MH370 families file biggest lawsuit in Malaysia


 

KUALA LUMPUR: Seventy-six next of kin of the passengers on board  Flight MH370 have launched the biggest suit in the courts here against Malaysian Airline System Bhd and four others over the plane’s disappearance.

With the deadlines to do so up by today, the group  made up of 66 Chinese nationals, eight Indians and two Americans  filed the suit last Thursday, naming MAS, Malaysia Airline Bhd (MAB), Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) director-general, Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) and the Government as defendants.

They are claiming for negligence, breach of contract, breach of statutory duty and breach of Montreal Convention against MAS

Lawyer N.Ganesan representing Indian, Chinese and American families said this is the biggest lawsuit against MAS in Malaysia as it involves a large number of families as plaintiffs.

In the statement of claim filed last Thursday, the families alleged that the plane’s disappearance on 8 March 2014 was caused by MAS’ negligence and the national carrier had breached the Montreal Convention by causing the injuries and death of all 239 passengers and crew..

Besides MAS, the families also named the director-general of the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), and the government.

They claimed that DCA, RMAF and the government had conspired with MAS in conducting the investigation in a “grossly negligent manner” to delay the search, causing the death of all the passengers and crew.

They also contended the government and MAS had acted fraudulently and in a dishonest manner by hiding information about MH370’s disappearance from the public, and the families of passengers and crew.

The 76 next of kin are seeking damages and losses they suffered after their loved ones went missing.

“The families opted to file the lawsuit here because they have confidence in our court,” said Ganesan when met at the High Court here.

He also pleaded with the government not to move to strike out the lawsuit.

“This lawsuit deserves a day in court, and all the families deserve a fair trial,” he said.

When asked if the families were given consent by the MAS administrator under the MAS Act to initiate the lawsuit, the lawyer said they were denied consent. “They had previously said in the media that they would act in ‘good faith’ to determine fair and equitable compensation.”

“What they said was they were inviting next of kin to initiate lawsuits against them.”

Ganesan disclosed that an American law firm, Hod Hurst Orseck, will be joining the families’ legal team.

“They are the experts in civil aviation. We will be having the firm’s partners, Steven Marks and Roy Altman with me and lawyer Tommy Thomas.”

“When necessary, we will be filing for leave to the court for them to be conducting the trial,” he said.

Last week, 12 families of passengers from Malaysia, Ukraine, Russia and China sued MAS and the government for damages, shortly before the two years deadline for initiating a civil suit under the Montreal Convention.

Sources: The Star news and Free Malaysia Today

Related posts:

Jul 2, 2014 Malaysia’s flight MH370 mistakes reflect stagnant politics; Bad apples in NZ sex crime.. Malaysia is poised to escape the middle-income trap, …

 

Apr 16, 2014 Flight MH370: Paying The Price Of 6 Decades Of Nepotism, Racism, Rampant … Dr Ling, former Malaysian Transport Minister slams AG .
  

MH370 may rest in Filipino jungle?


MH370 may rest in Filipino jungle: report

The missing MH370 plane may be crashed in a Philippines jungle, according to news.

KUALA LUMPUR: The police have reached out to its Filipino counterparts amidst a report claiming that an aircraft wreckage, with a Malaysian flag inside, was discovered in the jungles of a remote island in the Philippines.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said Sunday that police were seeking the assistance from the Filipino authorities to validate the report, which was lodged by a 46-year-old man on behalf of his relative who allegedly found the wreckage while hunting for birds at Sugbay Island in Tawi Tawi.

In confirming the report, Khalid said: “There was no photograph to support the claim so we are relying on our counterpart to check.”

Khalid added that it would take one or two days before the claim could be verified.

On Saturday, the audiovisual technician reported to Sandakan police that a visiting relative from Sugbay Island had stumbled upon aircraft wreckage there in early September.

In the report the man said the relative and a few others were hunting for birds when they spotted the wreckage on the island.

