Barisan minister joins opposition in calling Sabah security ‘unsatisfactory’

by Diyana Ibrahim
The Malaysian Insider
April 08, 2014

A minister has criticised the security in Sabah, branding it “unsatisfactory” one day after Barisan Nasional MPs joined their opposition counterparts and castigated Putajaya over the slack arrangements in the state.

Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz today said the arrangements were not up to mark in light of the latest kidnapping of a Chinese tourists and a Filipino worker on Singgahmata Island off Semporna, Sabah, last Thursday. The island is one of the top international diving destinations.

“This is not the first time this has happened. The arrangements in place should have ensured it did not happen.

“If we want tourists to come here, we must ensure that they feel secure and security has to be at the best,” he told reporters today.

Yesterday, debating a motion in Parliament, angry Barisan MPs jointed their opposition counterparts and demanded action in Sabah. Read the rest of this entry »

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Satellite data analysis suggests MH370 flew inverted to site of acoustic signals

The Malay Mail Online
April 8, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 ― New analysis of partial satellite communications with Flight MH370 that places it in the Indian Ocean location where acoustic signals were detected by search teams have led authorities to believe they may have found the site of wreckage.

British daily, The Telegraph, reported today that the final satellite contact or “half-handshake” ― as it is referred to in aviation jargon ― could have been the moment when the plane ran out of fuel, turned upside down and plunged into the water.

Citing Chris McLaughlin from British satellite company Inmarsat, The Telegraph reported that analysis of the new signals were made at 00.19 GMT ― 8.19am Malaysian time ― on March 8, just eight minutes after Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370′s last regular hourly handshake.

The daily reported that the signals were further scrutinised by an international team of experts and the latest analysis showed the plane to be travelling faster than previously presumed, burning up more fuel, and would have landed even further north along the same arc.

“The partial handshake would be the plane running out of fuel and faltering for a moment, so the system went off network and then briefly powered up and had communication with the network. The plane looked for a final communication before it went off ― and that was it,” McLaughlin was quoted saying.

The daily also cited a former British Airways pilot who flew Boeing 777s, Stephen Buzdygan, as saying that the jetliner would have continued staying airborne but may have turned over on its back as the engines shut off one after the other. Read the rest of this entry »

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Searchers Get Robot Squad Ready to Hunt for Malaysian Jet Debris

By Alan Boyle
NBC News
April 8th 2014

Don’t expect instant gratification in the race to recover wreckage from the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, even if searchers confirm they’re hearing pings from the Boeing 777′s black box.

The operation won’t be like the thrill-a-minute treasure hunt in the movie “Titanic”: Identifying the wreckage will require painstaking passes by a torpedo-like autonomous robot called Bluefin 21, which will be operating at the very limit of its range.

If the side-scan sonar readings identify a field of debris, the robot sub will go over the territory again with high-resolution video cameras, pinpointing the locations of the black-box recorders and other evidence.

It’s only after those clues have been collected that searchers can send down yet another kind of robot, connected to a search ship and capable of bringing debris up to the surface.

The first part of the task will require programming the Bluefin 21 in advance to look for something the size of a shoebox in a search area that could span hundreds of square miles. Read the rest of this entry »

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Q&A on the MH370 mystery

Bangkok Post
8 Apr 2014

One month after flight MH370 vanished, there is still no proof of what happened to the plane or where it ended up, despite an intensive international search now focused on the Indian Ocean.

This handout photo taken on April 4, 2014 and released on April 7 by Australia’s Defence Department shows the HMAS Success readying a rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) near dusk following a reported sighting of potential debris

But authorities believe they may be zeroing in, after ping signals possibly emanating from the plane’s “black box” of flight and cockpit voice data were detected deep down in the search area.

Here are answers to some key questions:

Q: Are the ‘pings’ from MH370? Read the rest of this entry »

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One month on, Malaysians hold silent vigil for lost flight MH370

The Malay Mail Online
By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
April 8, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 ― City lights may have brightened Dataran Merdeka last night, but the iconic landmark was unmistakably sombre, as small groups of people quietly gathered there to hold a candlelight vigil for the passengers and crew of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.

