MH370 cover-up alleged

2014-04-04 09:55
Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim (File, AFP)

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kuala Lumpur - Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim accused the government of hiding information on Flight MH370, as a black-box detector was expected on Friday in the search zone nearly a month after the plane vanished.

Anwar said he was "baffled" over the Malaysian military's failure to respond despite detecting the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 crossing back over the country's airspace following its mysterious detour.

"Unfortunately the manner in which this was handled after the first few days was clearly suspect," Anwar said in an interview with Britain's Daily Telegraph.

"One fact remains. Clearly information critical to our understanding is deemed missing. I believe the government knows more than us."

Malaysia's response to the crisis has been widely criticised, particularly by distraught relatives of the 153 Chinese people on the plane.

Australia, meanwhile, has assumed increasing responsibility over the physical search for the plane in the Indian Ocean.

Authorities co-ordinating the search said the Australian naval vessel Ocean Shield, carrying a US-supplied "black box" detector and underwater drone vehicle "for mapping the seafloor", was due to arrive in the area being scoured for wreckage as 14 planes continued the arduous search.

The plane went missing in the early hours of 8 March during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board. Malaysia has said satellite data indicates it crashed in the Indian Ocean, far off western Australia.

But no debris indicating a crash site has been found despite an extensive search, as time runs out on the "black box" locator signal, which lasts only around 30 days.

Malaysia 'wasted time'

Malaysian authorities have said they are still stumped over what caused the plane to deviate from its course.

Malaysia's long-ruling government has a poor record on transparency, but Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said this week it was "not hiding anything".

But Anwar, who recently had his acquittal on sodomy charges overturned in what he claims is a political smear by the government, said a "sophisticated" radar system that he authorised as finance minister in 1994 should have led to prompt military action.

Malaysia's armed forces said soon after the plane disappeared that its radar had picked up an unidentified object moving toward the Indian Ocean, but did not respond because it was not deemed hostile.

The decision has been criticised for losing valuable time in tracking the plane's movements. It took Malaysia one week to confirm the radar blip was MH370, and to subsequently reorient a huge search away from its initial focus in the South China Sea.

Anwar said Malaysia should have quickly notified other countries in the search to save them scouring "a place that they know cannot be the site of the plane".

A Malaysian government spokesperson did not immediately respond to an AFP request for comment.

Fading hopes for determining MH370's fate are now focused on the Indian Ocean search, in what Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott called "the most difficult in human history".

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak toured the military base in Perth being used as a staging post and vowed "we will not rest" until the mystery is cracked.

"We want to find answers. We want to provide comfort to the families and we will not rest until answers are indeed found," Najib said, while admitting searchers faced a "gargantuan task".

Window closing on black box

Eight nations, many of whom do not normally work together, have rallied to look for clues in the Indian Ocean. They include Australia, Britain, China, Japan, New Zealand, Malaysia, South Korea and the United States.

Besides planes and vessels from the various nations, a British nuclear submarine with underwater search capabilities joined in Wednesday.

Despite the arrival of the black box detector, hopes of finding the box and its potentially revealing data are slim without a confirmed crash site.

Malaysian police chief Khalid Abu Bakar on Wednesday said all 227 passengers had been "cleared" of suspicion, as authorities probe a possible hijack or sabotage plot.

Police are still investigating the backgrounds of the plane's 12 crew, as well as ground staff and flight engineers, but Khalid indicated no progress had been made and added soberly that authorities may never know what happened.

Beijing has expressed its displeasure with Malaysia over the affair, and ties faced further strain over the kidnapping late on Wednesday of a Chinese tourist from a Malaysian diving resort by unidentified gunmen.
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
17 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

In bound Supervisor

Western Cape
Peoplefinder Career Placements

Engineering Manager

Western Cape
Pro-Tech Recruitment
R850 000 - R1 100 000 Per Year

Analyst Developer

Western Cape
Progressive IT Resourcing (Pty) Ltd

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The energy today is serious, materialistic and hardworking. You may find you get a new outlook on things and you may want to spend...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.