PRIME MINISTER NAJIB RAZAK STATEMENT ON MH370
Utusan – On 8 March 2014, flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing disappeared. The days, weeks and months that followed have been a period of torment for the families of those on board.
The plane’s disappearance was without precedent. At every stage, we followed the tiny amount of evidence that existed. But, despite the efforts of 26 nations and the largest search in aviation history, from the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean, the plane could not be located.
Neither could investigations by the world’s leading aviation experts answer why MH370 veered off course and went dark. While the plane’s disappearance remained a mystery, we have shared the anguish of those who could find no comfort.
Last week, on 29th July, we were informed by the French authorities that part of an aircraft wing had been found on Reunion, the French island in the Indian Ocean.
Today, 515 days since the plane disappeared, it is with a heavy heart that I must tell you that an international team of experts have conclusively confirmed that the aircraft debris found on Reunion Island is indeed from MH370.
We now have physical evidence that, as I announced on 24th March last year, flight MH370 tragically ended in the southern Indian Ocean.
This is a remote, inhospitable and dangerous area, and on behalf of Malaysia I would like to thank the many nations, organisations and individuals who have participated in the search.
The burden and uncertainty faced by the families during this time has been unspeakable. It is my hope that this confirmation, however tragic and painful, will at least bring certainty to the families and loved ones of the 239 people on board MH370. They have our deepest sympathy and prayers.
I would like to assure all those affected by this tragedy that the government of Malaysia is committed to do everything within our means to find out the truth of what happened. MH370’s disappearance marked us as a nation. We mourn with you, as a nation.
And I promise you this: Malaysia will always remember and honour those who were lost onboard MH370.
A shootout between rival biker gangs on a Sunday afternoon at a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas, had killed 9 people and injured 18 others.
Sadly, shootings and violent incidents seems to becoming a norm in once a civilised country.
The Guardian reported that sergeant Patrick Swanton, a spokesperson for Waco police department, said in a press conference on Monday after the incident that:
Police in Waco have charged 170 people with “organised crime in reference to … capital murder” in what could potentially represent the largest mass arrest on a capital charge in American history. – The Guardian.
The Guardian also reported that sergeant Patrick Swanton as saying:
“What happened here today could have been avoided,” he said. “They [the restaurant management] failed and this is what happened.”- The Guardian.
So, the incident could have been avoided?
He added: “We have been made aware over two months that rival gangs are meeting here and that the potential for violence is increasing.” – The Guardian.
“Police were already present at the scene because authorities were aware of the likelihood of trouble between the gangs, Swanton said,” – The Guardian.
The police had suspected some violent incident to happen during the meeting between the gangs; so they were there at the scene; but they do not have the rights to interfere before the incident happen because they have no rights to do so!
He said that police had attempted to get the local management to assist but they “would not cooperate”. – The Guardian.
The First Amendment in the American constitution says:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
As what I had asked before, is too much freedom good for us?
This shooting could have been avoided if:
The police had the rights to take actions to prevent the violent incident from happening.
The government of United States does not give the total freedom of owning and carrying guns to their citizens.
In this case, the police had done their job and they were actually there before the shooting started but sadly, their hands were tied.
The police can’t do anything because not like Singapore, the United States does not have laws like the Internal Security Act (ISA) of Singapore (Cap. 143, 1985 Rev. Ed.), where police can take actions to prevent such crime if they have information that it could happen; furthermore carrying guns is legal in the United States.
Innocent people and children could had been killed and the police could not do anything to stop it from happening in the first place.
It is sad that such a violent incident that could had been prevented can’t be stopped.
After all the mass shootings in the United States, is it right for the United States to tell Malaysia to repeal the Sedition Act after the Western powers and the United Nations had forced Malaysia to abolish the ISA?
Without the laws, mass shooting and mass killing like the Sandy Hook shooting incident could be a norm in Malaysia just like in the United States.
I am surprised that the United States had not learnt that too much freedom and the rights to carry guns are part of the reasons that had caused the many incidents of mass shootings and mass killings and expect other country to abolish laws that could prevent such incidents.
Perhaps the government of Singapore can brief the United Nations on why they still keep the ISA.
Is total freedom to do anything they want as demanded by the human rights groups is more important than preserving a peaceful community and the safety of minors and old people who may not be able to protect themselves?
Reuters reported that about 15,000 homes and businesses in Oklahoma and Arkansas were without power on Thursday after tornadoes touched down in the states a day earlier, leaving at least one person dead and scores of structures damaged.
Please click the photos for larger images:
In a news conference given by Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin, reporters were told that the co-pilot of the Germanwings plane had intentionally crashed the Airbus A320 into the Alps.
The co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz was 28 and a German national.
Sky News reported that:
Mr Robin said it appears the co-pilot, who was a German national and who had never been flagged as a terrorist, appeared to want to “destroy the plane”.
Please click the link below for the Press Association video of the news conference from Marseilles.
A Germanwings Airbus A320, Flight 4U 9525 carrying 148 people crashed on Tuesday at 2,000 metres altitude in the Alps after sending out a distress signal at 10.45am (local time) Tuesday.
