Malaysia Airlines B777-200ER 9M-MRD as MH17 AMS-KUL which was shot down at an elevation of 33,000ft  in Eastern Ukraine at 1230GMT on 17 July 2014 with 298 souls onboard

Malaysia Airlines B777-200ER 9M-MRD as MH17 AMS-KUL which was shot down at an elevation of 33,000ft in Eastern Ukraine at 1230GMT on 17 July 2014 with 298 souls onboard

In this hour of national mourning for the downing of Malaysia Airlines B777-200ER registration no 9M-MRD on a scheduled flight MH17 AMS-KUL with 298 souls onboard 17 July 2014, all Malaysians should come together.

The hostile fire which brought the 200 tons aircraft down should be regard not only attack against Malaysia’s sovereignty but also a hedious crime against humanity.

The importance of understanding what happened to the final hour of the doomed aircraft and who is directly or indirectly responsible by no means of lessen the priority of retrieving the remains of the 298 souls and sorting it out for the sake of grieving loved ones.

One of the remains of an MH17 victim is being removed from the ground zero by Ukrainian Emergency Services worker, under the watch of armed pro-Russian Ukrainian separatists

Of course, the diplomats and civil servants have to do what is expected from them. They are now busy sorting out all the internal laws and protocols necessary to present the case against this rare tragedy. Even the expertise of international legal professionals amongst Malaysians are sought, to build the case.

The fact is that there is an internal conflict in Ukraine for several months. There are many Eastern Ukrainians either want to go back with the Russian Federation or be independent away from the former Soviet Union republic.

The site where Mike Romeo Delta was shot down is an area controlled by pro-Russian separatists.

As such, rescue workers and investigators at this point of time have been barred to enter into the ground zero area, to do their work. Ukrainian forces do not have access to ensure safe passage and Russia is sluggish to admit they have direct access to this conflict area.

This shocking tragedy already sent ripples across Malaysia. Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak on Friday requested a special Dewan Rakyat sitting on Wednesday 23 July 2014 to debate a motion on the downing of MH17.

However there are some really half-baked imbeciles attempted to make a big fuss about the motion.

This is really sad. Even pro-Opposition news portal set the priority to stand up to be Malaysians, first.

Stop blaming Malaysia Airlines for downed MH17


Published: 19 July 2014

Malaysia Airlines shares its ‘MH stands for Malaysian Hospitality’ experience with all and sundry. It has every right to a safe flight over Europe or anywhere else in the world. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, July 19, 2014.
Malaysia Airlines shares its ‘MH stands for Malaysian Hospitality’ experience with all and sundry. It has every right to a safe flight over Europe or anywhere else in the world. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, July 19, 2014.
No words can take away the great pain that all of us feel for flight MH17. Nothing could have prepared us for what happened on July 17 as much as nothing had prepared us for flight MH370’s mysterious disappearance on March 8.
No country, no airline and no one deserves a single or double tragedy that has struck Malaysia Airlines, Malaysia and Malaysians. And those who died or vanished in either MH17 or MH370.

It goes without saying then that we should not add words to deepen the pain in our hearts for these two tragedies. Malaysia Airlines – one of the world’s safest carrier – lost 510 passengers, 27 crew member and two planes in the space of 131 days.

But no, some people want to speculate and assign blame immediately to our flag carrier and linking what happened to its lacklustre financial performance. Would any airline try to save fuel and fly over a conflict area?
Several journalists in international magazines and business websites are asking that question. Even the PAS Youth leader is asking why the Malaysia Airlines pilot took a risky route and that MH17 should have followed other commercial planes and flown around Ukraine.

Here’s the thing. The route was declared safe above 10,000 metres and MH17 was not operating in restricted airspace, according to a preliminary assessment from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The Flightglobal website said while eastern Ukraine has been the scene of armed conflict, including attacks on low-flying military transports, IATA stated that the airspace in which the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER was flying “was not subject to restrictions”.

Why this condescending attitude that it is Malaysia Airlines’ fault?