It has now been exactly one month since flight MH370 has been missing, and despite a multinational search operation which has spanned oceans and countries, no one knows where the aircraft has landed, save for theories and plausible scenarios.

By 11.30pm, a small group of 150-odd Malaysians of different races stood within the concrete jungle of Kuala Lumpur, saying little but hoping for the impossible.

From adults to the elderly and even children, people lit candles and formed a small circle around a sign which read “in remembrance of the one month since MH370 went missing.”

“We are here to offer our support for the families and relatives of those who were on board MH370. There is little we can do, so we pray to our respective God to try and make this painful moment as bearable as possible,” a 28-year-old who only wanted to be known as Hussaini told The Malay Mail Online. Read the rest of this entry »

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Timeline of Flight MH370

Timeline of Flight MH370
CNBC.com
7.4.2014

The search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has entered its fourth week, with the plane believed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean, thousands of miles from its original flight path.

Just as the batteries on the locator beacons on the aircraft’s “black boxes” are nearing their limits, the searchers have detected signals they believe are “consistent” with the flight recorders.

Australian authorities said the signals may represent the best lead yet after the international investigation into the ill-fated carrier was initially stymied by several false leads.

Many questions about the fate of MH370, which left Kuala Lumpur en route to Beiing on March 8 with 239 passengers and crew, remain unanswered, including why the flight diverted from its planned route and what exactly caused it to crash.

The lack of information has taken a toll on the families of those on board the flight who until the announcement had been clinging on to hope their relatives may still be alive.

Here is a chronology of the latest developments: Read the rest of this entry »

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MH370: Is it the pinger? 4 reasons to believe; 6 reasons to doubt

By Mike M. Ahlers, CNN
April 7, 2014

(CNN) — After weeks of fruitless searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, it sounds like a promising sign.

When a Chinese patrol ship picked up two pulses in the southern Indian Ocean, the head of the Australian agency coordinating search efforts called it “an important and encouraging lead.”

Investigators hope the audio signals are locator beacons from the plane’s data recorders, but they’re not sure yet.

Is it the discovery we’ve all been waiting for? Could those be Malaysia Airlines Flight 370′s pingers?

Here are four reasons to believe and six reasons to doubt:

REASONS TO BELIEVE

1) The frequency doesn’t occur in nature.

The Chinese Haixun 01 patrol ship detected pulses at a frequency of 37.5 kHz, the Chinese state-run Xinhua news agency reported. That’s the same frequency of black box pingers — and that frequency is no accident. The pingers were designed to have that frequency because it does not occur in nature.

2) There were two separate events.

The Haixun 01 reported two pulses within 2 kilometers (1.25 miles) of each other. Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, head of the Joint Agency Coordination Center, described them as “fleeting, fleeting acoustic events.” One was described as being 90 seconds long; no time was given for the other, but it was evidently shorter. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Worst Place in the World for MH370 to Go Missing

Clive Irving
The Daily Beast
5.4. 2014

Hope to find MH 370 was virtually destroyed by a month of bungled searching. The only saving grace was one lonely satellite company’s brilliance.

It’s now a month since Malaysian Flight MH370 became modern aviation’s greatest mystery. Certain things are clear and many of them are disturbing.

First, the oversight of commercial air space in this part of Asia is chaotic. Jealously preserved divisions of power within each state made it impossible to achieve the kind of open, rapid and efficient exchange of information between the states themselves that is essential in an emergency. As s result, too much time has been spent chasing false leads, some of them dubiously motivated, and assessing data that turned out to be badly flawed.

As long as any physical evidence remains out of reach this is not only the most demanding sea search for an airplane ever undertaken, it’s a virtually impossible forensic challenge.

The initial failure to report radar sightings of what was probably Flight MH370 had costly consequences in a time-critical situation. Days were wasted searching the South China Sea, not the Indian Ocean.