The debris from the crash has been located and search-and-rescue teams were headed to the crash site at Meolans-Revels.
The plane was travelling from Barcelona, Spain, to Dusseldorf, Germany.
A gas tank trunk explosion in front of a hospital in Mexico City on Thursday morning shattered the hospital, killing seven people, including four babies and injuring dozens.
More than 100 people were inside the Cuajimalpa Maternal Hospital when the blast occurred at about 7 a.m.
The explosion was caused by a truck which was supplying gas to the hospital when apparently a hose burst and the resulting leak caused an explosion.
Thursday, January 29, 08:00 PM GMT +0800 Media Statement
MEDIA STATEMENT by Malaysia Airlines
Released at 8.05p.m./29 January 2015
Malaysia Airlines and the world are in mourning after the declaration of the accident to flight MH370 today. It has been more than 10 agonising months since the ill-fated flight went missing.
Following the announcement today, Malaysia Airlines’ representatives will be contacting the appointed next-of-kin to proceed with the compensation process. The airline remains steadfast to ensure that fair and reasonable compensation is paid to the families of all MH370 passengers in accordance with the applicable laws.
Malaysia Airlines will deploy further resources at its Family Support Centre (FSC) which had been set up in Kuala Lumpur. In order to facilitate and expedite the compensation process, besides proactively providing updates to family members around the world, the airline has installed additional phone lines. The FSC will be the main point of contact for NOK in Malaysia and other parts of the world, along with our various regional offices, apart from China.
Operations at the Family Communications and Support Centre (FCSC) in Beijing continue. For the convenience of family members, the Centre will be supported by additional Mandarin-speaking personnel.
Malaysia Airlines’ personnel from the Human Resources department remain the main point of contact for the NOK of the airline’s cabin and technical crew lost in the tragedy.
As has been the case since the beginning of the crisis, Malaysia Airlines continues to provide assistance to the families of the passengers and crew. We understand this is an especially distressing time for all of them.
The management and staff of Malaysia Airlines wish to thank the public for their outpouring of support throughout this challenging time. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families of the 239 passengers and crew on board flight MH370.
ANNOUNCEMENT ON MH370
DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL AVIATION MALAYSIA
- My name is Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, Director General of the Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia and I am here today in my capacity as the Chairman of the MH370 High Level Technical Task Force (HLTTF).
As you are aware, the HLTTF was formed to coordinate technical matters relating to MH370.
On 8 March 2014 at 0122 Malaysia Local Time (1722 UTC 7 March 2014), a Malaysian Airlines aircraft, a Boeing 777-2H6ER, registration 9M-MRO and call-sign MH370, lost contact with Air Traffic Control after waypoint IGARI during a transition of airspace between Malaysia and Vietnam whilst en-route to Beijing.
There were 227 passengers, 2 flight crew and 10 cabin crew on board.
- The Search and Rescue mission involved 160 assets inclusive of 65 aircraft and 95 vessels as well as experts from 25 countries. This unprecedented exercise involved aircraft and vessels from the following countries:
- Australia (4 Aircraft, 2 vessels)
Cambodia (4 Aircraft)
China (13 Aircraft, 19 vessels)
India (4 vessels)
Indonesia (11 vessels)- Japan (4 Aircraft)
New Zealand (1 Aircraft)
Singapore (3 Aircraft, 2 vessels)
South Korea (2 Aircraft)
Thailand (1 Aircraft, 1 vessels)
United Arab Emirates (2 Aircraft)
United States of America (5 Aircraft, 4 vessels)
Vietnam (2 Aircraft, 2 vessels)
Other countries unable to send physical assets also provided invaluable support in other ways. Many individuals also stepped up to provide assistance in whatever way they could.
Malaysia is greatly indebted to all the countries and individuals for all the assistance and support received. We offer our heartfelt gratitude for the generosity of response in a dark hour in the history of the aviation industry.
The search and rescue phase was carried out from March 8, 2014 to April 28, 2014 where the search area covered the South China Sea, the Straits of Malacca, the Andaman Sea and the southern Indian Ocean.
Following the announcement by the Australian Government on April 28, 2014, the search and rescue phase transitioned to a search and recovery phase.
On April 28, 2014, the search coordinated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) moved to an underwater phase led by the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB). Malaysia and China sent their respective experts and assets to assist JACC and ATSB in this phase.
This phase of the search included the use of the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) and bathymetry survey capabilities. The Bathymetry Survey has completed covering an area of around 208,000 square kilometres.
The bathymetric survey provided us with critical information on the topography of the sea floor. This information is now assisting in the current ongoing phase which is the underwater search.
The underwater search is still ongoing at this time and the exercise is currently being performed by four vessels, namely the Go Phoenix, Fugro Discovery, Fugro Equator and Fugro Supporter. To date, the search has covered over 18,600 square kilometres (as of Jan 28, 2015).
- The Governments of Malaysia, China and Australia have spared no expense and resources in the search for MH370. This has been done with the paramount aim to find the aircraft and to seek answers. It has been done in hope of bringing some solace to the families of the passengers and crew on board MH370, which we respectfully refer to as the “next-of-kin”. We have endeavoured and pursued every credible lead and reviewed all available data. Despite all these efforts over the last 327 days (as of Jan 28, 2015), the search unfortunately has yet to yield the location of the missing aircraft.
