Archive for April 4th, 2014

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 »


Malaysian Judiciary: How Low Can It Go?

Koon Yew Yin

The independence and integrity of Malaysian Judiciary are now at the tipping point. During the past few years the attention of Malaysians has been riveted by the exposure to an unprecedented number of court cases with important political ramifications. These cases include the following

• Altantuya Shaariibuu’s murder case

• N.Kugan’s death during police custody

• Teoh Beng Hock’s death

• the PKFZ scandal

• the NFC scandal

• various election appeal cases arising from the 2013 general elections

• Anwar’s Sodomy I and II case

• Karpal Singh’s conviction for alleged sedition

At no time in the country’s history has there been such a large and wide variety of politically charged cases being brought to the country’s courts of law.

If we take these cases individually and collectively, the overall impression that can be obtained from the many articles and analysis which have appeared in the internet media is that the Malaysian judiciary has come under tremendous political pressure when arriving at their judgements. Read the rest of this entry »


Putrajaya seeks stiffer penalty against Karpal for sedition

by V Anbalagan
The Malaysian Insider
April 04, 2014

Veteran lawyer Karpal Singh, who was fined RM4,000 for sedition last month, could now be jailed after prosecution filed a cross appeal, urging the court to impose a stiffer penalty.

Karpal was found guilty of sedition and fined by the Kuala Lumpur High Court on March 11.

However, he told The Malaysian Insider yesterday that he received a copy of the notice of appeal filed by the prosecution, urging the Court of Appeal to enhance the sentence.

“They want me in jail,” said Karpal, who stepped down as DAP chairman following the conviction and sentence last month.

“Well, they are entitled to file a cross appeal.” Read the rest of this entry »


Chronic rent-seeking due to corrupted NEP, says Ku Li

by Joseph Sipalan
Malay Mail Online
4 April 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, April 4 — “Haywire” implementation of the New Economic Policy (NEP) was the cause of the rampant cronyism and rent-seeking now ailing Malaysia, said veteran lawmaker Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

The former finance minister said the practice of patronage in implementing the policy had undermined the “just and noble” philosophy that underpinned the social engineering programme that was mooted in the aftermath of the May 13, 1969 racial riots.

“The entrenchment of rent-seeking and patronage system into the fabric of Malaysian life begs the question: How did this come to pass?” he said in his keynote address at the launch of the book “Rich Malaysia, Poor Malaysians” last night.

“Much as this sounds like a blame game and much as this is distasteful to swallow, the answer lies in the New Economic Policy; or rather, the NEP that had gone wrong in its implementation,” he added.

Tengku Razaleigh, or Ku Li as he is popularly known, said the country has fallen victim to the machinations of politicians habitually lining their own pockets and colluding with businessmen who were uncompetitive without preferential treatment. Read the rest of this entry »


Time, Batteries Running Out on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 ‘Black Box’

By Ross Kelly in Perth, David Winning in Sydney
Wall Street Journal
April 3, 2014

The Australian head of the international search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has called the operation one of the “most challenging” he has ever seen.

As the chances dim for finding Malaysia Airlines 370’s “black box” flight recorders before the batteries in their locator beacons run out, Malaysian and Australian leaders sought to inject new momentum into a search of the southern Indian Ocean that has yet to find plane wreckage.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak met aircrews involved in the multinational search for Flight 370 at Pearce air base, near Perth, on Thursday. The visit is Mr. Najib’s first to Australia since the focus of the search swung abruptly to the southern Indian Ocean on March 20, based on satellite images of possible plane debris. So far, nothing related to the missing plane has been found. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370: Mystery of missing aircraft ‘may never be solved,’ police warn

Kathy Marks
The Independent
03 April 2014

With as little as two days left in which to recover the black box of Flight MH370, Malaysian police have warned that the mystery of the plane’s disappearance nearly four weeks ago may never be solved.

