Archive for March 9th, 2014

Judicial process and timing in Anwar’s case implies persecution not prosecution, says Bar Council

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 »


Some theories behind why MH370 might have vanished

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 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 »


Where is Malaysia Airlines Flight 370?

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 »


Oil slick found between Vietnam and Malaysia ‘suspected of being crashed Boeing aircraft’

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 »


Possibility of Foul Play Raised in Disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Jet

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 »

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