The Malaysian Insider
March 10, 2014
The pilot of a Malaysia Airlines jet that went missing on Saturday enjoyed flying the Boeing 777 so much that he spent his off days tinkering with a flight simulator of the plane that he had set up at home, current and former co-workers said.
Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, captain of the airliner carrying 239 people bound for Beijing from the Malaysian capital, had always wanted to become a pilot and joined the national carrier in 1981.
Airline staff who worked with the pilot said Zaharie knew the ins and outs of the Boeing 777 extremely well, as he was always practicing with the simulator. They declined to be identified due to company policy.
“He was an aviation tech geek. You could ask him anything and he would help you. That is the kind of guy he is,” said a Malaysia Airlines co-pilot who had flown with Zaharie in the past.
Zaharie set up the Boeing 777 simulator at his home in a suburb on the outskirts of the Malaysian capital where many airline staff stay as it provides quick access to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
Pictures posted by Zaharie on his Facebook page show a simulator with three computer monitors, a tangle of wires and several panels. Read the rest of this entry »
by Clara Chooi
The Malay Mail Online
March 10, 2014
KUALA LUMPUR, March 10 — Over 50 hours have passed since MH370 was reported lost from radar and still, there is little to go on.
Intensive, round-the-clock efforts by an army of rescue workers from at least seven countries, manning as many as 72 vessels by air and by sea have failed to turn up a single indication that the Boeing B777-200 aircraft carrying a staggering 239 people had crashed.
There has been no confirmed signs of wreckage or debris, no distress signal from the aircraft before it lost contact with ground control, and no clear indication that the plane had experienced any technical failure in mid-air.
During take-off at 12.41am on Saturday, weather conditions appeared normal.
The aircraft, described as one of the “safest”, was said to be equipped with the ASD-B flight transponder, which transmits data on its altitude, speed and direction back to air traffic controllers every second.
It also has the Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT), which can be manually activated by the pilot or should transmit information on the aircraft’s location in the event of a crash.
As such, if the plane was experiencing problems in mid-flight, it should have been able to transmit a distress signal back to ground control. The fact that this did not happen has led to speculation on the behaviour of the aircraft at the time it went missing. Read the rest of this entry »
The Malaysian Insider
March 09, 2014
The charge against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the manner in which his appeal was handled fuels the perception that the opposition leader was persecuted and not prosecuted, the Bar Council said.
Malaysian Bar president Christopher Leong said that in the first place, the archaic provision under the Penal Code which criminalises sodomy and oral sex should never have been brought against Anwar.
“The case has unnecessarily taken up judicial time and public funds, and has muddied the waters of our justice system.
“We also have grave misgivings with respect to the manner and timing in which the appeal was handled, especially over the way in which mitigation and sentencing proceeded,” Leong said. Read the rest of this entry »
Anwar will miss the June meeting of Parliament if he is jailed in two months, which means Permatang Pauh by-election will have to be held in June or July
If Anwar Ibrahim is right in his winding-up speech at the Pakatan Rakyat 5th Convention in Shah Alam yesterday that he might be imprisoned within two months, it would mean another “rush to judgment” to dispose of Anwar’s Federal Court appeal to uphold his five-year jail conviction by the Court of Appeal on Friday.
This is because Anwar would have exhausted his legal remedies and once his 5-year jail conviction is upheld by the Federal Court in two months, Anwar will have to start his second jail incarceration.
It would also mean that Anwar will not be able to attend the June meeting of Parliament, and the forthcoming parliamentary meeting beginning tomorrow will be Anwar’s last parliamentary meeting.
Furthermore, it would also mean that Anwar would be disqualified as MP and the Permatang Pauh parliamentary by-election would have to be held in June or July. Read the rest of this entry »
The Malaysian Insider
March 09, 2014
As the search continues for Malaysia Airlines’ missing flight MH370, international aviation experts have weighed with their theories on what caused it to vanish the radar screens early Saturday morning.
The experts told the Associated Press that the most dangerous parts of a flight are takeoff and landing. Rarely do incidents happen when a plane is cruising seven miles above the earth.
In a report this morning, the news agency said the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines jet well into its flight Saturday morning over the South China Sea has led aviation experts to assume that whatever happened was quick and left the pilots no time to place a distress call.
