Malaysia paying the price for flight MH370 !


Flight MH370: Paying The Price Of 6 Decades Of Nepotism, Racism, Rampant Corruption And Incompetence

On January 23, 2008 a very peculiar thing happened. Commercial airspace at one of the world’s busiest airports was shut down for over 50 minutes. On that day, an aircraft without an approved flight plan entered Singapore’s airspace. Immediately, the Republic of Singapore Air Force dispatched a pair of F-16D fighter jets to intercept the aircraft and escorted it to land at Singapore Changi Airport. Upon landing, airport police immediately surrounded the plane.

“At 6.42pm (2142 AEDT), two Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) F-16 fighters were scrambled to intercept a civilian aircraft, a Cessna 208, which was heading towards Singapore airspace without an approved flight plan,” the ministry’s director of public affairs, Colonel Darius Lim, said in a statement. “The aircraft was escorted to land at Singapore Changi Airport.”

The above incident highlights the standard operating protocol an Air Force, Civil Aviation Authority and Local Police Force needs to follow in the event of an unidentified aircraft entering it’s airspace without an approved flight plan.

However amidst this hoo-ha, there was one small detail worth noting. The plane took off from Koh Samui, Thailand. And running the full length between Thailand and Singapore is the land mass of Peninsular Malaysia.

In essence, this means that the Department of Civil Aviation of Malaysia and the Royal Malaysian Air Force had allowed an unknown aircraft to invade over 131 thousand square km of sovereign Malaysian territory and despite this occurring over a period of 3 hours, did not lift a finger to respond.

This incident highlighted a huge security flaw in Malaysia’s Air Defence umbrella. One that if it had patched during any of the subsequent 6 years that followed, would have prevented a bigger tragedy that came with greater embarrassment, scrutiny and loss.

6 years later on 8 March 2014, Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 departed Kuala Lumpur International Airport for Beijing. It never landed at its intended destination. Instead, less than an hour after take-off, the transponder was turned off and 3 sets of military radars tracked the plane flying past Penang and across the breadth of Malaysia from the Gulf of Thailand towards the Indian Ocean.

Unlike the Cessna airplane in the earlier example which was intercepted by the RSAF, 3 sets of people manning Malaysia’s military radars never sounded any alarms. The RMAF never dispatched any fighter jets on standby and the Department of Civil Aviation of Malaysia never shut down Malaysian airspace when a rogue plane very much larger than a Cessna aircraft flew across it’s airspace.

Suffice to say, had the Department of Civil Aviation of Malaysia or the RMAF been doing their job properly as exemplified by the example given above, we would not have gone 9 days and counting into a search for a missing and possibly hijacked plane.

Investigators may have recently concluded that the plane had its transponders deliberately turned off and its flight plan deliberately altered but it is the greater observing public who have the biggest conclusion of all; that Malaysian leadership is sorely incompetent when it comes to handling a crisis. In this respect, Malaysia has much to learn from its Southern neighbour. Had the supposed hijackers targeted a plane flying through a more efficient jurisdiction, the outcome would have been very different today.

Malaysia Flip Flop

Related:    

The Day When 2 Austrians Shut Down Singapore’s Airspace for 50 Minutes.

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Was Flight 370 remote-hijacked as Boeing has autopilot technology?


Autopilot tech

Boeing has patent for autopilot tech

PETALING JAYA: When it was first speculated that Flight MH370 could have been hijacked via remote control access, many dismissed it as far-fetched science fiction.

But the technology to navigate planes, ships, trains, buses and other vehicles by remote control has been around for about a decade.

The Boeing Company, the world’s leading aerospace company and the largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft, has the technology.

It owns a patent for a system that enables remote controlling of its aircraft to counter hijacking attempts.

Boeing applied for the patent for an “uninterruptible autopilot control system” about 11 years ago, and was awarded it in 2006.

The system can be activated when the security of onboard controls are jeopardised.

“The method and systems of the present invention provide techniques for automatically navigating, flying and landing an air vehicle,” states the report for the US patent number US7142971B2.

Once activated, an aircraft could be automatically navigated, flown and made to land without input from anyone on board.

“Any onboard capability to supercede the automatic control system may be disabled by disconnecting the onboard controls,” states the report.

Power is provided to the automatic control system “from an alternative power control element that is inaccessible (to anyone on board the vehicle)”.

According to the patent report, control commands could be received from a remote location and/or from predetermined control commands stored on board the plane.

Boeing applied for the patent on Feb 19, 2003, barely two years after the Sept 11 attack in which hijacked planes rammed into the World Trade Centre, reducing the gigantic buildings into rubble.

Eric D. Brown, Douglas C. Cameron, Krish R. Krothapalli, Walter von Klein Jr and Todd M. William invented the system for Boeing. The patent was awarded three years later on Nov 28, 2006.

When the automatic control system is activated, no one on board the aircraft would be capable of controlling its flight.

The patent report also states that a signal might be transmitted to at least one remote location from the plane to indicate that the uninterruptible autopilot mode of the air vehicle has been engaged.

The system includes a dedicated communication link between the aircraft and a remote location, distinct from any communication link established for other types of communication.

