Hishammuddin is supremo of the MH 370 SAR (search and rescue) mission but he should not be supremo or even have any role in the MH 370 disaster investigation stage

Last Saturday, the Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein announced an investigation team as well as three ministerial committees on the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, viz:

1. an independent “investigator-in-charge” to lead an investigation team comprising three groups

*an airworthiness group, which will look into maintenance records, structure and system of the airline;

*an operational group, which will examine flight recorders operations and meteorological aspects of the investigation; and

*a medical and human factor group, which will look into psychological and pathological aspects as well as survival factors of those on board the plane.

2. Three ministerial committees, namely a next-of-kin committee, headed by Hamzah Zainuddin, the Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister; a technical committee led by Abdul Aziz Kaprawi, the Deputy Transport Minister and a deployment of assets committee, helmed by Deputy Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Bakri.

These announcements should not have been made by Hishammuddin.

Hishammuddin is the supremo of the missing MH 370 SAR (search and rescue) operation, which is entering into its 36th day with its relentless roller-coaster anguish and torture for the families and loved ones of the 239 passengers and crew onboard. Read the rest of this entry »

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How deep is deep? Imagining the MH370 search underwater

By Holly Yan and Ed Lavandera, CNN
April 11, 2014

(CNN) — Just how hard is it to find a plane at the bottom of the ocean?

Imagine standing on a mountain top and trying to spot a suitcase on the ground below. Then imagine doing it in complete darkness.

That’s basically what crews searching for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 have been trying to do for a month.

Thursday is Day 34 in the search for the plane that disappeared March 8, taking with it 239 passengers and crew members. Read the rest of this entry »

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Putrajaya starts investigating confused initial response to disappearance of flight MH370

The Malaysian Insider
April 11, 2014

The government has begun investigating civil aviation and military authorities to determine why opportunities to identify and track Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 were missed in the chaotic hours after it vanished, two officials said.

The preliminary internal enquiries come as tensions mount between civilian and military authorities over who bears most responsibility for the initial confusion and any mistakes that led to a week-long search in the wrong ocean.

“What happened at that time is being investigated and I can’t say any more than that because it involves the military and the government,” a senior government official told Reuters. Read the rest of this entry »

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For Karpal, no going out the back door

Aimee Gulliver
Apr 11, 2014

INTERVIEW Nearly 30 years on from one of the first of many threats on his life, Karpal Singh still refuses to slip quietly out the back door.

Then, he was urged by police officers to secretly leave a courtroom to avoid the danger posed by a man, claiming to have spiritual powers, who threatened to attack Karpal for suing the sultan.

Karpal refused, saying “if I go through that back door now, I will go through back doors all my life.”

The 74-year-old lawyer-politician maintains the same stoicism today, in the face of yet another attempt by the government to not only kill his political career, but also to put him in jail.

The sentence for his recent sedition conviction, a RM4,000 fine, precludes Karpal from holding political office and imposes a five-year disqualification period on running for Parliament again.

Malaysia has no upper-age limit to enter Parliament, and Karpal said he would be 82 when he would be eligible to return to politics.

“They are not doing it fairly; it is not the right way to do it,” Karpal said of the attempt to remove him from politics.

But he plans to give the government “a run for their money” on appeal.

“I will fight them to the Federal Court, and if at the end of it I have to go, then that’s too bad. I’ve got nothing left to lose.” Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP offers to school MCA on party’s hudud stance

The Malay Mail Online
April 11, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 — Frustrated by repeated calls from MCA leaders for the DAP to make a stand on hudud, Lim Kit Siang told his political rivals today that his party will offer a free “kindergarten course” to set the record straight.

At a press conference here, the DAP veteran told MCA leaders that his party has never changed its position on hudud and will continue to maintain the opinion that the controversial Islamic penal code does not suit a multi-racial society like Malaysia.