It took at least a week to produce anything resembling a reliable time line of the Boeing 777’s course after the last contact between it and controllers. Read the rest of this entry »

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Flight MH370: ‘Hunt for black box may be in the wrong area’

Mark Townsend
The Observer
5 April 2014

With the batteries powering the black box from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 expected to expire as early as Monday, experts have warned that the international hunt for the aircraft’s wreckage may be looking in the wrong area.

The flight recorders of the Boeing 777 emit a ping that can be detected by sonar equipment, but the devices have a battery life of around 30 days, which means ships hoping to locate the signal are rapidly running out of time.

Finding the data recorders after that remains possible, but experts say it will become significantly more challenging if the signal beacons stop working.

Underwater attempts to pinpoint the ping continued, four weeks to the day after the airliner vanished, with the Australian navy’s Ocean Shield and Britain’s HMS Echo trawling an identified area using sophisticated underwater detection equipment.

However, some experts warn that they could be scouring the wrong stretch of remote Indian ocean. Aviation expert and former RAF Hercules pilot David Learmount said the failure to locate any floating wreckage meant that the search effort was effectively still working blind. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Hunt For MH370 Narrows On Two Possible Locations After Searchers Detect Potential ‘Pings’

By Dennis Lynch
International Business Times
April 06 2014

Almost a month after Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 went missing over the Gulf of Thailand, searchers are focusing on two areas in the Indian Ocean where they detected possible signals consistent with MH370’s black-box pinger.

The signals were detected by the Australian ship HMS Ocean Shield and the Chinese ship Haixun 01 about 300 nautical miles away from each other.

Searchers are hastening to detect pinger signals because MH370’s black-box pinger battery could expire during the next two weeks. The pinger battery lasts from 30 to 45 days, with April 22 being the latest to find a signal. A confirmed signal would greatly narrow the search area, which is now the size of England.

The Chinese vessel Haixun 01 has reported two signals at the 37.5 kHz frequency. These signals were detected about a mile away from one another with equipment used just below the surface of the water. While not confirmed, the Haixun 01 signals are promising for their consistency, and one signal lasted 90 seconds. Read the rest of this entry »

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Johor is now the front-line state in the 14GE as PR victory in both Putrajaya and Nusajaya are now within reach for the first time in nation’s history

I congratulate PAS Johor for its successful three-day 60th Anniversary Carnival concluding with the ceramah tonight.

For 90 per cent of its 60-year history in the state, PAS Johor faced an uphill battle in the state as Johor had all along been the fixed deposit state and virtually unshakeable fortress of UMNO and Barisan Nasional.

But a political sea change took place in the last 10 per cent of the 60-year history of PAS Johor, which succeeded in achieving a political breakthrough in the 2008 General Elections winning two State Assembly seats which increased to four State Assembly seats in the 2013 general elections last May.

Before 2008, if anybody should ask whether it is possible for the Oposition to win power in the Johor State Government, the answer would be an unanimous and categorical “No”!

But after the 2013 General Elections, if anybody should ask whether it is possible for Pakatan Rakyat to win the Johor State Government in Nusajaya, the answer would be a powerful “Yes” for the majority of thinking people in the State. Read the rest of this entry »

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UMNO/BN cyber war unit has spawned the world’s craziest cybertroopers and NGOs who continue to make fictitious and nonsensical claims …

The UMNO/BN cyber war unit has spawned the world’s craziest cybertroopers and NGOs who continue to make fictitious and nonsensical claims like the DAP aiming to recruit 10 million Red Bean Army cybertroopers by 14GE, paying them each Rm3,000 a month or a monthly budget of RM30 billion.

For one whole year, this will be an unthinkable budget of RM360 billion just to feed 10 million so-called “Red Bean Army” cybertroopers!