According to an independent analyst James Corbett, the US Federal Aviation Administration had reported on the Federal Registrar last November that the Boeing 777-200, -300 and –300ER aircraft were equipped with an electronics security system to check unauthorised internal access.

Contributed by Sira Habibu The Star/Asia News Network

 

“Flight 370 Was Remote-Hijacked”

 

Author, barrister and political advisor Matthias Chang
Author, barrister and political advisor Matthias Chang

A high-level Malaysian source has confirmed that missing Flight MH370 must have been hijacked by remote control.

Matthias Chang, a barrister who served as Political Secretary to the Fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, explained why only a remote-hijacking “fly by wire” scenario can explain the plane’s disappearance.

Read Matthias Chang’s MH 370 – A Sinister Tragedy In the Fog of Coincidence?

In an exclusive interview with Truth Jihad Radio, Chang – who remains well-connected with the highest political levels in Malaysia – patiently explained why all of the evidence points to a remote hijacking by one of the handful of countries capable of such a technological feat. He expressed annoyance with Western media criticism of the Malaysian government, arguing that it is Western governments, not Malaysia’s, that are covering up what they know while the media fails to ask the hard questions.

[The audio interview will be posted for Truthjihad.com subscribers by this evening here.]

During our interview on the morning of Friday April 4th (Malaysia time) Matthias Chang told me: “I want to raise a point that has not been much discussed in either the mainstream or alternative media, which is that the technology of autopilot has been in existence for a long time. Since September 11th, more sophisticated systems have been placed in all planes to avoid any hijackings. If there is a hijacking in progress it kicks in and flies to an airport to land safely. The system can be triggered by the pilot himself from the cockpit, or it can be triggered by ground control. And by ‘ground control’ I mean it can be operated from land, an AWAC plane, or a ship, by an entity that has the capability and technology to fly the plane remotely. That technology is out there.”

Chang pointed out that only remote-hijacking can explain the plane’s flight path: “This plane is flying for six hours on its own. Who’s flying the plane? The entity flying the plane must be those with the technology that’s used now to pilot drones. We know drones have been flown in Afghanistan from Florida. We have seen video tapes and news broadcasts about how ‘pilots’ in Florida are flying planes and drones in Afghanistan as if they are playing computer games.”

Chang explained that the Western media’s pilot suicide hypothesis “doesn’t hold water. If you’re a pilot, why turn back, go north to Thailand where there are military exercises going on, and you will know from the radar that other planes are flying, then turn south and fly for six hours? That’s ridiculous. Also, most suicides leave notes explaining why. This is another huge question mark. Why this accusation of the pilot, when the facts are inconsistent with suicide?”

Suggesting that the Western countries have been leading the public on a wild goose chase, Chang explained:

“During the past four weeks, we have heard of various countries providing data. Australia said there were two floating objects west of Perth, but when ships were sent they were not found. France, also, said they discovered two objects. When the search planes went, these too couldn’t be found. The satellite of Thailand (a US client state) found two objects. It was sea rubbish. This was followed by (US occupied) Japan saying they found objects. But those objects were not MH370s. The British firm Inmarsat, using its calculations, said the plane would have crashed in the area where the objects were located. But subsequently Boeing, doing new calculations projecting faster flight at lower altitude, said the plane could have ended somewhere 1000 miles north of the previously projected location.”

Were all of these people ordered to look in all the wrong places – by a military high command that knows perfectly well where the plane is?

Chang continues:

“Given all this information, it’s crystal clear, clear as day, that the one country that has the most sophisticated surveillance technology has remained mute. They may have given sealed evidence – I don’t know. But no public announcement.

As VT Editor Gordon Duff says, a gnat has a hard time disappearing. So how can a 777 vanish?

As VT Editor Gordon Duff says, a gnat has a hard time disappearing. So how can a 777 vanish?

“America has the most advanced satellites in the world…it can detect an object the size of a coin, look at bunkers buried deep underground. NROL 39 (the US National Reconnaissance Office) uses the octopus emblem. It states clearly that enemies of America cannot hide because ‘nothing is beyond our reach.’ The octopus’s tentacles encompass the whole globe. I find it very odd that America has been reticent, conspicuously silent, about what their satellites have shown, if anything.”

What makes it especially odd that the US will not admit it tracked the plane is that the flight path involved some of America’s most sensitive military areas:

“As MH370 reached the airspace of Vietnam it went north toward Thailand where the US-run Cobra Gold and Cope Tiger military exercises were being held. Then, allegedly, the plane ended in the Indian Ocean. But there is no evidence or debris. Now what is conspicuous…is that when a plane goes past Southern Thailand into the Indian Ocean, it has to fly past a very important landmark: Diego Garcia, a secretive US military base. It was from this base that the US launched bombers to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Vietnam before that. Surely this base has some of the most sophisticated surveillance technology. Any unidentified plane that flew in the direction of Diego Garcia would certainly be located and identified.”

Chang, the former top political advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia, noted that the bizarre disappearance of MH370 coincided with the US-run Cobra Gold and Cope Tiger military exercises – just as previous “disasters” have mirrored suspiciously-timed drills and exercises:

“On 9/11, when planes struck the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, there were military exercises taking place, and NORAD and others were confused about whether the planes were part of the exercise or not.”