“It is against the secular constitution of Malaysia and it’s not part of the Pakatan Rakyat policy consensus and therefore there is no change in DAP’s position or of any of the DAP leaders or DAP MPs, our position remains the same as in the past.

“So if MCA leaders find that they need to go to kindergarten to know our position, please read up on our statements, we have a full archive for them, we are prepared to give MCA leaders including their president and it’s deputy president a kindergarten course about DAP’s stand on hudud and other matters, we’ll give it free of charge also,” he told reporters at the DAP headquarters. Read the rest of this entry »

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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. Read the rest of this entry »

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An earthly beginning

By Dyana Sofya | MalaysMailOnline
Apr 10, 2014

The Bakau program organised by Jaring NGO and Impian Malaysia took place at Pontian Johor, last Saturday. I managed to drag my anti-social younger brother to join in the fun planting mangrove seedlings in the muddy mangrove site.

We had 500 mangrove seedlings and close to 100 volunteers participating in the program. The program was video-recorded and I was asked whether I was disgusted being in a muddy mangrove site for the activity. I replied saying I had no problem being with nature and I was actually enjoying myself while doing good for the environment. Also, a thought that crossed my mind was, even, we human beings originated from earth.

We, Muslims believe that we are made of earth. It is stated in the Quran, Surah Al-Mu’imun (The Believers : 12, “And indeed We created man (Adam) out of an extract of clay (water and earth).”

The earth, the humble stuff beneath our feet. Whenever I am reminded of this fact, massive wave of humility rushes over me and the voice of my mother would rang in my ears, ‘Wherever you go and whatever you do, jangan sombong’, she always reminded me. Read the rest of this entry »

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Defence minister denies Malaysia scrambled fighter jets after MH370 plane vanished

The Malay Mail Online
April 11, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 — Malaysia did not deploy any military aircraft to chase down Flight MH370 after the Beijing-bound passenger plane went off civilian radars on March 8, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein posted on Twitter.

The denial was first tweeted by Hishammuddin’s communications team late last night, in response to a news report broadcast on US network CNN that cited an unnamed senior government official saying Royal Malaysian Air Force fighter (RMAF) jets were scrambled at about 8am on March 8, shortly after the Malaysia Airlines jet was reported missing.

“Latest from @CNN claiming that Msian Air Force aircraft scrambled soon after @MAS reported #MH370 missing early 8/3 is a false allegation,” Hishammuddin’s communication team posted on its official Twitter account, @H2OComms) at 10.29pm.

Hishammuddin, who is also acting defence minister and has been the country’s official face in charge of the search, later retweeted the message on his official Twitter account, @HishammuddinH2O. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia Airlines criticised over London incident

The New Zealand Herald
Friday Apr 11, 2014

Britain’s air accidents investigator has criticised Malaysia Airlines for its lack of proper oversight in preserving flight recordings during an incident at London’s Heathrow Airport in 2012.

A Boeing 747 bound for Kuala Lumpur, carrying 340 passengers, had to return to Heathrow soon after takeoff because of engine and electrical failures on Aug. 17, 2012.

The pilots flew the plane manually and returned to the airport safely. Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP is not MCA 2.0

Wan Hamidi Hamid
The Malaysian Insider
April 08, 2014

Wan Hamidi is a veteran journalist who has a penchant for rock music.

DAP, or Democratic Action Party, is still seen by many as a political organisation with a lot of Chinese leaders and members. Therefore, it is often perceived as a Chinese party.

However, the real Chinese party in Malaysia is MCA or the Malaysian Chinese Association. Only Chinese join this party, and it is only interested in serving the Chinese community, although in practice it is more about the interest of the Chinese Malaysian capitalists and their government cronies.

Due to its Chinese characteristics, MCA is not an organisation for all Malaysians. It is only limited to the Chinese community who represent less than 25% of the country’s population.

By its minority nature, MCA is usually bullied by its de facto leader in the Barisan Nasional coalition – Umno – an ethnic Malay party claiming to represent most of the 60% of Malaysian population.