It could take investigators months, if not years, to determine what happened to the Boeing 777 flying from Malaysia’s largest city of Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
“At this early stage, we’re focusing on the facts that we don’t know,” said Todd Curtis, a former safety engineer with Boeing who worked on its 777 wide-body jets, and is now director of the Airsafe.com Foundation.
If there was a minor mechanical failure — or even something more serious like the shutdown of both of the plane’s engines — the pilots likely would have had time to radio for help. The lack of a call “suggests something very sudden and very violent happened,” said William Waldock, who teaches accident investigation at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Ariz.
AP said it initially appears that there was either an abrupt breakup of the plane or something that led it into a quick, steep dive. Some experts even suggested an act of terrorism or a pilot purposely crashing the jet. Read the rest of this entry »
Questions about crisis management, like why the PM and acting Transport Minister not informed immediately when MH370 went missing but only after several crucial hours later, will have to wait as top priority now is to find aircraft and address the grief of bereaved relatives
The last 24 hours had been a very distraught time not only for the bereaved relatives and friends of the 239 passengers and crew on Malaysia Airlines’ MH370 flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, but to people in the whole world as the passengers involved 14 different nationalities.
When I first read of the shocking news some 24 hours ago, I tweeted a local online report by The Malaysian Insider “MAS says ‘lost contact’ with plane carrying 239 passengers” and an international news report in The Los Angeles Times “Malaysia Airlines says flight to Beijing missing” – as this is not just a national concern, but a riveting international mishap.
For the last 24 hours, I joined not only Malaysians but people world-wide hoping and praying that the 239 passengers and crew of MH 370 would miraculously survive their ordeal.
The missing MH370 flight and the fate of the 239 people on board dominated the thoughts of all the Pakatan Rakyat leaders and members who attended the Pakatan Rakyat Fifth Convention, and although Parliamentary Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and DAP National Organising Secretary Anthony Loke were the only two leaders to touch on the ongoing search for the MH370 in their speeches, the Convention was united in their unspoken prayers and hopes that 239 people on board the MH370 would able to pull through safely.
After 24 hours, one would have to face up to the reality that something terrible had happened in the tragedy of MH370. Read the rest of this entry »
Call on Kajang voters to do the impossible in the by-election by making the Barisan Nasional candidate lose deposit
[Speech (Part 2) at the 5th Pakatan Rakyat Convention at Setia City Convention Centre, Shah Alam on Saturday, 8th March 2014 at 4.30 pm]
The Kajang voters should do the impossible in the by-election on March 23 by making the Barisan Nasional candidate lose deposit.
It is not enough for the Pakatan Rakyat/PKR candidate just to win, or even to win with a bigger majority than last year during the 13th general election.
Pakatan Rakyat should set out to ensure the achievement of the impossible in the Kajang by-election by getting the Barisan Nasional candidate to lose the deposit.
This is a very “tall order” but the occasion warrants going for such an extraordinary result.
This will a clear and unmistakable verdict that the people disapproves of any return to authoritarian rule or reversion to blatant and flagrant subversion of the independence, impartiality and integrity of the judiciary and other important national institutions to serve the political interests of the powers-that-be, as is clearly evident in the five-year jail conviction of Anwar Ibrahim yesterday. Read the rest of this entry »
By Chelsea J. Carter. Jim Clancy and Ralph Ellis, CNN
March 8, 2014 — Updated 2136 GMT (0536 HKT)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (CNN) — What happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370?
The closest thing to a clue in the search for a missing commercial jetliner are oil slicks in the Gulf of Thailand where all contact was lost with the flight, which was en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
A Vietnamese search plane, part of a massive, multinational search effort, spotted the oil slicks that stretch between 6 and 9 miles, the Vietnam government’s official news agency reported. The traces of oil were found about 90 miles south of Tho Chu Island, the report said, in the same area where the flight disappeared from radar early Saturday morning.
The oil discovery only added to a growing list of questions about the fate of the plane carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members: When and where did the plane go, and who exactly was on board?
“It has been more than 24 hours since we last heard from MH370. …The search and rescue team is yet to determine the whereabouts of the Boeing 777-200 aircraft,” the airline said in a statement posted to its website. At this stage, search and rescue efforts “have failed to find evidence of any wreckage.”