Chang was referring to the notorious 46 drills of September 11th 2001, the biggest pre-designated National Security Special Event Day in US history. Those exercises practiced and then mimicked every aspect of the actual attacks, including a live-fly plane-into-building exercise that shut down the National Reconnaissance Office and prevented NRO personnel from seeing satellite images of whatever the alleged attack planes and their military control planes, including the “Flying Pentagon” E-4B Command Center aircraft, were really doing that day.

Chang noted that the 7/7/2005 London bombings – like 9/11– perfectly mirrored drills that were occurring at exactly the same times and places:

“On 7/7 in London, there was a bombing of underground stations, plus the bus in Tavistock Square. Surprise surprise, four Muslim youth were said to be responsible for the deaths and injuries. Yet on that very day, there were terrorist bombing exercises at precisely the same four locations.”

YouTube – Veterans Today -

Chang observed that Christopher Bollyn, whose book Solving 9/11 implicates Israel and its US agents in the worst terrorist attack in US history, has discovered indications that the disappearance of MH370 might be connected with another false-flag plot: “Bollyn exposed how, immediately after the hijacking (of MH370), the Times of Israel put out propaganda that the plane was hijacked by agents of Iran, then landed in Bangladesh to weaponize the plane to carry out a diabolical attack like September 11th.” (Bollyn also discovered a suspicious “evil twin” of MH370 hidden in an Israeli hangar – his article is linked here.)

Chang said that the media’s focus on the search for the MH370′s black box is a deception. “We’ve been diverted to look for the black box. Bullshit! There are plenty of signals.” Chang asserts that both Boeing, a leading US military contractor, and the Rolls-Royce company that makes the plane’s engines, know exactly what happened to MH370, because they are constantly fed signals giving them every significant detail about all of their planes including exactly location, altitude, airspeed, engine function, manual or autopilot, and so on.

Regarding Rolls-Royce, Chang said:

“As long as the engine is running, they monitor it. If anything goes wrong with the engine for any reason, they land the plane and abort the flight. There have been a couple of instances when Rolls-Royce detected malfunctions and told the pilot to land as soon as possible due to the malfunction.

“So for six hours or more, Rolls-Royce would have kept track of the pings. Rolls-Royce would know where the plane’s going. Now I’m told, rightly or wrongly, that in the protocol, Rolls-Royce may be prohibited from disclosing this information.”

Likewise, Malaysia has been prevented from disclosing the sealed evidence it has been provided by one or more unnamed countries – or even the name of that country or countries.

But despite the gag order, Chang thinks the evidence speaks for itself: “There is cyber war between these (larger) countries, and we small countries are caught in the middle. I think the passengers were collateral damage.”

Chang’s conclusion about Flight 370?

“Under the cover of the military exercises, something diabolical, something catastrophic, has happened.”

 Sources Veterans Today Editor:

Dr. Kevin Barrett, a Ph.D. Arabist-Islamologist, is one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror.

Dr. Barrett has appeared many times on Fox, CNN, PBS and other broadcast outlets, and has inspired feature stories and op-eds in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Tribune, and other leading publications.

Dr. Barrett has taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin, where he ran for Congress in 2008. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, author, and talk radio host.

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Philippines based Abu Sayyaf gunmen want RM36mil to free Chinese tourist, no ransom for Filipina


Chinese tourist_Gao Huayun1Gao Huayun
KUALA LUMPUR: Abu Sayyaf-linked gunmen have demanded RM36.4mil for the release of a 29-year-old Chinese woman tourist whom they abducted from a resort off Semporna in Sabah, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He added that there had been no ransom demand for the other hostage, a 40-year-old Filipina resort worker.

“We have received a note that the kidnappers have asked for 500 million pesos, equivalent to RM36.4mil, in ransom.

“We have sent our team, the police and negotiators to discuss with their so-called appointed middle person to negotiate about reducing the ransom,” he said after launching the “Message from Prison” segment of TV3’s Wanita Hari Ini programme here yesterday.

Gao Huayun and Marcy Daya­­­­wan were snatched from Singamata Reef Resort in Semporna on April 2.

One of the kidnappers is believed to be also involved in the abduction of a Taiwanese woman who was snatched on Pom Pom Island on Nov 15 last year after gunmen shot dead her husband.

To a question, Dr Ahmad Zahid denied that the Eastern Sabah Security Command was a failure, saying Esscom was merely carrying out its activities based on the Standard Operating Procedure that had been set for Esszon, the Eastern Sabah Security Zone.

He added that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had a meeting recently with the members of the National Security Council on tightening security in the area.

“We are going to tighten the activities within Esszon … (more) equipment and assets are to be deployed within the Esszon area.”

Dr Ahmad Zahid said the police, military and Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency were working together and collaborating with the Philippine coast guard, navy and military on further tightening security.

Zahid said they would seek the cooperation from the resort operators within the Esszon area and ask them to install high-security cameras.

“We are going to ask them to install high-definition CCTV in all their premises to prevent future activities by intruders or kidnappers,” he added.

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ese tourists abducted by Philippine terrorists to sour ties with China?