Would it be fine if the pro-Russian separatists’ boast that it shot down an AN-26 transport plane was correct? Would it be different if another commercial jet crashed?

“They were the wrong airline in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Vivian Lines, global vice-chairman and crisis-management expert at Hill+Knowlton Strategies in Singapore, told the Wall Street Journal.

But is there ever a right airline, a right place and a right time? Any commercial jet that is brought down by a missile is wrong. It does not matter where.

No one here wants to state the obvious. That the 298 people on board MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17 had nothing to do with the conflict raging 10,000m below them.

Based on American intelligence that says a missile brought down MH17, it is logical to say that the person who ordered or who pulled the trigger to launch a missile had no business aiming it at any plane in the sky.

They don’t own the sky. The passengers and crew of MH17 were entitled to a safe flight over Europe or anywhere else in the world. Why blame Malaysia Airlines for using that route when others use it, too?

This is the typical mindset of people who also blame skimpy clothed women for rape cases. The only cause of rape is the rapist, not the victim. So it is with MH17.

Malaysia Airlines’ business is to fly people to their destinations. It has suffered so much over the years, due to mismanagement and lopsided deals, but it has given its “MH stands for Malaysian Hospitality” experience to all and sundry.

The flight and cabin crew have done exemplary work, so it is illogical that any of them would take such a risk if they were told of potential dangers flying over Ukraine.

It speaks so much for Malaysia Airlines that MH17 was packed and some had to take another flight to Malaysia and thus saved from the tragedy.

It also speaks much about those who question Malaysia Airlines or Malaysia, just because both performed badly in the MH370 disappearance.

Both events are separate. We still do not know what happened to MH370 but we know what happened to MH17. But in both cases, let us not assign blame to the Malaysia Airlines flight crew without any evidence.

The prime minister is right to say we are united by grief but you know what, we as a country should be united by purpose.

The political bickering since election 2008 and election 2013 must be set aside and the government must run the country as much as some politicians should stop taking the opportunity to score cheap political points.

Perhaps it is true that Malaysian politicians from all sides have a unique ability to put their foot in when opening their mouths. That could explain the PAS Youth leader’s appalling and disgusting comments.

We need to nurse Malaysia Airlines back to good health because it carries our flag colours and our name. We need to heal this sick divisiveness in Malaysia and come together to mourn the 298 souls on MH17 and 239 on MH370.

Can we do that? Or are we way past caring and having any empathy? – July 19, 2014.

* Jahabar Sadiq runs The Malaysian Insider.


There is another interesting fact. The constant critics of Malaysia Airlines who all along been taking pot shots against the losses accumulated by the national carrier despite increased in revenue and strong cash position must be surprised that all MH aircrafts bearing the 9M registration are even insured against “War and terrorism”.

It means that the financial losses from the downing of this aircraft and liability that is possibly incurred are covered.

At no accord, anyone would hoped for tragedy in any form. Never the less, the wisdom of the management and business and operational policies of an experienced full service airline is being implemented here, at this lowest point of crime against humanity of a commercial carrier in international airspace.


Published in: on July 20, 2014 at 19:00  Comments (11)  

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11 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. To those “Mat Sabu”s (idiots) who still wants to ask, or rather blame MAS for taking that route, let me tell you this: MAS is a commercial airlines, they are not and they are not expected to operate like an intelligence outfit where geostrategic and security analysis are done on daily basis. If the route is declared safe by appropriate authority (in this case ICAO and the flight was under the direction of EUROCONTROL) than they have every right to use it.

    Airlines fly over conflict areas on daily basis. Low/medium intensity and internal conflict does not normally involved the use of major weaponry. BUK M1 is a major anti-air system. It is training intensive and maintenance intensive. Only organize army (of states) own and can effectively operate them. Its nothing like the much simple shoulder launch Man Portable Air Defense System (MADPADs – eg Stinger, Igla etc) where any idiots who can read a manual will be able to use it, and even that it is not very commonly used in low/medium intensity and internal conflict. Unlike the much more capable BUK M1, these MANPADS does not have the capability to reach the altitude that was assigned to MH17 and other aircrafts. Heck even our armed forces do not have such capability. That is why the route is considered safe (apart from the fact that the main conflict area are about 100 km away from the route).

