I have just sent an urgent email to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak asking for Cabinet endorsement at its meeting tomorrow for a Parliamentary Select Committee on MH370 to support the ongoing search-and-rescue (SAR) operation and to stand in readiness for a full-scale investigation into the MH370 crisis after the SAR operation.
In my email to the Prime Minister, I informed him of the amendment moved this morning by the Pakatan Rakyat MP for Seremban YB Anthony Loke to the Motion of Thanks currently debated by Parliament proposing the establishment of a Parliamentary Select Committee on MH370 to give full support to the ongoing search-and-rescue (SAR) operation and to stand in readiness to conduct a full-scale investigation into the MH370 crisis after the SAR operation.
We are now in the 13th day after over 300 hours of the traumatic and agonizing multi-national air-sea search, now involving over a hundred ships, helicopters and aircrafts as well as radar system from 26 nations for the missing MH370 Boeing 777-200 aircraft with 239 passengers and crew on board covering two vast tracts of territories totaling 2.24 million square nautical miles stretching from the southern Indian Ocean to Kazakhstan in the north.
We seem no nearer to the discovery of any clue to lead to the whereabouts of the aircraft or what happened in the early hours of March 8, although there are reports today of a new lead from Australian satellite imagery of two objects possibly related to the missing MG370 in the southern Indian Ocean, but which awaits verification.
When Malaysia expects unprecedented international unity in the world’s largest-ever multi-national SAR operation, Malaysians and in particular the Malaysian Parliament must demonstrate unprecedented national unity in support of the SAR mission for the missing aircraft after the SAR operation, to conduct a thorough and intensive investigation into the MH370 crisis.
It is with these objectives in mind that the amendment to the Motion of Thanks for the establishment of a Parliamentary Select Committee on MH370 has been proposed by YB Anthony Loke, especially as the Yang di Pertuan Agong in his Royal Address in the official opening of Parliament on 10th March 2014 had specifically expressed sympathy and concern for the passengers and crew on board the aircraft and their families.
In my email to the Prime Minister, I stressed that as the nation most directly affected by the MH370 crisis, Malaysia must not only play a leading role in the SAR operation but also in a post-SAR multi-national parliamentary inquiry – which is why it is imperative that a Parliamentary Select Committee on MH370 should be set up without delay, even just to be in standby readiness until after completion of SAR operation before launching full-scale investigations.
In my email, I said: “I write to urge Cabinet approval tomorrow for a Parliamentary Select Committee on MH370 so that all MPs, regardless of BN or PR, whether Ministers or backbenchers, could give unanimous support to this proposal.
“However, if the government proposes to establish a Parliamentary Select Committee on MH370 by way of a separate motion during the current meeting of Parliament, Pakatan Rakyat MPs are open to such initiatives and are prepared to support such alternative propositions.”
(Media Statement in Parliament on Thursday, 20th March 2014)