New China-US military ties: agree to disagree


Military_China Chang-US HagelChinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Chang Wanquan (L) and U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (R) review the guard of honor at a welcoming ceremony before their talks in Beijing, capital of China, April 8, 2014. (Xinhua/Liu Weibing)

China-US military: agree to disagree – CCTV News – CCTV.com English

< Video China-US military: agree to disagree

Chinese President Xi Jinping (second right) shakes hands with US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (second left) during a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Wednesday. Photo: AFP

President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called on China and the US to build a new model of military relations in a meeting with visiting US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

As an important part of Sino-US ties, military relations should be advanced under the framework of building a new type of major power relations, Xi, who is also chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, told Hagel.

The two countries need to effectively manage their differences and sensitive issues to ensure major power relations always go forward on the right track, Xi said.

The new type of China-US military ties are in the initial phase and the two sides have different understandings but they are looking for ways to advance, said Liu Weidong, an expert on US studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

Hagel is wrapping up his first visit to China since he became defense chief in February last year. His visit came after a stop in Japan, with which China has been embroiled in territorial disputes over the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea.

The defense chief’s exchanges with Chinese military officials saw both blunt exchanges and handshakes, said an opinion piece by the Xinhua News Agency on Wednesday.

Before coming to China, Hagel said the goal for his Asia visit was to assure US allies of commitment to “our treaty obligations.” He openly welcomed Japan’s attempt to ease the ban on its collective self-defense in a written response to Japan’s financial newspaper Nikkei and reassured Tokyo that the Diaoyu Islands fall under the US-Japan Security Treaty.

He was received with frank and outspoken comments from Chinese military officials before the public, which is rarely seen, said analysts.

Before reporters, Fan Changlong, vice-chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, said Tuesday that Hagel’s remarks on China made at the US-ASEAN defense ministers meeting in Hawaii last week and to the Japanese politicians were “tough.”

“The Chinese people, including myself, are dissatisfied with such remarks,” Fan noted.

Also in the presence of the press, China’s defense minister Chang Wanquan called on the US to keep Tokyo within bounds and not be permissive. He said China would not take pre-emptive action, but its armed forces are ready to respond.

It’s rare that Chinese military officials publicly express such attitudes and language, said Niu Xinchun, a research fellow with the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, noting that China has been angered by US rhetoric.

“The strong remarks display the diplomatic style of China’s new leadership and China’s increasing confidence,” he told the Global Times.

It’s also a tactic with which China wants to press the US to take China’s feelings seriously, Liu noted.

Hagel also faced sharp questions when giving a speech at the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)’s National Defense University. One Chinese officer voiced his concern that the US was stirring up trouble in the East China Sea and the South China Sea to hamper China’s development out of fear of China as a challenge, Reuters reported.

“These questions are prepared by the organizer to deliver China’s worries about a possible threat from the US-Japan alliance,” said Liu.

Reuters reported China appeared to be getting anxious that the recent tough talk by US officials over China’s territorial disputes with its neighbors could be a preview of what US President Barack Obama would say when he visits Asia later this month.

China’s defense ministry Wednesday also voiced strong opposition to a bill passed by the US House of Representatives that called on the Obama administration to sell Perry-class frigates to Taiwan.

Meanwhile, Hagel was the first foreign official allowed onboard China’s sole aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, in Qingdao, East China’s Shandong Province.

This was seen as a gesture of China’s sincerity and transparency by analysts.

With outspoken expressions and openness occurring at the same time, the exchanges between China and the US military indicate the wisdom of communication and the art of balance, said the Xinhua opinion piece.

An Obama administration official acknowledged that the tone was sharper on issues surrounding the South China Sea and the East China Sea than it had been on the last visit by a US defense secretary to China, which was in 2012.

“But in other areas the tone was actually improved,” the official said, pointing to discussions on Sino-US military cooperation and even North Korea, according to Reuters.

Hagel said at the university that with the modernization and expanding presence in Asia and beyond of the Chinese army, forces from the two countries will have closer proximity, “which increases the risk of an incident, an accident, or a miscalculation.”

“But this reality also presents new opportunities for cooperation,” he said.

China and the US can enhance their mutual understanding when the divides are frankly discussed, although it’s not likely to eradicate the mistrust between the two sides in just one visit, said Tao Wenzhao, an expert on US studies also with CASS.

By Sun Xiaobo Global Times

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China should offer Hagel tough welcome


US Hagel-Japan-onodera

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (L) shakes hands with Japan’s Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera – US Backs Militarization Of Japan In Response To China US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel concluded his Japanese tour and kicked off a visit to China on Monday. In Tokyo he made many remarks that were pleasant to Japanese. Hagel publicly warned China not to tackle the ongoing territorial disputes with neighboring countries as “the Russians have done with Ukraine.” It’s expected he will soft-pedal on these issues when he is in Beijing.

< Video: Fan Changlong: “dissatisfied” with remarks by Chuck Hagel.

But Chinese officials should respond to Hagel’s unusually forceful remarks with toughness. The US hasn’t totally sided with countries like Japan and the Philippines over their territorial disputes with China yet. However, there is little difference between Washington’s current partiality for Tokyo and Manila and open support of confronting China.