Chapter 1 of Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation (commonly referred to as the “Chicago Convention”) and entitled “Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation” states that the definition of the term “accident” includes “the aircraft is missing”. It also states that “an aircraft is
considered to be missing when the official search has been terminated and the wreckage has not been located”. Annex 12 to the Chicago Convention entitled “International Standards and Recommended Practices” for search and rescue, further states that the term “search” refers to an operation to locate persons in distress.
- According to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Annex 12 (para 5.5.1) states that search and rescue operations shall continue, when practicable, until all survivors are delivered to a place of safety or until all reasonable hope of rescuing survivors has passed. Further, a note
supporting para 5.5.2 states that “Contracting States may require input from other appropriate State authorities in the decision-making process leading to termination of SAR (search and rescue) operations”.
- It was in compliance with these ICAO Standards in Annexes 12 and 13 that on 28 April 2014, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) advised that the search was transitioning from a search and rescue operation to a search and recovery phase.
Available data suggests that after the transponder ceased transmitting, there was no normal radio or aircraft system (ACARS) communications transmitted or received from the aircraft. Hence, we relied on the only available data, which was the Satellite Communication (SATCOM)/Inmarsat data as well as Aircraft Performance Data.
An analysis of the radar data and subsequent satellite communication (SATCOM) system signaling messages placed the aircraft in the Australian search and rescue zone on an arc in the southern Indian Ocean. This arc was considered to be the location close to where the aircraft’s fuel would have been exhausted.
Based on the analysis of all available evidence and the supporting factual information that I have mentioned, this data supports the conclusion that MH370 ended its flight in the southern Indian Ocean.
Based on the same data, we have concluded that the aircraft exhausted its fuel over a defined area of the southern Indian Ocean, and that the aircraft is located on the sea floor close to that defined area. This is a remote location, far from any possible landing sites. It is also an area with adverse sea conditions with known depths of more than 6,000 metres.
After 327 days (as of Jan 28, 2015) and based on all available data as well as circumstances mentioned earlier, survivability in the defined area is highly unlikely.
It is therefore, with the heaviest heart and deepest sorrow that, on behalf of the Government of Malaysia, we officially declare Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 an accident in accordance with the Standards of Annexes 12 and 13 to the Chicago Convention and that all 239 of the passengers and crew onboard MH370 are presumed to have lost their lives.
NEXT OF KIN
- The Government of Malaysia acknowledges that this declaration of the MH370 accident will be very difficult for the families and loved ones of the 227 passengers and 12 crew on board to consider, much less accept. Thirteen nations have also lost sons and daughters to this tragedy. It is nonetheless important that families try to resume normal lives, or as normal a life as may be possible after this sudden loss. Without in any way intending to diminish the feelings of the families, it is hoped that this declaration will enable the families to obtain the assistance they need, in particular through the compensation process.
The Government of Malaysia also assures the families of the passengers and crew that the search for MH370 remains a priority. The Government of Malaysia, is committed to continue all reasonable efforts to bring closure to this unfortunate tragedy, with the continuing cooperation and assistance of the Governments of China and Australia.
The Government of Malaysia assures that Malaysia Airlines will undertake their responsibilities in relation to the legitimate rights and interests of the next-of-kin as provided under the relevant international instruments and relevant domestic laws, with due consideration to international practice.
This includes the fulfilment of the compensation process, whether it is pursued through consultation or through litigation. We further understand that Malaysia Airlines is ready to proceed immediately with the compensation process, with due regard for the readiness of the next-of-kin to take this step.
- In keeping with our commitments to keep the next-of-kin apprised of the latest developments and pertinent verified information, a special section has been established on the MH370 official website, http://www.mh370.gov.my, solely for the next-of-kin. It includes information on the search and investigation efforts, the compensation process, responses to NOK’s inquiries as well as other forms of assistance that are available to the nextof-kin.
It is hoped that this dedicated portal will provide a continuing support system for the next-of-kin.
- The “Malaysian ICAO Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team for MH370”, comprising accredited representatives from seven countries is currently conducting its safety investigation. Similarly, the criminal investigation led by the Royal Malaysia Police is also ongoing.
29.Both investigations are limited by the lack of physical evidence at this time, particularly the flight recorders. Therefore at this juncture there is no evidence to substantiate any speculations as to the cause of the accident. An interim statement detailing the progress of the safety investigation is expected to be released on or around the one year anniversary of the accident.
- We once again express our deepest sympathy to all those who have been affected by this terrible accident. It has been a frustrating time for all who have tried their best in the search for MH370. We have never wavered in our commitment to continue our efforts to find MH370 and bring closure for everyone, most of all for the families of the passengers and crew of MH370.
31.This declaration is by no means the end. We will forge ahead with the cooperation and assistance of the Governments of China and Australia.
MH370, its passengers and its crew will always be remembered and honoured.
Dato’ Azharuddin Abdul Rahman
Directo-General Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia