Mar 24, 2014
MH370 Acting Transport Minister Hishamuddin Hussein today agreed with proposals for a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on the disappearence of the missing Flight MH370, but said the onus was on cabinet to decide on the matter.
“I agree that both sides (opposition and government) be together in this issue,” he said during his winding-up speech for the debate on the motion of thanks for the royal address at the Dewan Rakyat today.
“Not only at the Malaysian level, but on a global level we must show togetherness. But I alone cannot make a decision. As the responsible minister, I will bring this up to the cabinet for a decision,” Hishammuddin said.
He said this in response to a question from Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Gelang Patah) over the proposal for a PSC on the missing plane, which was made by Anthony Loke (DAP-Seremban) last week.
Hishamuddin also said the cooperation extended by the other countries in the search and rescue operations (SAR) for the Boeing 777-200ER was proof of the “global respect towards the country’s leadership”.
He endured a heated session in the Dewan Rakyat after he was hit with a barrage of questions late this evening, but he repeatedly stressed that Putrajaya had handled the crisis in a “transparent and brave manner”.
“We put aside out national security in order to reveal our air force radar data to confirm the flight turn back. If we did not take this brave decision, we would be still searching in the South China Sea,” he said.
Hishamuddin also defended the government’s decision to reveal satellite signal data only after a week of SAR operations, after which it concentrated the operations in the northern and southern corridors.
“There was plenty of information and speculation from day one. Of course, if we were to act on every one of them, then we would not even have a SAR to conduct. We need to be consistent, that was why we searched in both the Straits of Malacca and South China Sea,” he said.
If the government acted without verifying information, the opposition would still use it as an argument to blame the government.
“This is an unprecedented incident in international aviation history. Every country will have something to learn from this in terms of aviation and airspace,” he said.
Hishammuddin insisted that the government, despite the local, and at times international criticism, had always followed the standard procedures and international regulations set by international aviation authorities in its conduct and also in its handling of information in relation to the missing flight.