Many Chinese believe the core of the US “rebalancing Asia” strategy lies in that the US is attempting to burden China’s rise through instigating confrontation with other countries in the neighborhood. It’s during the implementation of this US strategy that territorial spats have been escalated due to the aggressive and offensive policies of Japan and the Philippines.

Chinese public opinion has given up hope of reason with the US, since Washington is adept in manipulating double standards.

In the US eyes, Japan’s “nationalizing the Diaoyu Islands” and the Philippines’ trickery to bolster its territorial clam through reinforcing a marooned navy ship that it stationed in Ren’ai reef are not violations of the “status quo,” while any countermeasures by China are called “aggression.”

The US is good at maneuvering in East Asia. But it overestimates the value of the “rebalancing Asia” strategy if it misperceives China as easily cowed into submission. China is not Russia, nor will the South China Sea and East China Sea be Crimea. Restraint is the basic philosophy of China in front of frictions, but we also make it clear, “Don’t irritate us!”

If Washington continues to indulge Tokyo and Manila in provoking China, it will pay the price sooner or later. The cost is that the US will feel ashamed.

For instance, China will spare no efforts to prevent the Philippines consolidating the rusting ship in Ren’ai Reef. Any promises that the US makes to the Philippines and Japan that they can do whatever they want in Ren’ai Reef and Diaoyu Islands will prove empty.

China has no intentions to imitate Russia in how to deal with frictions on its periphery. It’s the US that should learn a lesson from the Crimea crisis. Washington suppressed Russia’s strategic space, but it got cold feet when Moscow upped the ante.

Conflicts in Europe cannot be replicated in East Asia. The US should be careful that it cannot suppress China as it has done with Russia. Countries like Japan and the Philippines shouldn’t be used as pawns to contain China.

China emphasizes the importance of building a new type of major power relationship with the US. As the sole super power, the US has gained the upper hand in Sino-US relations, but it will finally get trapped if it continues to snub our Chinese feelings. – Global Times

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Chinese, U.S. defense chief vow to boost new type military ties

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Chinese tourists abducted by Philippine terrorists, to sour ties with China?


Philippines Kidnapping_Gao

PERTH: Malaysia is not ruling out the possibility that the latest abduction case at a resort off Semporna was a deliberate act to sour the country’s relations with China, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He said the fact that one of those kidnapped was a Chinese national could complicate the situation further following the disappearance of MH370, which had mostly Chinese nationals on board.

“There may be those who are attempting to drive a wedge between China and us. They may be trying to take advantage of the situation,” Najib said after a bilateral meeting with his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott at the Commonwealth Parlia­mentary Office here.

Najib, however, believes ties with China will remain strong despite the kidnap incident.

Najib said Malaysia had sought the cooperation of Filipino authorities on the matter, while police were investigating how the incident could have happened.

A news portal had reported that rebel group Abu Sayyaf was responsible for the abduction.

Filipino military sources told Rappler.com that the two women were taken by six former Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) members who had joined Abu Sayyaf.

In Kota Kinabalu, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman has ordered that all available resources be directed towards solving the kidnapping case at a resort in Sem­porna.

He said the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) director-general Datuk Mohammad Mentek had briefed him on the kidnapping.

Kidnappers suspected to be Philippine militants

<< Video For the latest on the kidnapping, let´s go live to James Chau in the Malaysian capital Kuala L…

RM11.5mil the usual price for non-Filipino hostage

PETALING JAYA: The notorious Abu Sayyaf group believed to be responsible for the abduction of a Chinese and Philippine national in Sabah used to demand up to US$3.5mil (RM11.5mil) for the release of non-Filipino citizens, said a security analyst.

Prof Dr Aruna Gopinath who specialises in maritime security said the separatist group based at Basilan in the southern Philippines would typically charge a lower rate of three million pesos (RM219,000) for the release of Filipino citizens.

“The Abu Sayyaf are only interested in money and a ransom will have to be paid before they release their hostages,” she said.

Aruna said a Philippine reporter she knew was kidnapped by the group in 2011 and was held captive for 90 days.

“She met the Abu Sayyaf leaders in Basilan for an interview but was instead kidnapped by them, kept under guard in a house and given only water and two bananas three times a day.”

Philippines Kidnapping_Map

Aruna said a Philippine congressman eventually agreed to pay the ransom of three million pesos after which her friend was let go.

Another Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) breakaway group that specialises in kidnapping is the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters which Malaysian authorities must be alert for, said Aruna.

In a related development, the Associated Press quoted a Philippine intelligence official yesterday as confirming that the kidnapping was the work of the Abu Sayyaf group.

He said Abu Sayyaf leaders were angry because they were not brought into the peace deal between the Philippine government and MILF.

The most recent in a long list of abductions blamed on the Abu Sayyaf prior to the incident in Sabah on Wednesday was the reported kidnapping of an elementary school principal in Basilan on Monday.

- The Star/Asia News Network

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Families filing lawsuits over MH370 while new 122 objects identified by a French satellite


MH370-LawsuitA model of a Boeing 777 aircraft is displayed as representatives of US law firm Ribbeck Law Chartered International hold a media briefing at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur on March 26, 2014. Family members of the victims of the ill-fated Flight MH370 are filing a RM4.95 billion (S$1.9 billion) suit for compensation, against Boeing and Malaysia Airlines. — PHOTO: AFP 

KUALA LUMPUR – Family members of the victims of the ill-fated Flight MH370 are filing a RM4.95 billion (S$1.9 billion) suit for compensation, against Boeing and Malaysia Airlines.