Only the craziest of the crazies will believe such nonsense, yet this could be seriously stated in a press conference last Tuesday by various UMNO/BN NGO cybertroopers led by Abdul Rani Kulup Abdullah, President of Martabat Jalinan Muhibbah Malaysia (MJMM) and other NGOs like Ikatan Rakyat Insan Muslims Malaysia and Pertubuhan Minda dan Sosial Prihatin (PMSP), claiming that DAP is now paying RM3,000 each to 800 cybertroopers in the so-called Red Bean Army (RBA), and that DAP has targeted recruiting 10 million cybertroopers in time for the 14th General Elections. Read the rest of this entry »

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Did Mahathir countermand Musa’s directive to the police to avoid violence resulting in the Memali Massacre of Nov. 19, 1985?

The clarification by the former Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, Tun Musa Hitam that the then Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, contrary to what was believed by Malaysians in the past 19 years, was in fact in Kuala Lumpur when the Memali Incident took place on Nov. 19, 1985, has reinforced the case for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Memali Massacre.

The RCI is necessary so as to unearth the truth about the Memali Massacre to provide a 30-year closure to the families and loved ones of the 18 people – Ibrahim Libya, 13 villagers and four policemen – who were killed as up to now, they have been haunted by the spectre of not knowing the truth and in particular, who were responsible for the death of the 18 people in the Memali Massacres of Nov. 19, 1985.

Malaysians are entitled to know the truth of one of the biggest “blots” in the nation’s history – in particular who counter-manded the directive given by Musa as the Home Minister to the Police to avoid violence and bloodshed in the arrest of Ibrahim Libya. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hishammuddin should explain whether he and the Cabinet had abandoned the proposal of a Parliamentary Select Committee on MH370 and if so, why?

Yesterday, 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, which enters into the 30th day of its disappearance on March 8, viz:

1. As per ICAO standards, 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.

The investigating team is led by the Malaysian Government, but would include individuals from other accredited countries, including Australia, China, the United States, the United Kingdom and France and other countries who are in a position to help.

The first question to crop up is whether Hishammuddin and the Cabinet have abandoned the proposal of a Parliamentary Select Committee on MH370 and if so, why? Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia flight MH370 shadows safety meeting

Kate Mayberry
AlJazeera
05 Apr 2014

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – When the aviation industry’s safety experts sat down in Kuala Lumpur for their annual meeting this week, there was one issue that was uppermost in their minds: the fate of missing flight MH370.

“I don’t think I could start my remarks in any other way than by acknowledging the human tragedy of MH370,” Tony Tyler, the Director General of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), told delegates as he opened the meeting earlier this week. “The best way for all of us involved in aviation to honour the memory of those on board is to learn from what happened to improve safety in the future.”

Four weeks after the Boeing 777-200 and its 239 passengers and crew went missing on a seemingly routine flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, the chances of finding out what happened remain remote.

Not a single piece of wreckage has been found and with no physical evidence, let alone the data and cockpit voice recorders, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s announcement on March 24 that the plane had “ended,” its journey in the southern Indian Ocean, thousands of miles off course, has done little to ease the anguish of the families of those on board.

For days, a multinational search force including Australia, the US and China has taken to the seas and the skies off Australia’s western coast, the search parameters refined regularly according to satellite imagery and the electronic “pings” that the aircraft continued to make even after normal on-board communications ceased to function. But the scale of the task remains immense. Daily search areas cover tens of thousands of square kilometres of some of the world’s most remote ocean. Read the rest of this entry »

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Memali families still seek answers, want closure after 30 years

by Looi Sue-Chern
The Malaysian Insider
April 05, 2014

Almost 30 years on, the survivors of the Memali incident that resulted in the deaths of 14 villagers and four policemen want to see justice for the lost lives and the truth revealed about why it took place and who was responsible.

Their hope has been rekindled by former deputy prime minister Tun Musa Hitam’s revelation last week that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed, who was prime minister at the time, was in Kuala Lumpur during the incident and contrary to media reports, not in China.

Now they want to know Dr Mahathir’s role in that incident.