Umno was originally a Malay nationalist party formed in the 1940s but has transformed itself into some sort of a supremacist party of today – although there are some leaders and members who are not too happy with its current insular tendency. Read the rest of this entry »

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More questions arise in search for MH370 following detection of signals, says report

The Malaysian Insider
April 10, 2014

Investigators searching for missing flight MH370 are adopting a cautious stance despite the discovery of more pulse signals in the Indian Ocean over the weekend and yesterday, a sign that the task ahead remains an arduous undertaking.

Simon Boxall, lecturer in ocean and earth science at the University of Southampton, said any confirmation that the signal comes from the Boeing 777-200ER’s locator beacon would mean “the possibility of recovering the plane – or at least the black boxes – goes from being one in a million to almost certain,” CNN reported.

However, Angus Houston, who heads the rescue effort, warned against expecting a quick resolution.

“It could take some days before the information is available to establish whether these detections can be confirmed as being from MH370.

“In very deep oceanic water, nothing happens fast,” CNN quoted the retired Australian Air chief marshal who is chief coordinator of the Joint Agency Coordination Centre as saying. Read the rest of this entry »

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MH370 exposes Hall of Shame

Mariam Mokhtar
Apr 7, 2014

The grand self-proclamation of “Malaysia, the Best Democracy in the World”, with its fantastic education system which rivals the British, American and German systems is a myth designed for die-hard Umno Baru supporters. This fairy-tale was shattered by the disappearance of MH370.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, like the prime ministers before him, has let down the nation, but the investigation into MH370 has trashed Malaysia’s reputation.

We need a cull of the political class to regain our credibility as a nation. We should start with the following initiates of the ‘Hall of Shame’. Politicians head the list, then civil servants. If the civil servants were to be replaced before the politicians, the new ones would be corrupted by their political masters, who dictate to them.

Malaysia has been on auto-pilot for several decades and the nation has been performing like a rudderless aeroplane. MH370 signals the beginning of the end of Umno Baru. Read the rest of this entry »

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Missing Plane Will Haunt Malaysia’s Future

William Pesek
8th April 2014

The Flight 370 crisis has fully exposed the dangers of allowing one party to rule a nation for six decades.

President Barack Obama always knew his Asia tour later this month would be fraught with political landmines. The two nations that lead off his itinerary — U.S. allies Japan and South Korea — have been squabbling for more than a year over World War II history. Another, the Philippines, is one of Asia’s economic bright spots even as President Benigno Aquino’s government is locked into a dangerous maritime territorial spat with China — a country Obama would rather not antagonize.

But most problematic of all may be Obama’s time in Malaysia. Obama’s visit — the first by a U.S. leader to Kuala Lumpur in 50 years — was meant to celebrate a nation viewed as a high-tech hub of moderate Islam and a democratic contrast to China. Six months ago, Obama hailed Malaysia as “an example of a dynamic economy” and touted its multiethnic society as a model to others. Today, amid the global outcry over the loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, such praise sounds naive. The past month has highlighted Malaysia’s deepest flaws, and all-too-few of its strengths.

The international press has pilloried Prime Minister Najib Razak‘s government for its initial response to the crisis, which was marred by conflicting information, poor coordination with neighboring countries, defensiveness, and an apparent lack of transparency. Fairly or not, since March 8 when Flight 370 disappeared on its way to Beijing, Malaysia has lost a great deal of its standing both in the region and around the world. Read the rest of this entry »

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RMAF deployed search aircraft on March 8, but did not inform anyone

The Malaysian Insider
April 10, 2014

A senior Malaysian government official has revealed that the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) had scrambled search aircraft at 8am on the morning of March 8, soon after Malaysia Airlines had reported that flight MH370 was missing.

In a surprising new development, CNN reported today that it was informed by the official that the RMAF search aircraft were scrambled well before authorities had corroborated data indicating that the missing commercial aircraft had turned back westward from its last-known location over the South China Sea.

