MH370: A fresh lesson about relationship with China

Malaysia Air;ines B777-200ER tail no. 9M-MRO designated MH370 gone missing on 8 March 2014 with 239 souls onboard

Malaysia Air;ines B777-200ER tail no. 9M-MRO designated MH370 gone missing on 8 March 2014 with 239 souls onboard

The experience of the missing Malaysia Airlines B777-200ER with tail no. 9M-MRO designated MH370 that disappeared from radar screen on 8 March 2014 on scheduled flight from KUL to PEK opened a fresh perspective for Malaysia to seriously review its formal, informal and commercial relationship and status with China.

Regardless how information and hospitality that have been offered formally and informally to the Chinese, be it by official briefings and statements issued by the Prime Minister, Acting Minister of Transport, Minister of Foreign Affairs, GCEO of Malaysia Airlines or any of the government and military agencies involved, it is never enough.

BBC story:

30 March 2014 Last updated at 15:09

Malaysia flight MH370: Chinese families vent anger

 

The BBC’s Jennifer Pak: “Family members have come here for answers”
Continue reading the main story
MH370 mystery

10 questions
Black-box answers
What we know
Mourning the missing
Relatives of Chinese passengers from the missing Malaysian plane have vented their anger at government officials, after arriving in Kuala Lumpur.

Chanting “Tell us the truth”, they said they wanted the Malaysian prime minister to apologise for what they regard as misleading statements.

Eight ships and nine planes searched around 252,000 sq km (97,000 sq miles) of ocean for debris on Sunday.

The Beijing-bound plane disappeared on 8 March with 239 people on board.

International investigators have concluded that, based on satellite data, the missing Boeing 777 crashed somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean.

Continue reading the main story
At the scene
Lucy Williamson
BBC News, Kuala Lumpur
The new arrivals are being carefully guarded. Blue-shirted volunteers chaperone them to and from meetings. There are security guards dotted around their hotel, and at the airport this morning a welcoming party, including a local politician, was left standing as the families were whisked away from a hidden exit.

But the message these families have brought won’t be so easy to manage. At a brief press conference, they unfurled a banner which accused the Malaysian government of speculation and “trampling on innocent lives”.

Many relatives accuse the Malaysian authorities of misinformation and secrecy. With no sign of flight MH370 or its passengers, their worn faces have become the most visible symbols of this mystery. And their frustration won’t be easy for the government to deal with.

The search zone shifted on Friday after further analysis. But while aircraft continue to spot debris in the water, nothing recovered by ships has so far been verified as being from the plane.

The search sites

The search sites

Some relatives of the 153 Chinese passengers on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have refused to accept the Malaysian account of events and blame the authorities.

On Sunday, several dozen family members travelled from Beijing.

After landing in Kuala Lumpur they held a news conference at a hotel holding up banners that read “We want evidence, truth, dignity” in Chinese, and “Hand us the murderer. Give us our relatives,” in English.

Their designated representative, Jiang Hui, said they wanted the Malaysian government to apologise for the initial handling of the disaster, as well as for Prime Minister Najib Razak’s earlier statement that indicated the plane had crashed with no survivors.

He said the conclusion had been announced “without direct evidence or a sense of responsibility”.

He said the group wanted to meet airline and government officials face to face – although he stopped short of saying that these included Mr Najib, as some relatives had earlier suggested.
None of the objects retrieved by Haixun 01 or HMAS Success is thought to be from the missing plane
Before the relatives travelled to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the search for survivors would continue.

“The hardest part of my job is to see the families,” he said. “I’ve always said we are hoping against hope that we will find survivors.”

On Sunday, Malaysian officials cancelled their daily update on the search for a second day.

The objects recovered by Australian naval ship HMAS Success and China’s Haixun 01 on Saturday had been examined and were thought to be fishing equipment and other flotsam, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (Amsa) said in a statement.
The BBC’s Jon Donnison explains how a “towed pinger locator” is used
Continue reading the main story
MH370 – Facts at a glance

8 March – Malaysia Airlines Kuala Lumpur-Beijing flight carrying 239 people disappears
Plane’s transponder, which gives out location data, was switched off as it left Malaysian airspace
Satellite ‘pings’ indicate plane was still flying seven hours after satellite contact was lost
24 March – Based on new calculations, Malaysian PM says “beyond reasonable doubt” that plane crashed in southern Indian Ocean with no survivors
What we know
The search for flight MH370
An Australian vessel carrying a US device known as a “towed pinger locator” is due to join the search in the coming days.

The device is designed to detect any ultrasonic signals – “pings” – from flight recorders and can operate up to a depth of about 6,000m.

But the search area is huge – covering some 319,000 sq km (123,000 sq miles) – and time is running short. The flight recorders’ batteries are expected to run out in about a week’s time.

The current search area is about 1,100km (700 miles) north-east of the previous zone.