In the meantime, the search area in the South China Sea is being expanded and efforts to locate the plane will continue overnight and into early Sunday morning, said Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, director general of civil aviation in Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »
The Malaysian Insider
Latest Update: March 09, 2014 12:00 am
A 20km-long oil slick spotted between Malaysia and Vietnam this afternoon may be the first sign that missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 with 239 people aboard went down in the waters between Vietnam and northern Malaysia, according to Vietnam’s director of civil aviation.
“An AN26 aircraft of the Vietnam Navy has discovered an oil slick about 20 kilometres in the search area, which is suspected of being a crashed Boeing aircraft – we have announced that information to Singapore and Malaysia and we continue the search,” Lai Xuan Thanh, the director of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam, was quoted as saying by The New York Times.
He said he did not know whether the slick was closer to the Malaysian or Vietnam side of the entrance to the Gulf of Thailand.
The report said the last coordinates automatically transmitted by the aircraft were from near the midpoint between the two countries, when the plane appeared to be in stable flight at 35,000 feet.
The discovery came as an international team of rescuers from, among others, Vietnam, Malaysia, China, the United States, Singapore and the Philippines search for the Beijing-bound aircraft which vanished after taking off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 12.41am. Read the rest of this entry »
By KEITH BRADSHER
New York Times
MARCH 8, 2014
HONG KONG — As searchers scoured the Gulf of Thailand early Sunday for a Malaysia Airlines jet with 239 people aboard, investigators examined the usual causes of such disappearances: bad weather, possible mechanical failures, pilot error. But the discovery that at least two passengers were carrying stolen passports also raised the unsettling possibility of foul play.
As of the predawn hours Sunday, there was little to go on: no wreckage of the jet, a Boeing 777-200 on a red-eye flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Beijing, had been found, and other than a 12-mile-long oil slick on the surface of the gulf, there was no hint that a crash had even taken place.
Officials stressed that the investigation was in its earliest stages and that they were considering all possibilities. The airline said the plane had recently been inspected and had no history of malfunctions. Malaysia’s deputy minister of transport, Aziz bin Kaprawi, said the authorities had received no distress signal from the aircraft. Read the rest of this entry »
Anwar’s body can be jailed but the spirit and soul of the Pakatan Rakyat for a new Malaysia of freedom, justice, good governance and prosperity for all Malaysians cannot be imprisoned
This 5th Pakatan Rakyat Convention is to be an ordinary annual convention. But it has become a historic one.
This is because this PR Convention in Shah Alam must send out a clear and unmistakable message to the powers-that-be that they can jail the body of Anwar Ibrahim but they cannot imprison the spirit and soul of Pakatan Rakyat for a new Malaysia of freedom, justice, good governance and prosperity for all Malaysians!
Selangor Speaker Hannah Yeoh could not have put it better when she said in her speech this morning that when the powers-that-be first persecuted and imprisoned Anwar Ibrahim after sacking him from Umno 16 years ago, Anwar was a leader of the Malays.
Today, in the second-round of persecution and imprisonment of Anwar Ibrahim, Anwar has become the leader of Malaysians.
This is the measure of the transformation that Anwar has wrought in the past 16 years (compared to the fake “transformations” of the Najib administration), and there can be no better outcome of today’s convention than for all Pakatan Rakyat leaders, members and supporters, whether PKR, PAS or DAP to resolve to follow Anwar’s example to become Malaysians fighting for the welfare and interests of all Malaysians. Read the rest of this entry »
By Kee Thuan Chye
8th March 2014
The buzz is all over town. And most probably outside of the country too. Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim has been found guilty by the Court of Appeal of sodomising Saiful Bukhari Azlan in 2008.
The High Court acquitted him of the charge in January 2012, but the Attorney-General appealed. Now it looks like Anwar’s luck has run out. The famous Sodomy 2 case has caught up with him this time.
The judge has sentenced him to five years’ imprisonment. Although Anwar’s lawyers have straight away filed notice of appeal to the Federal Court, his conviction should disqualify him from standing in the upcoming Kajang by-election, which had come about when the incumbent state assemblyman, Lee Chin Cheh, stepped down to actually pave the way for Anwar to contest – as part of the so-called Kajang Move engineered by PKR strategist Rafizi Ramli with the long-term view of possibly making Anwar menteri besar in order to prepare Selangor as the launchpad for Pakatan Rakyat to take Putrajaya.
