Archive for April 13th, 2014

Missing plane MH370: Abbott says signal ‘rapidly fading’

BBC News
12 April 2014

Signals in remote seas thought to be from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 are “rapidly fading” and finding the jet will be a “massive, massive task”, Australia’s PM says.

Tony Abbott said he was confident “pings” detected by search teams were from the aircraft’s black boxes.

But no new signals have been confirmed in the search area since Tuesday.

“No one should underestimate the difficulties of the task still ahead of us,” Mr Abbott warned.

Correspondents say Mr Abbott appeared to be couching his comments from Friday, in which he said he was “very confident” that signals heard by an Australian search ship were from the missing Boeing 777. Read the rest of this entry »


Missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370: Black box has fallen silent, admits Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott

Tomas Jivanda
The Independent
13 April 2014

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is warning that the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight is likely to be long after pings believed to be from locator beacons on the all-important black boxes fell silent, meaning the batteries have most probably died.

The last of four strong signals coming from 4,500 meters (15,000 feet) below the surface were heard on the 8 April. The batteries on the black boxes, which record flight data including conversations from the cockpit, only last a month, meaning the window has passed.

The pings already captured have however allowed the search area to be narrowed down to a 500-square-mile patch of the seabed – about the size of Los Angeles. Once officials are confident no more sounds will be heard, and the search area can be narrowed no further, a robotic submersible will be sent down to slowly scour for wreckage across the vast area.

The Bluefin 21 submersible will take six times longer to cover the same area as the ping locator, and will need about six weeks to two months to canvass the current underwater zone. Read the rest of this entry »


Call on Najib to convene emergency meeting of Parliament before May to set up Parliamentary Select Committee on MH 370 in view of the plethora of committees which Parliament had never been informed

The 37th day of the missing MH 370 tragedy has become darker today with another 24 hours of “silence” in the southern Indian Ocean, five days after the “most promising lead” in the search for the missing Boeing 777 plane as the Perth-based Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre (JACC) announced that “there have been no confirmed acoustic detections over the past 24 hours”.

In Malaysia, confusion and contradictions continue to be very rife causing more grief and anguish to the families of the 239 passengers and crew, whether it be the conflicting reports about whether the RMAF had scrambled aircrafts after the missing MH370 in the early hours of March 8 or whether Flight MH370 co-pilot Fariq Ab Hamid had purportedly made a call on board the plane near Penang after it mysteriously cut off communications with tower controllers.

There were surprise announcements like the one from the Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein that Malaysia was sending two representatives from the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) to be included in Australia’s Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) which is coordinating the search and recovery effort for Flight MH370 in the Indian Ocean.

Why only sending two Malaysian representatives to join the JACC after the SAR operation had shifted to the southern Indian Ocean based in Perth for nearly three weeks?

Does this mean that Malaysia was never represented at all in the higher councils of the search operation based in Perth for nearly three weeks?

Another surprise is the disclosure of a plethora of investigation committees, which neither Parliament nor the country had been properly informed. Read the rest of this entry »


Where’s the debris, asks aviation expert as search for MH370 enters 36th day

The Malaysian Insider
April 12, 2014

As searchers scour the Indian Ocean west of Australia for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an aviation expert told CNN today there should be debris on top of the water.

Jim Tilmon, a former American Airlines pilot and aviation analyst, told CNN that the chances of not having debris on top of the water were remote.

“The amount of flotsam left behind in the crash would most likely vary based on how MH370 hit the water,” Tilmon told CNN.

Since MH370 disappeared on March 8 shortly after departing from Kuala Lumpur, all the possible debris spotted from the air by satellites have turned out not to be from the aircraft. Read the rest of this entry »


Three things we learned from: the Seremban child abduction

By Justin Ong
The Malay Mail Online
April 13, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, April 13 — On Wednesday, S. Deepa’s joy of winning custody of her two children from estranged husband Izwan Abdullah, a Muslim convert, just days earlier turned to terror when he abducted their son from her Seremban home.

But that terror must have been eclipsed by the shock of learning that the police cannot — or will not? — do anything as the man was granted custody of the children by a shariah court last year.

At first glance, the matter had appeared less tangled than the convoluted custody battles that usually accompany child conversion cases, but it soon transpired that such matters inexorably become complicated when religion is involved.

Here are the three things we have learned from the case so far. Read the rest of this entry »


Now Putrajaya wants longer jail sentence for Anwar

V. Anbalagan
The Malaysian Insider
April 13, 2014

Putrajaya looks to have turned the screws further on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim after prosecutors filed a cross-appeal to enhance the five-year jail term against the opposition leader who was found guilty of sodomy last month.

His lawyer Karpal Singh said further Anwar’s appeal against the conviction and sentence appeared to be expedited for hearing in the Federal Court as the court registry had already sent him part of the appeal records.

“After going through the records, I found that the prosecution has appealed to enhance Anwar’s jail term,” Karpal told The Malaysian Insider.

This comes almost two weeks after Putrajaya had also cross-appealed against a lighter sentence imposed on Karpal who was found guilty of sedition.

On March 11, Karpal was fined RM4,000 but the prosecution filed a cross-appeal, urging the Court of Appeal to impose a stiffer penalty. Read the rest of this entry »

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Concerns remain but Chinese tourists say still fond of Malaysia

By Ho Kit Yen
The Malay Mail Online
April 13, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, April 13 — The disappearance of flight MH370 and kidnappings near Semporna, Sabah, have not discouraged Chinese tourists from visiting Malaysia.

Sichuan native Xiao Huan, 25, who arrived here on April 4, admitted she had initially wanted to cancel her trip here because of the MH370 incident. She had booked the trip in December last year.

“I was worried about boarding the flight. I didn’t cancel in the end because we had paid for it,” said Xiao.

Xiao admitted Malaysia Airlines (MAS) could have handled the plane’s disappearance better in the early stages.

“There seemed to be so much confusion when the news broke. I heard the flight landed in Nanning, China, initially. But that was found to be untrue,” she said.

Her husband, Li Xin, 25, said Chinese nationals just want to know what happened to the flight. Read the rest of this entry »


MH370 and the black box of the mind

Josh Cohen
The Guardian
12 April 2014

Psychoanalyst Josh Cohen on the flight recorder as a potent image of our helpless relationship to the world and to ourselves

Occasionally, perhaps when you feel most inured to the traumatic images that assail us daily on the TV screen or in the papers, you see something that tears you out of your glassy indifference. That, at least, was the effect on me of the pictures of the families of the flight MH370 passengers, eyes knitted in prayer, mouths flung open in rage.

Imagine howling. The phrase, spoken by Claudio in Measure for Measure, came to mind as my eyes fell on their faces and shut tightly, as though reflexively shamed by the indecency of looking at them. But why, when we stare with such casual composure at all manner of grief and suffering, should these images induce such particular and intense aversion?

“Imagine howling”: the phrase is the culmination of Claudio’s febrile vision of death, with its “fiery floods” and “thrilling regions of thick-ribbed ice”. But the speech is describing less his impending death, than the current torment of trying, and not being able to imagine it: “Ay, but to die, and go we know not where.” In other words, it is the living who suffer the torments of death, the irremediable ignorance of not knowing where we will be going.

It is this ignorance that makes the plight of the MH370 families so unbearable to contemplate. The confirmed knowledge that a loved one is dead enables the bereaved to begin what Freud called the work of mourning: the slow and painful acknowledgment that the person lost has been removed irrevocably from our world. We cannot know where they have gone, but we can at least know they are not here and that they won’t be coming back.

The families of the Malaysian Airlines flight have, at time of writing, no such grim consolation. Read the rest of this entry »