They managed to get near the wreckage where they found human bones. They also found skeletal remains in the pilot’s chair with the seat belt fastened.

Before leaving the area, they took a flag they found in the wreckage.

The man said he informed police as the wreckage could be that of an airplane that disappeared last year.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman said they were investigating the man’s claims and are still trying to verify their authenticity.

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 disappeared in March last year en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board, most of them China nationals.

The incident triggered one of the largest searches for an aircraft focusing in the Southern Indian Ocean.

Anger and disbelief from MH370 China relatives over debris

Photo Source: AFP, Reuters, Linfo.re/Antenne Reunion

5 of 42

– See more at: http://news.asiaone.com/news/asia/malaysia-checking-report-possible-mh370-wreckage-found-philippines#sthash.dZDAuBFt.EGznjFHf.dpuf

Last month, French authorities confirmed a piece of wing found on the shore of Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean as being from MH370.

The flaperon was found on the shore of the French-governed island on July 29 and Malaysian authorities have said paint colour and maintenance-record matches proved it came from the missing Boeing 777 aircraft.

By BY NADIRAH H. RODZI The Star

Related posts:

Rightways Technologies: Stupid fellow ! Dr Ling, former Malaysian Transport Minister slams A Attorney-General.

22 Jan 2014

Stupid fellow ! Dr Ling, former Malaysian Transport Minister slams Attorney-General. UTAR Council Chairman Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik speaking to the media regarding UTAR Initiatives and Developments at the Sg Long Campus, Kajang on Tuesday. KAJANG: There was nothing wrong in the land purchase for the Port Klang … It’s only the A-G (attorney-general who) thinks it’s a wrong decision. Stupid fellow,” he said at a press conference here yesterday to announce …
06 Aug 2015
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (C) attends a press conference on the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Aug. 6, 2015. Verification had confirmed that the debris discovered on the …
08 Mar 2015
KUALA LUMPUR: It’s been exactly a year since Malaysia Airlines’ Flight MH370 disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, and despite the most extensive search in aviation history, the fate of the Boeing 777 aircraft …
31 Jul 2015
A preliminary assessment by U.S. intelligence agencies, produced in the wake of the MH370 disaster, suggested it was likely someone in the cockpit deliberately caused the aircraft’s movements before the Malaysian airliner …
25 Mar 2014
The prime minister, Najib Razak, said: “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 …

MH370: Aircraft debris found on La Reunion is from missing Malaysia Airlines flight


Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (C) attends a press conference on the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Aug. 6, 2015. Verification had confirmed that the debris discovered on the Reunion Island belongs to the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced here early on Thursday. (Xinhua/Chong Voon Chung)

Video: http://english.cntv.cn/2015/08/06/VIDE1438813440891595.shtml
http://player.cntv.cn/standard/cntvOutSidePlayer.swf

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) — Verification had confirmed that the debris discovered on Reunion Island belongs to missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced early Thursday.

“Today, 515 days since the plane disappeared, it is with a heavy heart that I must tell you that an international team of experts have conclusively confirmed that the aircraft debris found on Reunion Island is indeed from MH370,” the prime minister said.

“We now have physical evidence that, as I announced on 24th March last year, flight MH370 tragically ended in the southern Indian Ocean,” Najib said.

“This is indeed a major breakthrough for us in resolving the disappearance of MH370. We expect and hope that there would be more objects to be found which would be able to help resolve this mystery.”

The airlines will update the families and cooperate with the authorities, he added.

The prime minister said his country remains dedicated to finding out what had happened on board the flight. “I would like to assure all those affected by this tragedy that the government of Malaysia is committed to doing everything within our means to find out the truth of what happened.”

Meanwhile, the Malaysia Airlines said the finding had been confirmed jointly by the French Authorities, the French Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA), the Malaysian investigation team, the technical representatives from China and the Australian Transportation Safety Bureau (ATSB) in Toulouse, France.