A source involved in the investigation into the missing MAS plane has confirmed this latest information, CNN reported.

According to CNN, the source also told them that RMAF did not inform the Department of Civil Aviation nor anyone in the search and rescue operations team until March 11, three days after the aircraft disappeared. Read the rest of this entry »

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What is ‘the best interest of everyone’ by retracting invitation to opposition lawmaker?

April 10, 2014

DAP’s Tony Pua has been ‘uninvited’ by the organisers of the Malaysia Summit Australia conference due to pressue from sponsors of the event. – The Malaysian Insider pic, April 10,2014.DAP MP Tony Pua is not speaking at the Malaysia Summit Australia (MASA) in Melbourne on April 22 because the event’s main sponsors felt that “it was not in the best interest of everyone” to have him on the panel.

Among the sponsors are Shell Malaysia, Astro, Education Malaysia Australia, Ayam Brand, Malaysian Australian Alumni Council and Kelab Umno Australia.

Obviously, it is their right to decide on the speakers line-up as they are funding the annual summit that features Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir.

This is not the first time that those who are critical of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government are barred from students events. Last week, Universiti Malaya (UM) refused to allow former Bersih co-chair Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan to speak at a law convention.

Pua, the Petaling Jaya Utara MP, also revealed that he had been barred from speaking in UM on at least three occasions. Again, that is UM’s right.

These incidents reflect the mindset of the varsities, organisers and the sponsors, who are more interested in being in the good books of the ruling government than being the catalysts for students to listen and learn from those on all sides of the political divide. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on Cabinet tomorrow to vest the ESSCOM director-general with executive powers and not just co-ordinating responsibilities among the Police, Army, Maritime and public agencies in ESSZONE

Today, the Director-General of Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM), Datuk Mohammad Mentek publicly defended the ESSCOM’s security track record, which was in fact further evidence that he is “powerless” as he had to publicly “eat his own words”.
For the first anniversary celebrations of ESSCOM on April 1, Mohammad made a very clear and specific boast, i.e.

“ESSCOM has succeeded in stopping the attempts by foreigners to enter Sabah illegally to commit criminal acts like the kidnapping of Taiwanese tourists in Pulau Pom-Pom on 15 Nov 2013.”

But in less than 24 hours of the first anniversary ESSCOM celebrations, there was a second kidnapping of a tourist from China, which was why ESSCOM appeared to be a costly April Fool’s Joke.

But in his defence of ESSCOM’s security track record today, Mohammad made no reference to the second abduction and instead only talked about ESSCOM’s success “to ensure that there are no further intrusions similar to the Lahad Datu incident”!

Mohamad not only had to “eat his own words” about ESSCOM’s success in stopping criminal acts by foreigners entering Sabah like the kidnapping of Taiwanese tourists last November, he had also to “eat” the words of the ESSCOM Corporate Communications head, Newmond Tibin, who said after the Semporna abduction on April 2 that ESSCOM was “powerless” act with regard to the abductions as it has “no authority to command, direct or order any action”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Utusan Malaysia tickled Malaysians no end with its preposterous allegation of “stone age” journalism against Malaysiakini when all Malaysians know that Utusan is the most egregious perpetrator of this sin in history of Malaysian journalism

Utusan Malaysia tickled journalists in particular and Malaysians generally no end with its preposterous allegation of “stone age” journalism against Malaysiakini when all Malaysians know that Utusan is the most egregious perpetrator of this sin in the history of Malaysian journalism.

This is another classic case of “Thief Shouting Thief” by Utusan Malaysia, continuing its most reprehensible brand of unethical, dishonest and gutter journalism in the past six years as the mouthpiece of UMNO, totally in contrast to the high standards of journalism set and maintained by Utusan Melayu in the early decades of its history.

The Utusan editor, Zulkiflee Bakar, in an analysis piece yesterday, accused Malaysiakini of putting up a facade of transparency, but “everyone” knows its inclinations, purpose and hidden agenda.

