Liow: This cannot go unpunished

A stern section of Malaysia Airlines B777-200ER 9M-MRD as MH17 AMS-KUL which was shot down in Eastern Ukraine with 298 souls onboard on 17 July 2014

Malaysian Minister of Transport Dato’ Seri Liow Tiong Lai issued a press statement today for the shooting down of MH17 at East Ukraine.

MH17 PRESS BRIEFING BY LIOW TIONG LAI, MINISTER OF TRANSPORT

INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT

Today Malaysia Airlines have released the final list of nationalities on board flight MH17. Each of the numbers represents a life lost, and a family in anguish. After this press conference, Malaysia Airlines will release the full passenger manifest.

Malaysia mourns the loss of all 298 passengers and crew. We feel for their families. And we promise to do all we can to ensure that the investigation is completed, and that justice is done.

ON THE INVESTIGATION:

Malaysia is deeply concerned that the crash site has not been properly secured. The integrity of the site has been compromised, and there are indications that vital evidence has not been preserved in place.

Interfering with the scene of the crash risks undermining the investigation itself. Any actions that prevent us from learning the truth about what happened to MH17 cannot be tolerated. Failure to stop such interference would be a betrayal of the lives that were lost.

Malaysia calls for all parties to protect the integrity of the crash site, and to allow the investigation to proceed. We urge all those involved to respect the families, and the nations who have lost their sons and daughters in this attack.

Yes, MH17 has become a geopolitical issue. But we must not forget that it is a human tragedy. Days after the plane went down, the remains of 298 people lie uncovered.

Citizens of eleven nations – none of whom are involved in the conflict in Eastern Ukraine –cannot be laid to rest. Their lives were taken by violence; now violence stops them being accorded their final respect. This cannot continue.

ON DEPLOYMENT:

Earlier today, Malaysia’s special team arrived in Kiev. We ask for continued support from the Ukrainian government, and the other parties involved, as the team seeks to assist the Ukrainian authorities in recovering and identifying the remains of the passengers and crew, and with the wider investigation.

The world has a moral obligation to ensure that the remains of all victims are recovered and treated with respect. We will play our part in fulfilling this obligation. That is why, later today, I will join the Malaysian team in Kiev, where I will work with my counterpart in the Ukraine government, to support efforts to retrieve the remains, and to assist with the investigation.

I will be joined by the Director General of the Department of Civil Aviation, the Malaysian investigator in charge, and the Chairman of Malaysia Airlines. The CEO of Malaysia Airlines is already in Kiev.

ON THE FLIGHT PATH:

On the matter of MH17’s flight path, I would like to refer to recent reported comments by officials from Eurocontrol, the body which approves European flight paths under ICAO rules.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the officials stated that some 400 commercial flights, including 150 international flights crossed eastern Ukraine daily before the crash. Officials from Eurocontrol also stated that in the two days before the incident, 75 different airlines flew the same route as MH17.

MH17’s flight path was a busy major airway, like a highway in the sky. It followed a route which was set out by the international aviation authorities, approved by Eurocontrol, and used by hundreds of other aircraft. It flew at an altitude set, and deemed safe, by the local air traffic control. And it never strayed into restricted airspace.

The flight and its operators followed the rules. But on the ground, the rules of war were broken. In an unacceptable act of aggression, it appears that MH17 was shot down; its passengers and crew killed by a missile.

CONCLUDING REMARKS

This outrage cannot go unpunished. Once again, Malaysia condemns this brutal act of aggression, and calls for those responsible to be found, and to face the full force of justice without delay.

-ENDS-

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Published in: on July 19, 2014 at 19:30  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Malaysia should talk less and negotiate more as it faces the uphill task of getting permission to enter ground zero. There’s no point in PM and Minister saying we want access, we don’t want evidence to be tampered and we want to retrieve remains as soon as possible. Yes. Sure. But how? Msia can’t just verbalise without knocking loudly at the doors of UN, US and EU. Why has Msia not joint forces with Netherlands to get some influence in the EU. Angela Merkel spoke to Putin today about access to ground zero. This could have been at the behest of Netherlands and EU. Msia has taken the difficult path of wanting to stay neutral, not wanting to blame anyone, want irrefutable evidence that the plane was shot down. I gaped in disbelief at the fence sitting policy of Malaysia. The west already said the plane was shot down most likely by pro Russia separatists. What irrefutable evidence is Msia looking at? If Msia wants to be overly cautious it will get hurt in the end. Msia can talk abt wanting debris evidence of Mh370 before believing anything, but MH17 is a different case. The evidence are strewn in the rolling plains and sunflower fields in eastern Ukraine. What irrefutable evidence is Msia talking about because the world doesn’t understand what is the matter with Msia. 44 of its nationals have perished and it is taking such a cautious stance? It doesn’t make sense. At times being too cautious does not help the national interest of Malaysia. However, there is still hope that the diplomatic efforts at lobbying and negotiating which Wisma Putra is best at will be put to maximum utilisation to at least get a breakthrough to the impasse. The big impasse now is the inability of multinational teams to get into ground zero.

  2. I think nobody can do anything except Putin. But Putin may takut showing his hand or KGB (or whatever name now) in the missile shooting of MH17.

    If China is on Putin’s side, Putin will become big headed. Malaysia not even buying Russian fighter jets any more, so to Putin, Russia’s interest in Malaysia is minimal.

    Ah Jib Gor, get Ah Jib Gor and the panda diplomacy to work – if ever it did or will.

  3. I am flabbergasted. When even small fellas but having big nuclear tits like Setanyahu can act with impunity in Palestine for years and nothing happens, when Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria remain as hotspots endlessly and all UN Sec Gen Ban Kim Moon can do is say “it’s not acceptobol”, how much can we hope for the rebels on their own to say OK, you investigators can come in and do as you please.

    I wish I know what can be done, but Najib is paid a salary, allowances and perks, and has the huge title of PM and the responsibility that goes with it. Liow cannot get much even by being in Kiev. We need to count on Najib.

    I agree it’s Putin who can help. And maybe Chinese President weighing in on Putin. But what can we offer to them to get them do something? Najib should know. Foreign Ministry boys should be able to advise. But do we have anything attractive enough to offer Putin to act for us on the rebels?

    Anybody knows what Russia wants of Malaysia these days?

  4. Of course Putin holds the key. He can ask the separatists group that controls eastern Ukraine to back off and allow the international team to enter the crash site. But he doesnt seem to show cooperation. Angela Merkel spoke to him but he doesnt care. His adamant attitude is annoying . Now France has issued warnings to Russia that there’d be consequences if Putin doesnt exert its influence on the separatists to open the crash site. Malaysia plays safe and seems neutral. By being neutral, it will be diffucult for the US and the EU to know if Msia is with them or not? Without the help of these powers can Msia have any influence in getting access to ground zero. Malaysia’s last hope then will be the UN. Malaysia doesnt seem to want to rub Russia the wrong way. Fine. But at the end of the day it is the 44 Malaysians that we need to identify which unfortunately the pro Kremlin separatists and Russia still have not shown signs of wanting to budge. My question is what is Malaysia going to do now? Is its neutral position helping or hindering?


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