The debris was discovered on Reunion Island on July 29 and was officially identified as part of a plane wing known as a flaperon from a Boeing 777.

Prior to the latest discovery, a massive surface and underwater hunt had failed to find the plane in what has become one of the biggest mysteries in the aviation history.

The plane went missing on March 8, 2014 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 on board, most of them Chinese. – Xinhua

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8   


Related: 


Related post:

MH370 Debris found in Reunion may give clues on when plane part broke

Video: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/07/30/world/mh370-debris-investigation/   Saint-Denis, Reunion Island (CNN) Wh…


MH370 Debris found in Reunion may give clues on when plane part broke


The pilots of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 are Forst Officer Gambar Fariq Abdul Hamid, left, and Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah at right.

lkl coren mh370 malaysia airlines ceo yahya_00004318.jpg

malaysia flight 370 all lives lost mg orig_00010727.jpg

mh370 victim families lklv ripley _00005216.jpg

Video: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/07/30/world/mh370-debris-investigation/  

Saint-Denis, Reunion Island (CNN)When investigators get an in-peA policeman and a gendarme stand next to a piece of debris from an unidentified aircraft found in the coastal area of Saint-Andre de la Reunion, in the east of the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion, on July 29, 2015. The two-metre-long debris, which appears to be a piece of a wing, was found by employees of an association cleaning the area and handed over to the air transport brigade of the French gendarmerie (BGTA), who have opened an investigation. An air safety expert did not exclude it could be a part of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which went missing in the Indian Ocean on March 8, 2014. AFP PHOTO / YANNICK PITONYANNICK PITON/AFP/Getty Imagesrson view of a wingcomponent that likely came from a Boeing 777, they’ll be looking for not only a serial number but cluesas to why the part broke off the Boeing 777.

Story highlights

  • Independent group says damage appears to indicate flaperon came off while plane was in air
  • Plane debris will be sent to investigators in France on Friday, official in Paris tells CNN
  • Investigators confident debris found on an Indian Ocean island comes from a 777 aircraft
One group of independent observers said Thursday that the damage to the component — a right wing flaperon — should give authorities a good indication that the piece came off while the plane was still in the air.
The group, led by American Mobile Satellite Corp. co-founder Mike Exner, points to the small amount of damage to the front of the flaperon and the ragged horizontal tear across the back.
The rear damage could have been caused if the airliner had its flaperon down as it went into the ocean, some members of Exner’s group wrote in a preliminary assessment after looking at photos and videos of the component.
But the lack of damage to the front makes it more likely the plane was in a high-speed, steep, spiral descent and the part fluttered until it broke off, the group said.
Boeing and Australian officials are confident the debris — found Wednesday off the coast of a remote island in the west Indian Ocean — came from a Boeing 777 — and might be from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, a 777 that disappeared in March 2014 with 239 people on board.
The plane debris will be transported to France on Friday evening, a spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor’s office said. Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre said the piece will arrive in Paris on Saturday and will be sent to Toulouse, the site of the nearest office of the BEA, the French authority responsible for civil aviation accident investigations.
Exner’s group — an informal cadre of aviation experts — said that if the flaperon were still on the wing when the plane hit water, the front would have been damaged by hitting the part of the wing to which it was attached. And the rear damage looks like it was caused by stress rather than being bent and broken off when the plane hit the water.
But an aircraft component specialist who spoke to CNN disagreed.
The lack of damage to the front section “tells me that the component could still have likely been back in its original position inside the wing itself,” said Michael Kenney, senior vice president of Universal Asset Management, which provides plane components to airlines.

‘Highly confident’ component from Boeing 777

Boeing investigators are confident that debris found on a remote island in the Indian Ocean comes from a 777 aircraft, according to a source close to the investigation.
Martin Dolan, chief commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, agreed.
“We are highly confident but it still needs confirmation that it is a part from a 777 aircraft,” he told CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront.” “The only 777 aircraft that we’re aware of in the Indian Ocean that could have led to this part floating is MH370. But as I said, we still need to confirm that through closer study.”

