Archive for March 15th, 2014

If DAP or any of Pakatan Rakyat parties had done what Perkasa had done in going against the King’s Speech on the National Unity Consultative Council, we would have been accused of being anti-national, anti-Agong and traitors

In his royal address opening Parliament on Monday, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong not only endorsed the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) set up by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to preserve the country’s harmony and seek a common ground on various religious and ethnic matters, he “called on all parties to refrain from making any statement or action that might be deemed provocative or sensitive”.

The Yang di Pertuan Agong said: “Be mindful that when unity disintegrates, the country will head towards destruction. Therefore, we should reinforce unity by cultivating mutual respect and moderation in life.”

But the Yang di Pertuan Agong has been openly challenged and defied by the provocative and insensitive statements and actions of extremist organization Perkasa and other NGOs, led by Ibrahim Ali, which rejected “wholesale” the NUCC and have set up the National Unity Front (NUF) as an alternative to the NUCC.

Yesterday, former Chief Justice Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamed was announced as the first chief of the Perkasa-backed NUF to challenge what the Yang di Pertuan Agong said in his Royal Address to Parliament on Monday. Read the rest of this entry »


Two brands of Malaysian unity: moderation versus bigotry

by Elizabeth Zachariah
The Malaysian Insider
March 06, 2014

Malay rights group Perkasa’s Datuk Ibrahim Ali has only one reason for setting up his own unity council – he wants to keep the Malays happy.

Ibrahim feels that by keeping the Malays happy and united, only then will unity be possible in Malaysia, a country where over half of the 30 million population are Malays.

“The happiness and the unity of the Malays and the Bumiputera are the core of unity in Malaysia because we are the majority at 67%,” the Perkasa president told The Malaysian Insider.

“The government cannot satisfy everyone, so it is best if they keep the majority happy because they are the ones who can determine and foster unity.”

Hence, the formation of his baby, the National Unity Front, which Perkasa has presented as an alternative to Putrajaya’s newly formed National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC). Read the rest of this entry »


Classified data shows plane may have crashed in Bay of Bengal or Indian Ocean

The Malaysian Insider
March 15, 2014

Classified intelligence analysis of electronic and satellite data has indicated that the missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight 370 likely crashed either in the Bay of Bengal or somewhere in the Indian Ocean, an exclusive report by the CNN said.

If this information is true, it would offer the first glimpse of concrete details about what happened to the Beijing-bound flight which went off the radar early last Saturday.

It had enough credibility for the United States to move its guided missile destroyer, the USS Kidd, into the Indian Ocean, and Indian officials to expand its search effort into the Bay of Bengal.

An aviation industry source told CNN that the flight’s automated communications system appeared to be intact for up to five hours, because “pings” from the system were received after the transponder last emitted a signal.

The CNN report said taken together, the data points toward speculation in a dark scenario in which someone took the plane for some unknown purpose, perhaps terrorism.

That theory is buoyed by a New York Times (NYT) report that the MAS plane made several significant altitude changes after losing transponder contact.

The paper said MH370 altered its course more than once as though it was still under the command of a pilot. Read the rest of this entry »


US ship, plane to search Bay of Bengal for missing jet

The Malay Mail Online
March 15, 2014

WASHINGTON, March 15 ― A US naval ship and surveillance plane are heading to the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal to search for a missing Malaysian airliner that vanished a week ago, officials said yesterday.

US media reports, meanwhile, suggested the plane experienced marked changes in altitude after it lost contact with ground control, and altered its course more than once as if still under the command of a pilot.

A P-8 Poseidon aircraft and a guided missile destroyer, the USS Kidd, were due to aid the international hunt for the jet as the search effort extended further west, Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steven Warren said.

“At Malaysia’s request, the USS Kidd is north of the Straits of Malacca in what we’re calling the western search area,” Warren told reporters in Washington.

The Kidd was preparing to search the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal for the Malaysia Airlines plane. Read the rest of this entry »


Could MH370 have landed?

The Malay Mail Online
March 15, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, March 15 ― With new evidence suggesting the possibility that missing jetliner MH370 had been deliberately piloted towards the Andaman Islands, another theory has now emerged out of the woodwork ― could someone have landed aircraft?

Reuters cited two sources yesterday as saying that investigators believe the plane had been directed between navigational waypoints after it lost contact with ground control, which indicated it was being flown by someone with aviation training.

It cited another source as saying that investigations are now looking at the possibility of foul play, with signs pointing increasingly to the likelihood that a person who knew how to fly a plane had deliberately swung the aircraft hundred of miles off its original course from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, towards the Andaman Islands.

“What we can say is we are looking at sabotage, with hijack still on the cards,” Reuters had quoted a “a senior Malaysian police official” as saying.

Although this is at best just conjecture for now, it may be one of the few working theories that could finally expose more conclusive leads to what experts have described as the most baffling of mysteries in aviation history.

But if the Malaysia Airlines aircraft had truly made the air turn-back as suspected, if it had headed to the Andaman Islands as satellite data and US officials have suggested, and if it indeed had landed, where in the remote Indian archipelago could it have parked itself so stealthily out of sight? Read the rest of this entry »


MH370 hijack theory includes intent to use plane for ‘nefarious purposes’, say US officials

The Malaysian Insider
March 15, 2014

With evidence showing a missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Boeing 777-200ER could still be intact, US officials have not ruled out that flight MH370 was flown to a secret site so that it could be used at a later date.

There has been no trace or debris field on land or sea that is linked to the plane carrying 239 people, which vanished while on a red-eye flight to Beijing last Saturday.

“I am keenly interested in resolving this mystery so we can discard the possibility, however remote, that the airplane can be used for nefarious purposes against us in the future,” ABC News quoted a US official as saying.

The official added that “all our intelligence assets” are being used to try to figure this out.

Investigators searching for the missing MAS passenger jet said that they could not rule out hijacking and are looking at whether one of the plane’s pilots or crew could have been involved. Read the rest of this entry »

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Satellites scour earth for clues as missing jet mystery deepens

The Malaysian Insider
March 15, 2014

An unprecedented international effort is under way from space to track the missing Malaysia passenger jet as satellite operators, government agencies and rival nations sweep their gaze across two oceans in search of elusive debris or data.

Six days after the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 went missing with 239 people on board, the search has widened to the Andaman Sea, northwest of the Malay Peninsula, with only one precious clue – an ephemeral “ping” detected five or six times after the plane lost contact – picked up in orbit.

Disaster relief agencies and governments are co-operating across political divides, and in the absence of a formal probe are finding informal ways to share information, including via China’s weather agency, a person involved in the search said.

“I haven’t seen this sort of level of involvement of satellites in accident investigation before,” said Matthew Greaves, head of the Safety and Accident Investigation Centre at Cranfield University in Bedford, England. “It is only going to get more important until they find some wreckage.”

Several governments are using imagery satellites – platforms that take high definition photos – while data from private sector communications satellites is also being examined. Read the rest of this entry »

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India scours uninhabited jungle islands for lost MH370 jetliner

The Malaysian Insider
March 14, 2014

Indian aircraft combed Andaman and Nicobar, made up of more than 500 mostly uninhabited islands, for signs of the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 jetliner that evidence suggests was last headed towards the heavily forested archipelago.

Popular with tourists and anthropologists alike, the islands form India’s most isolated state. They are best known for dense rainforests, coral reefs and hunter-gatherer tribes who have long resisted contact with outsiders.

The search for flight MH370 turned west toward the islands after Malaysia’s air force chief said military radar had detected an unidentified aircraft suspected to be the lost Boeing 777 to the west of Malaysia early on Saturday.

Two sources yesterday told Reuters the unidentified aircraft appeared to be following a commonly used navigational route that would take it over the islands.

The Indian navy has deployed two Dornier planes to fly across the island chain, a total area of 720 km by 52 km, Indian military spokesman Harmeet Singh said in the state capital, Port Blair. So far the planes, and a helicopter searching the coast, had found nothing.

“This operation is like finding a needle in a haystack,” said Singh, who is the spokesman for joint air force, navy and army command in the Andaman and Nicobar islands. Read the rest of this entry »

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Aviation experts question shift in search for MH370

The Malay Mail Online
March 14, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, March 14 — The dramatic expansion of the search for a missing Malaysian airliner suggests the plane flew thousands of miles off course, crossing — apparently undetected — a sensitive region bristling with military radar.

Aviation experts today queried the plausibility of such a scenario, but confirmation from US and Malaysian officials that the search was being widened into the vast Indian Ocean suggested it had credible underpinnings.

If there was a debate over what might have happened to Flight MH370, there was a general consensus as to the extraordinary nature of its disappearance without trace a week ago over the South China Sea.

“I would probably go ahead and say this is unprecedented,” said Anthony Brickhouse, a member of the International Society of Air Safety Investigators.

“In most investigations each day you move forward, you uncover more things, more clues,” Brickhouse told AFP. Read the rest of this entry »

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London-based satellite firm says MH370 registered signals on its network

The Malay Mail Online
March 14, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, March 14 — Global satellite company Inmarsat revealed today that it had registered “routine, automated signals” from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 during its flight from Kuala Lumpur.

The news adds to the intrigue surrounding the aircraft’s disappearance, particularly as it appears to corroborate reports that said satellites had picked up faint, electronic pulses or “pings” from MH370 hours after it was last heard from.

Inmarsat, a London-based firm, reported its findings in a statement on its website but did not elaborate on when or how long the signals were received.

“This information was provided to our partner SITA, which in turn has shared it with Malaysia Airlines,” it said in the statement, adding that further information should be obtained from MAS, the owner of the Boeing 777 aircraft that went missing.

SITA is a global specialist in air transport communications and information technology. Read the rest of this entry »

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