Officials said the focus changed after radar data showed the plane had been travelling faster than previously thought, thus burning more fuel and reducing the distance the aircraft could have travelled.
Various theories about what went wrong have been suggested – including the captain hijacking his own plane.

The speculation was fuelled by reports that files had been deleted on the pilot’s home flight simulator.

However on Saturday Malaysia’s transport minister said investigators had found “nothing sinister” from the simulator.

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 vanished less than an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur.

The airliner diverted off course and lost contact with air traffic controllers between Malaysian and Vietnamese air-traffic control areas.

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The fact is that, the search for the doomed aircraft had been an international activity since day one. Vietnamese Air Force and Navy has been actively searching on areas in the South China Sea between their southern most tip to the IGARI waypoint, where the Mike Romeo Oscar aircraft  made the last transmission before disappearing from civil aviation authorities radar screen.

The two possible arches of maximum range of the B777-200, corresponding to INMARSAT's last 'ping' on 0811hrs (Malaysian time) on 8March 2014

The two possible arches of maximum range of the B777-200, corresponding to INMARSAT’s last ‘ping’ on 0811hrs (Malaysian time) on 8March 2014

There on, Singaporean armed forces joined the search. So did Chinese PLAN and US Navy. Eventually, at its peak the search involved armed forces and transport and security agencies from 26 countries were involved. High value and very delicate and sensitive assets such as the P8 Poseidon and P3 Orion maritime patrol/anti-submrine warfare aircrafts and Arleigh Burke Class destroyers were committed to the multi-national operations.

Last Monday, Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak announced that they are convinced the doomed Mike Romeo Oscar made a left turn and flew south on the Indian Ocean.

24 March 2014| last updated at 11:31PM

MH370 Lost in Indian Ocean: PM Najib Razak’s full statement

This evening I was briefed by representatives from the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).
They informed me that Inmarsat, the UK company thatprovided the satellite data which indicated the northern and southern corridors, has been performing further calculations on the data.

Using a type of analysis never before used in an investigation of this sort, they have been able to shed more light on MH370’s flight path.

Based on their new analysis, Inmarsat and the AAIB have concluded that MH370 flew along the southern corridor, and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth.

This is a remote location, far from any possible landing sites.

It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.

We will be holding a press conference tomorrow with further details.

In the meantime, we wanted to inform you of this new development at the earliest opportunity.

We share this information out of a commitment to openness and respect for the families, two principles which have guided this investigation.

Malaysia Airlines have already spoken to the families of the passengers and crew to inform them of this development.

For them, the past few weeks have been heartbreaking; I know this news must be harder still.

I urge the media to respect their privacy, and to allow them the space they need at this difficult time.
Read more: MH370 Lost in Indian Ocean: PM Najib Razak’s full statement – Latest – New Straits Times

http://www.nst.com.my/latest/font-color-red-mh370-lost-in-indian-ocean-font-pm-najib-razak-s-full-statement-1.530484#ixzz2xTWGL3oI

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There on, the search went on only with the active participation of armed forces and transport agencies of Austrialia, New Zealand, United States, United Kingdom, China, South Korea, Japan and France. Despite the search getting narrower, the search had produced nothing.

At the moment, there are 12 aircrafts and 8 vessels searching the designated area which they believed were the B777-200 might have went down, based on the ‘handshake pings’ recorded by the INMARSAT statelite and trajectory based on speed and fuel available in the 220 tonnes MTOW aircraft.

BBC story

29 March 2014 Last updated at 14:36

Flight MH370: Chinese and Australian ships draw blank

 

Black-box answers
What we know
Mourning the missing
A Chinese and an Australian ship have failed to identify remains from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight after their first day in a new search area.

The two ships retrieved objects from the Indian Ocean but none was confirmed to be from missing flight MH370, Australia’s maritime authority said.

Chinese aircraft also flew over the area, north-east of the previous zone, and have spotted more objects.

The airliner disappeared on 8 March with 239 people on board.

Chinese patrol ship Haixun 01 and Australia’s HMAS Success “reported they have retrieved a number of objects from the ocean but so far no objects confirmed to be related to MH370 have been recovered”, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (Amsa) said late on Saturday.
The BBC’s Jon Donnison spent Friday with Australian air crews looking for the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370,
Eight aircraft also took part in the operation. One Chinese plane reported spotting spotted three orange, white and red objects floating in the sea.

Some of the objects seen in the area have been very small, and officials cautioned that they may be sea junk.

Amsa said that “at least one distinctive fishing object has been identified”.

Continue reading the main story
Did previous photos show plane debris?