EXPAND IMAGE
People cleaning a beach found the debris Wednesday on Reunion, a French overseas territory in the western Indian Ocean.
The source said Boeing investigators feel confident the piece comes from a 777 because of photos that have been analyzed and a stenciled number that corresponds to a 777 component. A component number is not the same as a part number, which is generally much longer.
Images of the debris also appear to match schematic drawings for the right wing flaperon from a Boeing 777. A flaperon helps the pilot control the aircraft. It is lightweight and has sealed chambers, making it buoyant.
Despite this confidence, no one is saying the part definitely comes from a 777, much less MH370.
Finding the debris is a “significant development” in the search for MH370, Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said.

More debris

New debris, which washed ashore Thursday and appears to resemble remnants of a suitcase, is also part of the investigation, Reunion Island police officials confirmed to CNN.
The flight vanished March 8, 2014, en route to Beijing. So far, no confirmed trace of it has been found, making it one of history’s biggest aviation mysteries and leaving relatives of passengers and crew members uncertain about the fate of their loved ones.
A preliminary assessment by U.S. intelligence agencies, produced in the wake of the MH370 disaster, suggested it was likely someone in the cockpit deliberately caused the aircraft’s movements before the Malaysian airliner disappeared.
Two U.S. officials briefed on the matter told CNN that the assessment, which was not intended for public release, was prepared months ago and was solely based on available satellite and other evidence.
The U.S. intelligence assessment was largely focused on the multiple course changes the aircraft made after it deviated from its scheduled Kuala Lumpur to Beijing route. Analysts determined that, absent any other evidence, it’s most likely someone in the cockpit deliberately moved the aircraft to specific waypoints, crossing Indonesian territory and eventually toward the south Indian Ocean.
Malaysian investigators haven’t reported finding any evidence that casts suspicion on the pilots.
The airliner’s crew has been the focus of attention since the mysterious disappearance, but no proof has emerged indicating they intended to destroy the plane. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies from numerous countries examined the plane’s manifest of crew and passengers and found no significant information to suggest anyone on board posed an obvious threat.

Missing plate

If it does turn out to be from Flight 370, the development would reassure Australian officials that they are looking for the rest of the plane in the right area, Truss and Dolan said.
Airplane debris found in western Indian Ocean

Airplane debris found in western Indian Ocean 02:27
PLAY VIDEO
“It’s credible that debris from MH370 could have reached the Reunion Islands by now,” Truss said.
Malaysia Airlines is sending a team of investigators to Paris and a second team to Saint-Denis, Reunion, on Friday, an airline official in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, told CNN.
It’s unclear how identification will be made.
Normally identification would be aided by a small serial number plate attached to a flaperon, but the part found on the beach appears to be missing the serial number plate, according to photographs.

Other markings may be found on the part, said Kenney, the executive from Universal Asset Management.

Australia is leading the underwater search for the remains of Flight 370 in the southern Indian Ocean, some 2,300 nautical miles (3,700 kilometers) east of Reunion. But Truss said that French and Malaysian authorities will be responsible for establishing whether the debris found off the island came from the missing jetliner.

Australia has offered its help, he said, including asking marine experts to look at photos of the debris to determine whether barnacles on it are “consistent with something that was floating in the oceans for 16 months or more.”

Video: http://english.cntv.cn/2015/07/31/VIDE1438309202518257.shtml

Related:

Malaysia is poised to escape the middle-income trap, but also ready to fall back into it. Normally the middle-income trap refers to count…

AirAsia Flight QZ8501 exploded in mid-air?


It is unlikely that Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501 exploded in mid-air, air crash experts say, as the first pieces of debris were spotted and some bodies recovered.

http://static.movideo.com/flash/movideo_player.swf

Chances are that the plane hit the Java Sea intact and broke up upon impact before plunging to the ocean floor.