He wrote: “Responsible journalism does not entail the reporting of facts that have yet to be verified, not reporting issues that can cause controversies and definitely not distorting the facts for the political purpose of some quarters.”

Zulkiflee does not seem to realise the irony that he was in fact making a confession the journalistic sins and misdeeds committed by Utusan Malaysia under his charge. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hunt for black box signals zeroes in on ‘final resting place’

The Malay Mail Online
April 10, 2014

PERTH, April 10 — The hunt for more black box “pings” from missing Malaysian airliner MH370 was narrowing today to a specific patch of remote ocean after two more signals were detected.

The head of the Australian-led search Angus Houston raised hopes yesterday that wreckage will be found within days even as the black box batteries start to expire.

Houston’s Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) announced today the search area off western Australia was now 57,923 square kilometres (22,364 square miles) — some 20,000 square kilometres down on yesterday.

But Australian ship Ocean Shield is focused on an area of the Indian Ocean 2,280 kilometres (1,400 miles) northwest of Perth where it picked up two fresh signals Tuesday to match a pair of transmissions logged over the weekend as searchers try to pinpoint the exact crash zone.

No debris from the Boeing 777 which disappeared on March 8 has yet been found. Read the rest of this entry »

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RM300 million ESSCOM should not be a costly “April Fool’s joke” for Sabahans and Malaysians

ESSCOM (Eastern Sabah Security Command) has become a costly “April Fool’s joke” for Sabahans and Malaysians.

It celebrated its first anniversary on April 1, boasting about its success as “guardian” of security of Sabahans, and I quote from a Bernama write-up:

“ESSCOM Celebrates Its First Anniversary with Confidence.

“Come Tuesday (April 1, 2014), after officially starting operations on April 1, 2013, the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) celebrates its first anniversary…

“…Sabahans are increasingly confident with the ESSCOM’s ability in protecting Sabah’s sovereignty and maintaining security at the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZONE)”

The Director General of ESSCOM Datuk Haji Mohammad Mentek was then quoted as saying:

“ESSCOM has succeeded in stopping the attempts by foreigners to enter Sabah illegally to commit criminal acts like the kidnapping of Taiwanese tourists in Pulau Pom-Pom on 15 Nov 2013″.

However, within 24 hours of the ESSCOM first anniversary celebrations, there was a second abduction of a tourist from China and a hotel employee of Singamata Reef Resort in Semporna on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at about 10.30 pm Read the rest of this entry »

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Hishammuddin and Shahidan’s reneging on their undertaking to give briefing to PR MPs and shooting down proposal for a Parliamentary Select Committee on MH 370 Disaster will reinforce adverse national and international perceptions about Malaysia’s transparency and crisis management of the MH 370 disaster

We had just experienced what I would describe as “mankind’s longest month” from March 8 to April 7, not only for the families, loved ones and friends of the 239 passengers and crew on board MH370 Boeing 777-200ER which had disappeared in the early hours of March 8, but also for Malaysians and well-wishers worldwide.

For the first time in human history, for a whole month in real time, 24/7 (i.e. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 31 days a month), the world has been haunted and tortured by the question as to how in the modern age, a hi-tech passenger plan can just vanish without a trace for a month with 239 passengers and crew onboard.

The families and loved ones of the 239 passengers and crew are drowned in grief and yet cannot really begin to grieve, for they are not prepared to abandon the glimmer of hope that there could be a miracle, for there has been no evidence or piece of wreckage to establish that MH370 had met a disastrous end.

On the 31st day of the disappearance of MH 370 Boeing 777 aircraft, three pings from deep in the Indian Ocean gave new hope to the world that they were signals from the plane’s black boxes before their beacons fall silent – promising a finality which had eluded the world’s longest and biggest-ever sea, undersea, air, satellite search which had involved 26 nations and scores of aircrafts, ships, submarines and even undersea drones. Read the rest of this entry »

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