Chicago-based firm Ribbeck Law Chartered, who is acting on behalf of the family members, has started proceedings by filing a petition of discovery in an Illinois court.

Ms Monica Kelly, the lead lawyer from Ribbeck Law, said the firm which specialises in aviation law had been approached by family members from China and Indonesia.

Of the 239 people on board MH370, there were 153 China nationals and seven Indonesians.

Ms Kelly said they had spoken to family members in many countries and expected about half of those affected to take part in the suit.

She said the fact that neither the wreckage of MH370 nor the bodies of the pasengers have been found would not affect the case, as they would be inspecting the rest of the MAS fleet for similar design flaws.

“We’ve had successful cases where the plane, the victims or even the blackbox were not found,” said Ms Kelly, during a briefing with the press in Kuala Lumpur.

“We have done many cases where wreckage was completely destroyed, or no bodies found, or wreckage found but no black boxes working. We are not relying on these things to start the legal process,” said Kelly, during a briefing to the press here.

She said such suits can take anywhere between four months to five years, but expects this case to take between one-and-a-half to two years.

The firm would focus its suit against Boeing, as they believe it was a case of equipment malfunction but could expand the defendants to include other component manufacturers or even those who trained the crew.

A Malaysia Airlines spokesman said the airline is aware of the lawsuit.

“Our lawyers have been advised of this development.

” At this point in time, our top priority remains to provide any and all assistance to the families of the passengers and crew.

“Other matters will be dealt with appropriately,” the spokesman said in a statement.

Mr Manuel Von Ribbeck of Ribbeck Law said they are 100 per cent confident of winning the suit, as according to the law, passengers are never at fault.

Mr Ribbeck said the coverage for compensation is about RM4.95 billion, and the firm would demand the full amount be paid.

For the purpose of the lawsuit, the firm assumes that the passengers are dead, based on Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s announcement.

“We hope that miracles can happen, but based on the data we’ve seen so far, it does not look good for the flight and her passengers,” said Mr Ribbeck.

Boeing, the manufacturers of the 777-200 aircraft, has been on the receiving end of a number of lawsuits in the past.

The most recent lawsuit was in January this year by a group of passengers, represented by Mr Ribbeck Law, who were aboard an Asiana Airlines flight that crash-landed in San Francisco on July 6 last year.

Three people were killed and more than 180 others hurt.

 

France’s Satellite imagery shows 122 ‘potential objects’
This handout picture received from the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency (MRSA) on March 27, 2014 shows imagery taken on March 23 by a French satellite showing more than 100 floating objects (within higlighted boxes) in the remote southern Indian Ocean.

This handout picture received from the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency (MRSA) on March 27, 2014 shows imagery taken on March 23 by a French satellite showing more than 100 floating objects (within higlighted boxes) in the remote southern Indian Ocean.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency (MRSA) has identified 122 “potential objects” that could be linked to the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in an area of the southern Indian Ocean, about 2,557km from Perth.

The MRSA had analysed satellite images provided by France’s Airbus Defence and Space.

Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the new development supported “the most credible lead” for focusing the search in the southern Indian Ocean, alluding to the analysis of British investigators that pointed to the area.

The objects were in an area of about 400sq km, he told the daily press conference at the Putra World Trade Centre here yesterday.

“Some objects are a metre in length, others as much as 23m long. Some of the objects appeared to be bright, indicating they are possibly solid,” he said.

Hishammuddin, who is also Defence Minister, added that the MRSA findings were immediately forwarded to the Australian Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Perth.

“It must be emphasised that we cannot tell whether the potential objects are from MH370.

“Nevertheless, this is another new lead that will help direct the search operation,” he said.

Hishammuddin said the search operation now had four separate satellite leads, from Australia, China and France, showing possible debris.

What had to be done now was to determine whether it was really debris and linked to MH370, he added.

Hishammuddin said Australia was leading the search effort in the southern Indian Ocean while Malaysia continued its coordinating role.

“Australia has divided the search area into two sectors: East and West.

“With the improved weather, 12 planes were deployed to the search area – six in the East sector and six in the West,” he said.

In the East sector, the search would be conducted by one Australian P3 Orion, and three Australian civilian aircraft, one Chinese Ilyushin IL-76 and one New Zealand P3 Orion.

Involved in the West sector were a US P8 Poseidon, two Australian P3 Orions and one each from South Korea and Japan as well as a civilian aircraft.

Hishammuddin also said an international working group was helping refine Inmarsat data to further narrow the search area.

The working group – consisting of Inmarsat, the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch, Civil Aviation Administration of China, the US National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration, Boeing and Rolls Royce as well as the relevant Malaysian authorities – will attempt to determine more accurately the final position of MH370. – The Star/ANN

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China search plane spots “large objects” related to missing Flight MH370


MH370-China Satellite

<< Video

China search plane spots “large objects”

 

A Chinese search plane reports it has discovered floating debris that could be related to the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean.