Satellite images so far could show anything from lost shipping containers or drifting garbage to fragments of Flight MH370
Among ocean experts, opinion differs over how much non-plane debris is in the area
Southern Indian Ocean is one of world’s least researched areas
In absence of better data, retrieving floating debris can help narrow search for “black box” recorders
But shortage of live satellite data, turbulence and passage of time since flight’s disappearance hamper search for debris
Aircraft debris – or a load of rubbish?
On Friday five search planes spotted multiple objects of various colours in the same area – about 1,100km (700 miles) north-east of the previous search zone.

Bad weather has hampered the search efforts in recent days.

Meanwhile Malaysia’s acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein says he has reassured the families of the missing passengers that the search for any survivors will continue.

Some relatives of the flight’s 153 Chinese passengers have refused to accept the Malaysian account of events and have accused officials of withholding information.
Acting Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein: “If there is any lead or information that involves survivors, that has been our priority”
“No matter how remote the search, I am always hoping against hope that we will find survivors,” Mr Hishammuddin told the latest news conference following a meeting with the families on Saturday.

Burning more fuel
The Australian and Malaysian governments said on Friday the search area had been changed following further analysis of radar data that showed the plane had been travelling faster, thus burning more fuel.

This would reduce the possible distance the aircraft travelled south into the Indian Ocean, officials said.

Search efforts had until Friday morning focused on an area some 2,500km (1,550 miles) to the south-west of the Australian city of Perth.
Some of the items spotted were “sea junk”, as Andy Moore reports
The Chinese patrol ship Haixun 01 has started searching the new area

Relatives of Chinese passengers have been anxiously waiting for news of their loved ones
Malaysian officials have concluded that, based on satellite data, the missing plane flew into the sea somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean. So far no trace of it has been found.

Continue reading the main story
MH370 – Facts at a glance

8 March – Malaysia Airlines Kuala Lumpur-Beijing flight carrying 239 people disappears
Plane’s transponder, which gives out location data, was switched off as it left Malaysian airspace
Satellite ‘pings’ indicate plane was still flying seven hours after satellite contact was lost
24 March – Based on new calculations, Malaysian PM says “beyond reasonable doubt” that plane crashed in southern Indian Ocean with no survivors
What we know
The search for flight MH370
Various theories about what went wrong have been suggested – including the captain hijacking his own plane.

The speculation was fuelled by reports that files had been deleted on the pilot’s home flight simulator.

However Mr Hishammuddin said investigators who had looked at the equipment had turned up no new information.

“There is nothing sinister from the simulators but of course that will have to be confirmed by the chief of police,” he said.

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 vanished less than an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur.

The airliner diverted off course and lost contact with air traffic controllers between Malaysian and Vietnamese air-traffic control areas.

The vast expanse of ocean has turned the search into a major challenge.

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Whatever information that the acting Transport Minister, DG of DCA, GCEO of Malaysia Airlines, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief of Defense Forces, Chief of the RMAF, Inspector General of Police offered that the time it was issued in the daily media conferences were valid, based on the availability and corroborated at that particular moment.

Example is the INMARSAT information about their complex analysis of trajectory of the Mike Romeo Oscar based on the ‘handshakes’ their computers recorded from the pings received from the geo-static satellite, was only offered by AAIB UK to the acting Minister of Transport four days later.

The path of the missing Mike Romeo Oscar designated MH370, on 8 March 2014 before completely not detected by radar

The path of the missing Mike Romeo Oscar designated MH370, on 8 March 2014 before completely not detected by radar

So are other information that is deemed ‘sensitive’ such as the recording of Mike Romeo Oscar’s movement from IGARI to IGREX, as per observed by the Royal Thai Air force Air Defense radar.

Eventually when all these information are offered to the Malaysia authorities and corroborated, then only they are offered to the Malaysian and international media in the same conference. Both Malaysian and international media have equal chance to do Q & A whenever new information is offered.

The manifest of nationals. of the 239 souls onboard MH370 on 8 March 2014

The manifest of nationals. of the 239 souls onboard MH370 on 8 March 2014

In many instances, the international media repeated questions which have previously addressed in many of earlier media conferences. An example is the identities of the two Iranians who travelled on stolen Austrian and Italian passports, and the relevance and connection to known terrorism groups.

There are 14 different nationals amongst the 239 souls onboard the missing airliner. All grieved almost the same tone and intensity with the exception of the families and loved ones from China. They have been very loud and combative, in their expression of shock and grieve.

Probably the mainland Chinese are not used to the concept of ‘transparency’ and how a democratically elected government which is practicing the usual international standards of sharing information. Or their are not wise in the usual practice of democracy of ‘freedom of expression’, especially when they blatantly accuse the Malaysian Government, military and Malaysia Airlines as “Murderers!”.

What is also wrong if the Chinese Government to echo what the families of the passengers of the missing flight is shouting about.