Following this revelation, opposition MPs are now calling for a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the incident. Read the rest of this entry »

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Parliament should close down ESSCOM next week if after spending RM300 million, all it could say after the latest abduction in Semporna is that it it is “powerless in Esszone”

The Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) might as well close down if after the Malaysian taxpayers spending RM300 million on it, all it could do is to admit that it is “powerless” following the abduction of two women from a resort off Semporna on Wednesday.

Not only Sabahans, but all Malaysians, are outraged at today’s Malay Mail Online report on the statement by the Esscom corporate communication head Newmond Tibin who said it had “no power” over the 10 districts in the Eastern Sabah Safety Zone (Esszone) and that it was under police jurisdiction.

The 10 districts are Kudat, Kota Marudu, Pitas, Beluran, Sandakan, Kinabatangan, Lahad Datu, Kunak, Semporna and Tawau.

“Each district in the Esszone has its own OCPD and they take orders from the police chief. Thus allegations that Esscom is not doing anything is unfair,” said Newmond.

He said Esscom’s role was to coordinate with various agencies. Read the rest of this entry »

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Invitation to Minister in Prime Minister’s Department and Deputy Environment Minister to visit “Pulau Ubah” to ascertain whether large-scale land reclamation in accordance with the law

It is my pleasure to be with all of you today for this meaningful event. Soon we will get down to the ground, or rather the mudflats, to plant 500 mangrove seedlings, marking the start of coastal mangrove rehabilitation in this area.

This is a collective effort of different organisations and individuals present here today. The Green Team under the Malaysian Dream Movement, and the NGO J.A.R.I.N.G are the co-organisers. But perhaps more encouraging is to see many of you volunteers, from Pontian as well as other parts of Johore, to join us here on this faithful morning.

You are all agents for change for a better Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »

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Candlelight vigil on Monday midnight which marks full-month of disappearance of MH370 in prayer and hope for the 239 passengers and crew on board and in support and solidarity with their loved ones in their anguish and suffering

Today, 29 planes and 11 ships are scouring a search area of about 217,000 square kilometres 1,700 kilometres north west of Perth in a desperate race against time to retrieve the missing MH370-200 Boeing 777-200 aircraft’s blackbox before its batteries run out.

The CNN report that the aircraft’s black box battery life may be shorter than expected, lasting only 20 to 25 days, as flight MH370′s black box pingers have not been replaced in 2012, is most shocking news.

Monday in two days’ time will be the full month of the tragedy of the missing Malaysian Airlines (MAS) MH370 Boeing 777-200 aircraft which took off from the KLIA on March 8 at 12.41 am for a six-hour flight to Beijing but which disappeared within the first hour with no clue discovered so far as to its whereabouts despite the longest and largest-ever multi-national air-sea-undersea-satellite search. Read the rest of this entry »

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Parliament should reserve next Thursday for a special debate on the MH370 disaster and what MPs should do to help restore national and international confidence in the transparency, good governance and reputation of Malaysia

The 28-day Malaysian Airlines (MAS) disaster of the missing MH370 Boeing 777-200 aircraft with 239 passengers and crew on board is both a national and international disaster, and this is why it has spawned the longest and largest multi-national air-sea-undersea-satellite search for the missing plane, at one time involving 26 nations.

Today, a United States underwater drone has joined the race against time in the eight-nation search involving 14 planes, ten ships and a submarine in an area of around 86,000 square miles some 1,000 miles west-north-west of Perth, Australia as there are only two days left to retrieve MH370 black boxes as their battery-powered signal usually last only about 30 days.

At a press conference in Parliament yesterday, I had urged all MPs, whether Pakatan Rakyat or Barisan Nasional, to think hard and fast whether Parliament should adjourn next Thursday utterly lost and indecisive if it becomes increasingly unlikely that the black boxes of the missing Malaysian Airlines (MAS) aircraft MH370 is going to be retrieved in the coming weeks and months.

As the current meeting of Parliament adjourns next Thursday, April 10, I suggest that Parliament should reserve next Thursday for a special debate on the MH370 disaster and what MPs should do to help restore national and international confidence in the transparency, good governance and reputation of Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »

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