The crew says it spotted two “relatively large” objects and several smaller ones spread over several kilometers. China has diverted its icebreaker ship, Xuelong, toward the location where the debris was spotted. It’s expected to arrive on early Tuesday.

China has also asked Australia to send its aircraft to the area. Ten planes are combing the southern Indian Ocean.

Australia said the search area was widened from 59,000 to 68,000 square kilometers.

The expansion came after French satellite revealed “floating debris” in an area north of pictures previously captured by Australian and Chinese satellites. It’s the third set of satellite images in a week.

The Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss says the new lead is promising. He cautions that the search in the icy southern Indian Ocean remains difficult, as rain was expected today.

“We still don’t even know for certain that the aircraft is even in this area. We’re just, I guess, clutching at whatever little piece of information comes along to try and find a place where we might be able to concentrate the efforts,” Truss said.

Malaysian authorities have said the black box is expected to run out of power in two weeks, and won’t be able to send any signal thereafter.

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Western hegemony & violence: ousting democratically-elected leaders in Ukraine and elsewhere!


Ukraine_chandramuzaffarCity on fire: Anti-government protesters clashing with police in the centre of Kiev in Ukraine. — AFP

The ousters of democratically-elected leaders have often been carried out directly or indirectly by champions of democracy themselves.

IF Ukraine is on the brink of a catastrophe, it is mainly because the present regime in Kiev and its supporters, backed by certain Wes­tern powers, violated a fundamental principle of democratic governance. They ousted a democratically-elected president through illegal means.

President Viktor Yanukovich, who had come to power through a free and fair election in 2010, should have been removed through the ballot box.

His opponents not only betrayed a democratic principle. They subverted a “Peace Deal” signed between them and Yanukovich on Feb 21 in which the latter had agreed to form a national unity government within 10 days that would include opposition representatives; reinstate the 2004 Constitution; relinquish control over Ukraine’s security services; and hold presidential and parliamentary elections by December.

According to the deal, endorsed by Germany, France and Poland, Yanu­kovich would remain president until the elections.

His co-signatories had no intention of honouring the agreement.

Without following procedures, the parliament – with the backing of the military – voted immediately to remove Yanukovich and impeach him. The parliamentary speaker was elected interim president and after a few days a new regime was in­­stalled.

One of the first acts of parliament was to proclaim that Ukrainian is the sole official language of the country, thus downgrading the Russian language, the mother tongue of one-fifth of the population.

Anti-Russian rhetoric which had become more strident than ever in the course of the protest against the Yanukovich government has reached a crescendo in the wake of the overthrow of the government.

The protest gives us an idea of some of the underlying issues that have brought Ukraine to the precipice.

There was undoubtedly a great deal of anger in the western part of the country, including Kiev, over the decision of the Russian-backed Yanu­kovich to reject closer economic ties with the European Union (EU) in favour of financial assistance from Moscow.

It explains to some extent the massive demonstrations of the last few months. Police brutality, corruption within the government and cronyism associated with Yanu­kovich had further incensed the people.

But these legitimate concerns tell only one side of the story. The protest movement had also brought to the fore neo-Nazis and fascists sworn to violence. Armed and organised groups such as the Svoboda and the Right Sector provide muscle power to the protest.

They are known to have targeted Jewish synagogues and Eastern Orthodox Christian churches.

It is the militias associated with these groups that are in control of street politics in Kiev.

Elites in Germany, France, Britain, the United States and within the Nato establishment as a whole are very much aware of the role of neo-Nazi and fascist elements in the protest and in the current Kiev regime.

Indeed, certain American and European leaders had instigated the demonstrators and were directly involved in the machinations to bring down Yanukovich.

US Assistant Secretary of State for Europe Victoria Nuland had in her infamous telephone conversation with the US Ambassador to Ukraine admitted that her country had spent US$5bil (approximately RM16bil) promoting anti-Russian groups in Ukraine.

For the United States and the Euro­pean Union, control over Ukraine serves at least two goals.

It expands their military reach through Nato right up to the doorstep of Russia, challenging the latter’s time-honoured relationship with its strategic neighbour. It brings Ukraine within the EU’s economic sphere.

Even as it is, almost half of Ukraine’s US$35bil (RM115bil) debt is owed to Western banks, which would want the country to adopt austerity measures to remunerate them.

It is largely because of these geopolitical and geo-economic challenges that Russian President Vladi­mir Putin is flexing his military muscles in Crimea, in the eastern Ukraine region, which not only has a preponderantly Russian-speaking population but is also home to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. Besides, Ukraine is the cradle of Russian civilisation.

This is why Putin will go all out to protect Russian interests in Ukraine, but at the same time, there is every reason to believe that he will avoid a military confrontation and try to work out a political solution based upon the Peace Deal.

The catastrophe in Ukraine reveals five dimensions in the politics of the ouster of democratically-elected governments:

  •  The determined drive to overthrow the government by dissidents and opponents, which is often un­­compromising;
  •  The exploitation of genuine people-related issues and grievances;
  •  The mobilisation of a significant segment of the populace behind these mass concerns;
  •  The resort to violence through militant groups often with a pronounced right-wing orientation; and
  •  The forging of strong linkages between domestic anti-government forces and Western governments and other Western actors, including banks and non-governmental organisations, whose collective aim is to perpetuate Western control and dominance or Western hegemony.