The Malaysian Government has been very transparent to the Chinese Government, pertaining to any available information of the B777-200 carrying 239 souls which include 153 of the communist state nationals. Even to the point Prime Minister Najib meeting the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs website:

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak Meets with Special Envoy of the Chinese Government Zhang Yesui

2014/03/26

Prime Minister Najib meeting Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Yesui

Prime Minister Najib meeting Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Zhang Yesui

On March 26, 2014, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak met in Kuala Lumpur with Zhang Yesui, Special Envoy of the Chinese government and Vice Foreign Minister.

Zhang Yesui said that the Chinese leaders have been highly concerned about the updates of the incident and worried about the safety of all the passengers including 154 Chinese citizens aboard the flight all the time since the Malaysia Airlines flight lost contact. They have instructed the Chinese departments concerned to work closely with the Malaysian side to well organize the search, rescue and investigation. Nineteen days have passed since the flight went missing, and the search and rescue operations remain the top priority now, which cannot be stopped and cannot be slacked. China will further step up search efforts. We hope the Malaysian side could strengthen information communications with the Chinese side, provide China with comprehensive and accurate information and evidence related to the flight’s “ending” in the South Indian Ocean, do its utmost coordinating all the countries concerned to continue their search efforts, and well console the families of the passengers.

Prime Minister Najib Razak welcomed and thanked China for the assistance and help to the Malaysian side in handling the incident of the loss of contact of the flight. He said that Malaysia would try its best to offer timely and accurate information, and intensify efforts for the search in relevant waters in South Indian Ocean, and will go all out to well organize relevant work including consoling the families.

On the same day, Zhang Yesui also met with Malaysian Minister of Defence and Acting Minister of Transport Hishammuddin Hussein, and Malaysia Airlines Chairman Mohammed Nor Mohammed Yusof and CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya.

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A high powered team led by RMAF Air Operations Commander Lt. Jen. Dato’ Seri Ackbal Abdul Samad TUDM was despatched to Beijing and conduct the neccesary briefings to the affected family members of the MH370 passengers.The information offered is no different from what have been offered to the Malaysian and international media, in the daily media briefings and conferences.

Yet, the Chinese family cannot accept. It was said that they wanted more and walked out from the briefing.

Now they have come to Kuala Lumpur, hoping to get different information from already offered. This where the Chinese Government should come in and intervene. The should pacify their own nationals based on the information already offered by the Malaysian Government and the Chief of the RMAF to Vice Minister Zhang in Kuala Lumpur five days ago, about the movement, tracked and status of the multinational search for flight MH370.

The Chinese Government should appreciate, especially  if there demands for the People’s Liberation Army to openly reveal sensitive information pertaining to the Air Defense System and inadvertently compromise the defense of the China.

However, they did not. Probably the Chinese Government secretly ‘allowed’ if not ‘advocated’ some of their citizens to make these outrageous demands and cries about “Malaysian Government, Malaysian military and Malaysia Airlines are murderers!”.

More interestingly is that PLA is not willing to share whatever information they have pertaining to the missing flight MH370 to Chinese Government and public, since all these drama and negative attention towards Malaysia snowballing in the closed Chinese media and social media networks serve as a perfect cover for their clandestine operation the South China Sea.

ASEAN EEZ Vs China's claims over South China Sea with the imaginary Nine-Dash-Line

ASEAN EEZ Vs China’s claims over South China Sea with the imaginary Nine-Dash-Line

Particularly, China’s gross disrespect of nation’s around the region with the imaginary and unsubstantiated claims of the ‘Nine Dash Line’, which is incurring deep into the EEZ of countries as per putlined by the United Nations Convention Law of the Seas (UNCLOS).

Regardless, Malaysia should wise up about its formal and informal relationship with China. If China is Malaysia’s ‘friend’, then they should do more to correct the negative if not the destructive perception by their own nationals in an information eco-system where the Chinese Government have near absolute control.

After all being ‘friends’ only should mean that China would want if not do more to advocate her nationals to be more ‘friendly’ towards Malaysia. That is not happening as how Chinese nationals been hurling their feelings towards Malaysia, we are not friends at all.

Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Hj Abdul Razak Hussein historic call on Chairman Mao Zedong

Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Hj Abdul Razak Hussein historic call on Chairman Mao Zedong

Probably Prime Minister Najib should postpone his planned visit to China in May, to commemorate his father Tun Hj Abdul Razak Hussein’s historic visit to China and meeting Chairman Mao Zedong forty years ago.

His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong XIV’s planned visit to China in November too, should be postponed. After all, the Malaysian Government is His Majesty’s Government and His Majesty is the Commander in Chief and Field Marshall of the Malaysian Armed Forces.

If Malaysians especially the business community is worried how the slight shift of formal relationship and ‘friendship’ status would affect trade, then they should reflect on how Taiwan which is ‘at war’ with China and how trade and services between the two ‘non existence nations’ bloomed through the years.

Published in: on March 31, 2014 at 02:00  Comments (33)