What happens to that now? Read the rest of this entry »
BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
March 07, 2014
Barisan Nasional (BN) got what it wanted. Datuk Seri Najib Razak got what he wanted. Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad got what he wanted. Tun Daim Zainuddin got what he wanted.
Heck, any Umno politician will be celebrating today. The man who could have ended it all for Umno is back where they want him to be – in jail.
And this time, the keys will be thrown away, finally ending the political career of a man who has withstood 15 years of sledgehammer treatment from his political opponents, BN.
Here are some initial thoughts from today’s court decision. Read the rest of this entry »
— Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud
The Malay Mail Online
March 6, 2014
MARCH 6 ― In The Malay Mail dated 5 March, Umno minister Khairy Jamaluddin has suggested a revision of the country’s National Civics Bureau (BTN) training courses, saying undergraduates should be treated like adults and not taught to be blind supporters of the government.
I, myself have never been to any of BTN courses. However, a few years back, a friend of mine who was working for a government agency and was dating a lovely Chinese lady received a directive from his superior to attend a BTN course.
Upon returning from the course held somewhere in the state of Pahang, we went for our weekly coffee session and he shared with me his experience about the course he attended. He mentioned,
“The course made me racist. I feel that the other races are not thankful enough for being in Malaysia. We should show them that we are the boss and they better respect it.”
I was shocked. Read the rest of this entry »
Dare Muhyiddin make a Ministerial statement in Parliament next week to explain why Singapore can get two universities for four consecutive years into the THE Top 100 Universities World Reputation Rankings and THE World University Rankings for Top 400 but not a single one from Malaysia?
For many years, it is a heart-breaking event for Malaysians whenever there is a publication of world university rankings, for it is not to find out how well Malaysian universities compare with the best in the world but how badly Malaysian universities fared in international university comparisons and benchmarkings.
The release today of the 2014 Times Higher Education (THE) World Reputation Rankings for the Top 100 Universities is no different. In fact, it is worse.
For four consecutive years, Malaysia has been excluded from both the THE World Reputation Rankings and the THE World University Rankings for Top 400, with not a single Malaysian university able to make the grade in both rankings.
Singapore National University (SNU) achieved the best World Reputation Rankings in the four-year THE series, ranked No. 34 in 2011, 40 in 2012, 29 in 2013 and 21 in 2014. SNU is only behind two other Asian universities the 2014 World Reputation Rankings – University of Tokyo and Kyoto University in 11th and 19th ranking respectively.
Other Asian universities following closely behind SNU in the THE World Reputation Rankings 2014 are Seoul National University (No. 26), Tsinghua University (No. 36), Peking University (No. 41), University of Hong Kong (No. 43), Osaka University (No. 50), Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), National Taiwan University and Tokyo Institute of Technology (No. 51-60), Tohoku University (No. 61-70), Chinese University of Hong Kong, Yonsei University (No.81-90) and Nanyang Technological University (No. 91-100).
What must be very mortifying to Malaysians who in the past had prided in having University of Malaya in the fifties and sixties as one of the world-ranking universities comparable in academic excellence with universities like the Universities of Hong Kong, Melbourne and Sydney now finding Malaysian universities not only trailing far behind their previous peers, including Universities of Singapore, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Sydney, but being overtaken by universities which Malaysians had never heard before. Read the rest of this entry »
Call for a high-powered squad comprising MCMC, Police and representatives from BN and PR, to clean up social media of incessant incitement of racial and religious animosities and hatred through lies and falsehoods to set Malaysia aflame
The latest criminal harassment and intimidation of DAP National Vice Chairperson and MP for Seputeh Teresa Kok for her “Onederful Malaysia CNY 2014” video must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
The police should act under Section 124A of the Penal Code which provides for up to seven-year jail sentence for the offence by anyone who “attempts to overawe by means of criminal force” a Member of Parliament from exercising her lawful powers.
Last night, Utusan Malaysia had, around midnight, sent an SMS alert stating “Seputeh MP Teresa Kok was slapped by an unknown man after a ceramah at Taman Permatang Pauh at 11.30 pm”.
However, the Umno-owned daily soon issued a correction stating that Kok had not been slapped but was instead “handed” a rotten egg by a man, which later broke when they shook hands. Read the rest of this entry »
IGP Khalid and AG Gani must explain why they have abdicated from their responsibility to uphold the rule of law and preserve the peace in Malaysia in allowing Perkasa to break laws and commit breaches of peace outside Federal Court
It has been reported that the 500-odd people mobilised by Perkasa outside the Federal Court in Putrajaya this morning hearing the appeal on the use of the term ‘Allah’ turned unruly and threw objects at the front-door of the Palace of Justice, with many trying to breach the police barrier and enter the court building.
