong Kedak could have been scrambled to intercept the jetliner in Kelantan airspace; and

- why a second chance was lost to intercept the plane when it approached Penang and it was picked up on the military radar in Butterworth, although the RMAF with its F/A squadron was on 24-hour standby at the airbase.

These and many other questions have been waiting for answer in the past 35-days of the MH 370 disaster, but as I said in Parliament in the presence of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Hishammuddin on March 25 (18th Day), I agree that the utmost priority must continue to be given to SAR – search and rescue – operation and the many questions that have arisen about the whole tragedy, including the crisis management, can wait until the discovery of the aircraft and hopefully, the passengers and crew on board.

This is now 35th Day of the MH370 disaster. I have just received reports that a Perth radio station has announced “Unconfirmed report says Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 black box has been found”, and quoting an aviation expert as saying that if these “unconfirmed reports are firm enough to say we have located the black box, that is enough for them to launch the Bluefin 21 to go down to the bottom and take photographs or scan the bottom with a sonar scanner”.

I hope this is not another false alarm as the families of the 239 passengers and crew are awaiting for a closure.

However, after 35 days of the MH370 disaster, I believe we have come to a stage where even the families and loved ones of the 239 passengers and crew on board MH370 would want answers to all the thousand-and-one questions that have surfaced about the whole tragedy instead of waiting for a finality and full closure of the tragedy with the discovery of the black box or wreckage, and this process of finding answers to these questions should begin without any delay.

In these circumstances, the CNN report and Hishammudin’s denial that RMAF had scrambled search aircraft on morning of March 8 had fuelled further doubts about government’s readiness to be fully transparent following the reneging of promises to brief Pakatan Rakyat MPs and refusal to establish a Parliamentary Select Committee on MH370.

For these reasons, I would call on the Prime Minister to honour his word that Malaysia has nothing to hide by honouring two broken promises so far – an authoritative briefing to Pakatan Rakyat MPs on the MH370 tragedy and the establishment of an Opposition-headed Parliamentary Select Committee on MH 370 tragedy.

(Media Conference Statement in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, April 11, 2014 at 12 noon)

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  1. #1 by yhsiew on Friday, 11 April 2014 - 2:03 pm

    Hishammudin is not going to brief PR MPs on the MH370 tragedy and gets all the bashing from them! He will not be so silly as to set up a “no praise but all BN-bashing” Opposition-headed Parliamentary Select Committee on the MH370 tragedy.

  2. #2 by Justice Ipsofacto on Friday, 11 April 2014 - 2:23 pm

    Did the umno gobermen issue order to shoot down mh370?

  3. #3 by pulama on Friday, 11 April 2014 - 3:27 pm

    Criminal investigation have begun. Why? Because the Malaysian PM asserted on Saturday 15 March that loss of contact and diversion from flight path was “consistent with deliberate action”. Note the assertion is also based on probability. While “most likely”, it is not the only logical explanation. Aviation experts have suggested other explanations.

    The Parliamentary Select Committee could also inquire about the police efforts into the criminal investigation.

    from The Star online, “MH370 search: Police looking at every detail including cargo of mangosteens”, 2 April 2014:
    /// Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the police had to look at every aspect to rule out sabotage. “For example, when we knew there was a load of mangosteens onboard, we had to find out where the mangosteens came from. We tracked down who plucked the fruits, who packed them and shipped them out, and who put them on the plane. Then we had to determine who would have received them in China and who paid for it, and for how much. Imagine how many people we must interview to rule out sabotage and that is just the mangosteens,” Khalid said, adding that the fruits had come from an orchard in Muar. . ///

    This was very impressive until today, when we learnt the following:

    from Malay Mail online, “IGP kills suspicion over MH370 mangosteens, says fruits not from Muar”, 11 April 2014
    ///The four tonnes of mangosteen stashed as part of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370’s cargo were not harvested in Muar, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar clarified today, after reports pointed out that the Johor township does not even have mangosteen orchards. Khalid said the local fruit was only packed into crates in Muar before they were transported to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and place aboard the missing jetliner. . . Khalid’s response comes after the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA) asserted that mangosteens were not in season in Johor when the Boeing 777-200ER aircraft disappeared last month.///
    See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/igp-kills-suspicion-over-mh370-mangosteens-says-fruits-not-from-muar#sthash.CgrfqTFS.dpuf

  4. #4 by Sallang on Friday, 11 April 2014 - 4:18 pm

    Justice lpsofacto, cannot be no debris if shot down.

    Most probably, panicky.
    Mangosteens must have been the cause.

  5. #5 by boh-liao on Friday, 11 April 2014 - 10:38 pm

    As more n more INFO leaked out abt d incompetence n NO ACTION of RMAF n DCA at d initial critical phase of MH370′s turn back flight across d Malay peninsula, we now know who r responsible 4 d current situation of a still undetectable MISSING plane

    D other unfathomable mind boggling fact is dat d 1st precious week of SAR was WASTED in d South China Sea when there was oredi evidence dat MH370 flew back cross d Malay peninsula

    Y? Y? Y?

  6. #6 by Fair&SQ on Saturday, 12 April 2014 - 9:58 am

    No wreckage will be found. I wonder where to collect 4 tonnes of mangosteen in Malaysia early March. The logical trend will be we can get lots of the fruit locally when in season, that will be sometime in June or July closer to tail end of durian season. Mangosteen harvesting time is quite similar to rambutan, flowering now lah! Budak kampung knows this by heart, do not need to learn by hard from book, got it.

  7. #7 by Fair&SQ on Saturday, 12 April 2014 - 10:23 am

    Actually all these hue and cries are non issues. The world already acknowledged this missing MH370 was a”deliverate act”, look at the whole episode of SAR operations, it pointed to this deliverate act could not possibly come from internal factor of the aircraft, it was most likely the external acts that created this “unimaginable” sentiments, but with stintky fishy smell. This is a great laughing joke for the world to remember for ever. I am praying for the safety on 239 alive lives on earth.

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