The country’s Prime Minister, Najib Razak, who visited the headquarters of the multinational search in Perth today, promised relatives of the 239 passengers and crew that “we will not rest until answers are… found”. However, batteries in the locator beacons of flight recorders only last about 30 days, which means MH370’s will die next Monday, or even this weekend.

The hunt for wreckage of the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 continued in the Indian Ocean, with two British Royal Navy vessels joining seven other ships and eight planes. But since the search switched to the remote waters a fortnight ago, not a single piece of debris linked to the doomed flight has been found, despite exhaustive efforts. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia Airlines MH370: Unmanned Robot Subs Needed for Search

By Mary-Ann Russon
International Business Times
April 2, 2014

Unmanned robot submarines will need to be brought in to locate wreckage of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane in the Indian Ocean once the search zone has been narrowed down.

Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 took off from Kuala Lumpur Ifor Beijing with 239 people onboard on 8 March but lost contact with air traffic control 50 minutes later.

After 26 days of searching there continues to be no sign of the wreckage. It is now assumed that the plane crashed into the Indian Ocean without survivors and the search for the plane has now been classified as a criminal investigation.

Unmanned submarines, which are known as Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV), were crucial in finding the black box recorders from Air France Flight 447 after it crashed into the Atlantic Ocean in 2009, killing all 228 people onboard.

Although some major wreckage was removed from the sea within five days of the crash, it took another two years and €32m spent on four deep water search missions before the black boxes were located at roughly 12,800 feet below sea level. Read the rest of this entry »

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MH370: What Do We Know? What Will We Ever Know?

Associated Press
April 3, 2014

Bangkok: At the time — the evening of March 24 — it seemed like the breakthrough the world was waiting for.

In a hastily called speech, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced that an unprecedented analysis of satellite signals concluded that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 “ended” deep in the Indian Ocean, far from any possible refuge for the 239 souls aboard.

Finally, there was a solid explanation for what happened to the aircraft. A much more focused search could begin, and so perhaps could the grieving process for families from 14 countries. Najib’s announcement quieted wild speculation about desert islands and terrorists and covert operations.

But four weeks after the plane disappeared, the apparent pivot in the search is proving to be not much of a pivot at all.

Not a single piece of wreckage from the lost plane has been found, not even after a new analysis led investigators to change the focus of their search yet again. The latest search area is based on extremely limited satellite data combined with radar data taken some five hours before the plane is believed to have gone down. It is, as one search official said, “a very inexact science.”

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, whose country is coordinating the current search effort, spoke of “very credible leads” and “increasing hope” a day before Najib’s announcement. But on Thursday he said the search has become “the most difficult in human history.” Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia Airlines’ Missing Flight MH370: Timeline of an Air Mystery

By Ludovica Iaccino
International Business Times
March 12, 2014

Missing Malaysian airlines flight crash

Saturday 8 March

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 takes off at 12:21am local time (16:21 GMT) from Kuala Lumpur with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board.

Flight MH370 was supposed to arrive at Beijing Capital International Airport at 6:30am but two hours after takeoff, air traffic control loses contact with the plane. It is last heard of 120 nautical miles off the east coast of the Malaysian town of Kota Bharu.

No panic call is received from the crew and weather in the flight path is clear.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) confirms the jetliner never registered entering the airspace between Malaysia and Ho Chi Minh City.

Fear of a crash grow as Malaysia and Vietnam launch a search and rescue operation in the South China Sea. China dispatches two maritime rescue ships.

Terrorist plot, engine failure, disintegration, hijacking and pilot suicide all under consideration as the cause of the disappearance.

Malaysia Airlines releases the passenger list which includes 154 people from China and Taiwan, 38 from Malaysia, seven from Indonesia and six from Australia

Chinese premier Li Keqiang appeals to the Malaysian government to speed up the search operation.

Vietnam confirms seeing a giant oil slick and column of smoke in its waters. The slick is not connected to the missing aircraft, it is discovered.

Terror attack theory strengthens when two “missing” passengers of the flight MH370 reveal that their passports were stolen last year in Thailand. Read the rest of this entry »