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“MH370 cannot remain a mystery”

Media statement by Julian Tan MP for Stampin and Steven Sim MP for Bukit Mertajam

07 MARCH 2017 | KUALA LUMPUR

March 8, 2017 marks the third anniversary of the fateful flight of MH370.

After three long and painful years, for both the victims’ family as well as for the aviation industry, MH370 still remains a mystery.

On 17 January 2017, Transport Minister, Liow Tiong Lai, together with his counterparts from Australia and China, announced that the search mission for MH370 will be suspended.

This is a sad and frustrating news. Families of the victims are already considering to fund their own private search mission. (Source: http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/03/05/mh370-families-plan-to-search-on-they-aim-to-raise-rm66mil-to-fund-initiative/)

Lack of accountability and transparency by the government of Malaysia

We have been following this issue from the Day One.

The government of Malaysia has shown the greatest contempt for victims of MH370 and their families by the lack of transparency and accountability in handling this issue.

In the last three years, none of our important questions were answered.

Sim’s question in Parliament in June 2014 on the issue of negligence by the government to intercept MH370 on rogue flight path was even rejected by the Minister. The excuse given: “it is a secret”.

Again, in November 2016, Tan during his parliamentary debate, had requested the government to provide detailed report on the negligence of KL Air Traffic Control (ATC) and the Malaysian military in tracking and intercepting the rogue flight. No report was given until today.

In fact, critical non-compliances which we raised are not dealt with at all. Among the major ones include:

  1. passengers with stolen passports;
  2. discrepancies in cargoes manifest;
  3. the lack of response from KL Air Traffic Control (ATC) who is the custodian of the air space after the lost of communication with MH370;
  4. lack of supervision at the KL ATC when it was alleged that at least one supervisor was asleep during his shift and had to be woken up by his subordinate hours after the lost of communication with MH370;
  5. the lack of response after military radar detected the so-called unidentified flying object on a rogue path over our air space for at least half an hour;
  6. the breach by Ho Chih Min of the Operation Letter of Agreement between DCA Malaysia and the Vietnam Air Traffic Management when the Ho Chih Min Air Traffic Control Centre (HCM ATCC) failed to comply with the five minutes rule to alert the transferring unit when it could not establish communication with MH370 during the Transfer of Control Point. HCM only alerted KL 20 minutes later.
  7. the delay in DETRESFA message, which should have been triggered within an hour after no-contact with MH370 but the first distress message was only released more than five hours later!

For the issue with Vietnam mentioned in item 6 above, which is a critical breach of international protocol, the Transport Minister, in response to Sim’s question in March 2016, said that a report will be given on this matter. No report was given until now.

MH370 is the black swan of aviation industry: The search must go on

We call on the government to reverse their decision to stop the search for MH370.

MH370 is the black swan event of the aviation industry. Until solid answers are available, all of us are flying daily with the shadow of MH370 looming over us, not knowing if our flight will be the next MH370.

The finding of MH370 will contribute to a better understanding on how to avoid aviation disaster such as this one. As such, to quote the words of one victim’s family member, “MH370 cannot remain a mystery”.

The high cost of the search mission is nothing compared to the lives of billions of flight passengers. We are talking about USD200 million spent to ensure the safety and security of over 3.7 billion passengers in a year. (Source: http://www.iata.org/pressroom/pr/Pages/2012-12-06-01.aspx) At an average cost of RM0.22 per person, this is a “flight insurance” we all cannot afford to forego.

However, the Malaysian government must be thoroughly transparent in the investigation process.

We have on numerous occasions called on the government to form a bipartisan parliamentary select committee to oversee the investigation process. In this third year anniversary of MH370, Prime Minister Najib Razak has no excuse to further delay the setting up of such such parliamentary select committee.

Julian Tan Kok Ping
MP for Stampin

Steven Sim Chee Keong
MP for Bukit Mertajam

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