    As evidences being slowly made public, I am certain we will soon know who the perpetrator are – a party with training and access to this major anti-air systems. And believe you me, it takes much more than a bunch of Ukrainian rebels simpleton with Kalashnikov on their shoulder to pull this off.

    The next question will be whether the state concern sanction the launch or not.

  2. Indeed, in this hour of bereavement, all Malaysians should come together. But I’m not sure of Jahabar Sadiq of Malaysian Insider. The so-called news portal that often writes nasty about the country, its leaders and its NGOs.

    Last I remember is that he was sued by the former MAS Chairman Tajuddin Ramli until he went weak in the knees and published huge apologies repeatedly in his blog and in the mainstream newspapers. A bloke who prior to that was employed by Reuters. Wonder why he left a well known and formidable British news organization that was formed well before World War II and has played intelligence gathering and propaganda roles, and went to run a blog.

    If he really wants to help the country and MAS now, he should go to the front lines in eastern Ukraine, persuade the rebels to allow the investigators free access to the crash site and crash debris. Sure he can use his old Reuters network to get him introductions to a few of the rebels there. Reuters always have “newsmen” or some other representatives in hotspots all over the world. Reuters would love to be first on the news that Jahabar could bring r create if he meets the rebels on some secret deals.

    Perhaps if he goes to DS Najib offering such services, he can get facilities, even bring “tools” the Government can provide to get the rebels better disposed to agree. Like “offers” of secret assistance that would not be against Russian interest. The Ukraine Government? They are not likely to be able to get any access for the investigators from the rebels so long as Vladimir Putin hasn’t got his agenda fulfilled in that area – the total independence of Ukraine from EU and NATO politics.

  3. Is this report by the usually sensational British tabloid mirror.co.uk reliable? Saying

    “now the Russian leader appears to ready to let investigators do their work.

    In a statement released this morning, he said: “Everything must be done to ensure the safety of international experts on the scene.

    “Today there are already working representatives of Donbass, Donetsk, representatives of Ministry of Ukraine, experts Malaysia.

    “But this is not enough. Need to work at the crash site a full team of experts under the auspices of ICAO, the corresponding international commission. We must do everything to ensure its full and absolute security, ensure necessary for its operation humanitarian corridors.”

    Putin said the Russians had “repeatedly called on warring parties to immediately stop the bloodshed” in eastern Ukraine – despite strong evidence that the rebels have been funded, supplied, and even led by Moscow.

    He said: “We have repeatedly called on all warring parties to immediately stop the bloodshed and to sit down at the negotiating table. We can confidently say that if June 28 fighting in eastern Ukraine were not renewed, then this tragedy would not have happened for sure.

    “However, no one should not have the right to use this tragedy to achieve selfish political objectives. Such events should not divide but unite people.

    “It is necessary that all the people who are responsible for the situation in the region improved their responsibility to their own people and to the peoples of those countries whose representatives have been victims of this disaster.”

  4. Disconcerting news as reported by independent.co.uk newspaper based on their conversations with senior French and German diplomats:

    It’s unlikely that the French and German governments would back British proposals for new wide-ranging restrictions on key Russian energy, finance and defence firms to get Russian action on Ukraine rebels allowing the investigators free access to the crash site..

    British government sources admit that resistance from other European capitals means it is unlikely that new sanctions will be agreed at a meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels tomorrow..

    They pointed out that the rebels have promised to hand over to Malaysian authorities the black boxes from the destroyed flight MH17, and have started the repatriation process of those killed on the plane. Further action on Russia could hamper further Russian co-operation.

  5. British PM David Cameron suggested that French President Hollande should suspend the delivery of two Mistral warships that are due to be handed over to Russia in October.