Some of these dimensions are also present in Venezuela where there is another concerted attempt to oust a democratically-elected government.

Some genuine economic grievances related to the rising cost of living and unemployment are being manipulated and distorted to give the erroneous impression that the Maduro government does not care for the people.

President Nicolas Maduro, it is alleged, is suppressing dissent with brutal force.

The truth is that a lot of the violence is emanating from groups linked to disgruntled elites who are opposed to the egalitarian policies pursued by Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chavez.

They are disseminating fake pictures through social media as part of their false propaganda about the Venezuelan government’s violence against the people – pictures which have now been exposed for what they are by media analysts.

Support for this propaganda and for the street protests in Venezuela comes from US foundations such as the National Endowment for Demo­cracy (NED). It has been estimated that in 2012 alone, the NED gave more than US$1.3mil (RM4mil) to organisations and projects in Vene­zuela ostensibly to promote “human rights,” “democratic ideas” and “accountability.”

The majority of Venezuelans have no doubt at all that this funding is to undermine a government which is not only determined to defend the nation’s independence in the face of Washington’s dominance but is also pioneering a movement to strengthen regional cooperation in Latin Ame­rica and the Caribbean as a bulwark against the US’ hegemonic agenda.

It is because other countries in the region such as Bolivia, Brazil, Argen­tina, Nicaragua, Uruguay, and Paraguay know what the US elite is trying to do in Venezuela that they have described “the recent violent acts” in the country “ as attempts to destabilise the democratic order.”

A third country where a democratically-elected leader is under tremendous pressure from street demonstrators at this juncture is Thailand.

Though some of the issues articulated by the demonstrators are legitimate, the fact remains that they do not represent majority sentiment which is still in favour of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her exiled brother, former Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra.

As in Ukraine and Venezuela, violence – albeit on a much lower scale – has seeped into the struggle for power between the incumbent and the protesters. However, foreign involvement is not that obvious to most of us.

Both Yingluck and the protest movement are regarded as pro-Western. Nonetheless, there are groups in Washington and London who perceive the current government in Bangkok as more inclined towards China compared to the opposition Democratic Party or the protesters.

Is this one of the reasons why a section of the mainstream Western media appears to be supportive of the demonstrations?

There are a number of other instances of democratically-elected leaders being overthrown by illegal means.

The most recent – in July 2013 – was the unjust ouster of President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt. In 1973, President Salvador Al­­lende of Chile was killed in a coup engineered by the CIA.

Another democratically-elec­ted leader who was manoeuvred out of office and jailed as a result of a Bri­­tish-US plot was Mohammed Mosad­degh of Iran in 1953.

It is only too apparent that in most cases the ouster of democratically-elected leaders have been carried out directly or indirectly by the self-proclaimed champions of democracy themselves! It reveals how hypocritical they are.

What really matters to the elites in the United States, Britain and other Western countries is not de­­mocracy but the perpetuation of their hegemonic power. Hegemony, not democracy, has always been their object of worship.

By Chandra Muzaffar – The Star/Asia News Network
> Dr Chandra Muzaffar is president of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST). The views expressed are entirely the writer’s own.
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Terrorists Attack Kunming Train Station, China’s 9/11 !


Horror: Photos shared on the Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo showed bodies strewn across the floor

Nothing justifies civilian slaughter in China’s ’9-11′

China was outraged and the world shocked after separatists from Xinjiang knifed down innocent civilians at a crowded train terminal in Kunming Saturday night.

It was a typical terrorist attack and also a severe crime against the humanity.

It was China’s “9-11.”

Any explanation for the attack, like those in previous cases elsewhere in China, would be feeble at the bloody scene, where mothers, sons and daughters were slaughtered by strangers. Nothing justifies such a carnage against innocent civilians.

This was a random attack, with the sole purpose of causing the greatest casualties and impact within the shortest period of time.

It seems that the terrorists have had their way. Their killing spree has left 29 dead and over 130 injured, shrouding the southwestern city and the whole nation in terror.

This is not the first time that terrorists from Xinjiang launched deadly attacks over the past months, years and decades. In October 2013, Xinjiang separatists on a vehicle slammed into the Tian’anmen Square in Beijing, killing five and injuring 40.

The latest attacks in Beijing and Kunming have clearly indicated a despicable trend that separatists are targeting civilians out of Xinjiang.

It also showed a shift in their attack strategies from targeting symbols of the government, such as public security stations and police vehicles, to roadside civilians.

If the proliferation of their terrorist attack is not reined in, more innocent people will fall victim.

The latest attack showed that China’s recent decision to set up a state security committee, headed by President Xi Jinping, to improve systems and strategies to ensure national security is very timely and necessary.

A nationwide outrage has been stirred. Justice needs to be done and terrorists should be punished with iron fists.

Countries and institutions such as the UN and France have condemned the attack. More voices of condemnation are expected.

Anyone attempting to harbor and provide sympathies for the terrorists, calling them the repressed or the weak, is encouraging such attacks and helping committing a crime.
-  Xinhua

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