This is the report from The Malaysian Insider by Jennifer Gomez entitled “Perkasa supporters upset by church lawyers, try to get into courthouse”:
“The crowd outside the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya turned unruly just before the Federal Court stood down with many trying to breach the police barrier and enter the court building.
“Shouting and screaming, some members in the crowd threw a microphone and water bottle at the glass door entrance to the building.
“The crowd was 4m from the main door as police stood guard.
“Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali said that the crowd advanced towards the main glass door of the Palace of Justice as they had got word that Catholic Church lawyers questioned why the use of the word ‘Allah’ by Christians was being made an issue now when it had been in use in the weekly Herald for 14 years prior to 2009.
“’The supporters heard that this was the submission made by the Catholic Church lawyer, so they got upset.’ He added that no one had instructed them to advance.”
Killing of police corporal and wounding of another in Klang by illegals mark a new phase of Malaysian security situation – not only ordinary Malaysians but even police do not feel safe in their own country
DAP joins all Malaysians to condemn the killing of Police Corporal Raja Aizam Raja Mohd and the wounding of Cpl Mohd Aidil Mustafa by illegal foreigners in Klang early yesterday.
The killers should be brought to justice and punished with the full weight of the law brought to bear on the murderers.
DAP also sends the deepest condolences to the bereaved family and pray for swift recovery for Corpoal Mohd Aidil who has been warded at the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang with slash wounds to the head.
The killing of one police corporal and the wounding of another by illegal foreigners mark a new phase of the Malaysian security situation – not only ordinary Malaysians but even police do not feel safe in their own country!
A 100-strong crowd who attended the forum, “Time to Reform the Police Force”, at the Selangor-Kuala Lumpur Chinese Assembly Hall in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, agreed that the majority of Malaysians no longer felt safe, whether they lived in urban or rural areas. Read the rest of this entry »
Are the Police and MCMC investigating and taking any action against cyber lies and falsehoods about Muslims being converted to Christianity calculated to incite racial and religious animosity and hatred in country?
Are the police and the Malaysian Multimedia and Communications Commission (MCMC )investigating and taking any action against the lies on the Internet about Muslims being converted to Christianity calculated to incite racial and religious animosity and hatred in the country, in the larger plot to pit race against race and religion against religion in Malaysia?
It is recently reported that a photo of a women’s rights activist, Yu Ren Chung and several others attending a government function has been circulating in cyberspace as ‘proof’ of the country’s Muslims being converted to Christianity.
The photo circulating in blogs since 2012 shows him among with a group seated on wooden benches, many of them women wearing headscarves.
In actual fact, the photo was taken at the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilisation’s (Istac) main hall in Bukit Tunku, Kuala Lumpur, and not at a church as alleged by the blogs. Read the rest of this entry »
Yes, Ally Hazran Hashim and Siti Kassim are among the unsung heroes and heroines of Malaysia and I welcome the public to pinpoint and identity more “unsung heroes” out to save Malaysia from the voices and forces of hate, bigotry and intolerance
On Saturday (1st March) I issued a statement calling on Malaysians to pay tribute to ordinary Malaysians who are the country’s unsung heroes who dare to stand up for a better Malaysia whether in terms of a better education system, clean elections or inter-religious harmony, for they are the salt of the earth who will ensure that Malaysia will achieve her greatness instead of becoming a failed state.
I named three persons, viz:
· *Mohd Nor Izzat Mohd Johari, the head of Suara Guru Masyarakat Malaysia (SGMM), who is facing mean, petty and punitive persecution although he had rendered great national service in spearheading the protest against the woes of the badly-planned and poorly-conceived student-based assessment (SBA) system; and
· *Royal Malaysian Air Force pilot Major Zaidi Ahmad who is facing court martial for his patriotic duty of speaking up about the indelible ink fiasco in the recent 13th General Elections; and
· *Azrul Mohd Khalib, social activist, who led a Malaysians for Malaysia group to spearhead a “Walk for Peace” movement among ordinary Malaysians 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. Read the rest of this entry »