    But would France forgo collecting huge sums of money and risk getting further Russian orders for military hardware by not delivering the two naval ships? Not likely. Business is business to those people, even their politicians.

    And who’s talking about French leadership of the world any more? Since the time of arrogant General De Gaulle as a refugee in England insisting his wishes be met by the Allied Powers planning an invasion to free his country of the German occupation, France has been looked at merely as an appendage.

    So, it’s extremely hard to expect total EU and NATO help in resolving the MH 17 independent investigation issue. Malaysia may have to deal directly with Vladimir Putin. Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman should be spending his time in Moscow, instead of in Kiev.

  6. Here’s what the actor George Clooney said of his recent spat with the British newspaper, the Daily Mail –

    “It’s fun to slap those bad guys, knock ’em around'”

    I wish it can be done to those responsible for the downing of MH17 and those not allowing free access by the independent investigators to the crash site.

    When DS Najib said he has sleepless nights over it, it’s completely understandable.

    Let’s keep on whacking them murderers, crooks and hooligans, guys. The Dutch lost 173 nationals in that tragedy and the Dutch newspapers are full of shouts and howls against the irresponsible bastards.

  7. It’s good that Russia has voted for the UN Resolution. But we cannot depend much on UN Resolutions – there are hundreds if not thousands of UN Resolutions that have not been effectively implemented. Power politics at the highest level, mainly among the five Permanent Members of the Security Council that includes Russia and China.

    In any case, Security Council resolutions have always been watered down to the minimum impact before being discussed and voted by the 20 or so Member countries.

    Each of the five Permanent Members would submit their draft resolutions containing statements that would invariably not harm their country’s national interests. They would be discussed by what may be called a technical committee sans the Ambassadors. Meeting after meeting to trash out what are not acceptable to the Permanent Members.

    Only after considerable diluting of the original draft from the various countries would a “committee-approved draft” be tabled for discussion by the full Council comprising the about 20 Members, at Ambassador/ Foreign Minister level. More diluting may be done before voting takes place. Of course, the Big Five would allow everybody present to have their say while they doodle or whatever.

    I don’t know how accurate the above is but that’s my understanding on the process of actions concerning Security Council Resolution voting. So, I agree that we all should make noise as much as possible to support the Malaysian Government’s move and Parliament’s resolution to get the Investigating team’s unfettered access to the crash site.

  8. Now we are getting somewhere:

    Malaysia Airlines’ Black Boxes Handed Over to Investigators
    ABC News – ‎59 minutes ago‎

    The two black boxes from the downed Malaysia Airlines plane that left 298 people dead were handed over today to Malaysian officials.

    Hope no tampering of the black boxes – a lot could be done in 2-3 days since the crash. And fellows with technology to send astronauts to outer space can do a lot with black boxes contents.

    Good also that earlier, PM Najib said independent investigators will be given safe access to the debris site.

    “In recent days, we have been working behind the scenes to establish contact with those in charge of the MH17 crash site,” Razak said.

    “That contact has now been made. Under difficult and fluid circumstances, we have been discussing the problems that have occupied us all: Securing vital evidence from the aircraft, launching an independent investigation and above all recovering the remains of those who lost their lives.”

    Let’s now pray for complete success.

  9. Agree that this is a time of National morning … but sadly the Government nad its Ministry of Information failed to do anything to unite and garner the public’s support and sympathy to those affected by tge tragedy. It is heartwrenching to see the Dutch coming out to express their feelings ang offer prayers for their fellow citizens, Where do Malaysians go for such expression.

    The Government again fails to address the soul and emotions of the masses. Again a lost opportunity to bring people together and to the Nation’s side.

    • You go to Anwar la, stu.

      Didn’t read that Anwar, Kit Siang and all praising DS Najib?

  10. Also some understanding for the Dutch and Australians who are left with the unenviable task of dealing with the identification of victims. And also to Australia for having placed their resources at our disposal for the search of the missing MH370

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