The wreckage of the Airbus 320-200 was found more than 48 hours after the ill-fated flight, which left Surabaya for Singapore on Sunday morning with 162 people on board, went missing.

A search and rescue worker preparing to load body bags onto a flight to Kalimantan in Pangkal Pinang on Indonesia's Bangka island yesterday. As operations move to search and recovery, it would take weeks before the authorities and investigators are able to determine how and why the crash happened. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A search and rescue worker preparing to load body bags onto a flight to Kalimantan in Pangkal Pinang on Indonesia’s Bangka island yesterday. As operations move to search and recovery, it would take weeks before the authorities and investigators are able to determine how and why the crash happened. — PHOTO: REUTERS

Search teams reported seeing some bodies intact.

An air force plane reportedly spotted a shadow of what looked like a plane on the seabed.
AirAsia QZ8501 debris
AirAsia QZ8501 debris

As the operations move from search and locate, to search and recovery, it would take weeks before enough pieces of wreckage and human remains are recovered for the authorities and investigators to determine how and why the crash happened.

Critical to this is finding the plane’s black boxes which record conversations in the cockpit and preserve data on the position and speed of the aircraft.

But looking at what is known so far, there are several possibilities on what could have happened.

Retired United States airline pilot John Cox, who runs his own consultancy, said: “I am now seeing doors and reports of a large section located on the sea floor which are indicators, but not conclusive evidence, that the plane was in one piece when it hit the ocean.

“If the wingtips, nose and tail are found in the same area, then it will be conclusive that the plane was intact upon impact with the water.”
AirAsia QZ8501 search areas
AirAsia QZ8501 search areas

Mr Jacques Astre, president of industry consultancy International Aviation Safety Solution, said: “The fact that the debris field is relatively small would suggest the aircraft broke up upon impact with the sea and not in flight.”

If some bodies are found intact, it would suggest the same, said Mr H.R. Mohandas, a former pilot and now programme head for the diploma in aviation management at Republic Polytechnic.

Mr Astre added: “The close proximity of the debris field to its last known location also suggests the aircraft descended fairly quickly.”

The area is about 10km from the aircraft’s last known location over the Java Sea.

The first sign of trouble came about 45 minutes after the plane left Surabaya at 5.30am – an hour behind Singapore time – for the two-hour sector. At 6.12am, the cockpit requested permission from the Jakarta air traffic control to turn left to avoid a storm, which is common procedure when pilots encounter rough weather.

The pilot then asked to take the plane higher to 38,000 feet from its position at 32,000 feet, without explaining why.

The air traffic control decided to allow the plane to increase its height but only to 34,000 feet, because at that time another AirAsia flight was flying at 38,000 feet.

But when this was communicated to the pilot of QZ8501, there was no response from the cockpit.


Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) servicemen onboard a C-130 aircraft take part in the search and locate (SAL) operation for missing AirAsia flight QZ8501 over the Java sea on December 30, 2014.–PHOTO: AFP

Data from Indonesia’s meteorological agency showed slight rain in the Belitung and Pontianak areas when the plane was estimated to be flying through the vicinity, with thick cumulonimbus clouds as high as 45,000 feet.

Such clouds can produce lightning and other dangerous weather conditions, such as gusts, hail and occasional tornadoes.

Mr Mark D. Martin, founder and chief executive officer of Martin Consulting, said: “In the unfortunate event of entering a cumulonimbus cloud at flight levels between 31,000 feet and 38,000 feet, it is common to see heavy updrafts and downdrafts, icing on control surfaces which can freeze corrective pilot actions, aggressive aircraft manoeuvres and the aircraft dramatically lose altitude in excess of 5,000 feet per minute.”

A similar incident had occurred in June 2009 when Air France Flight AF447 plunged into the Atlantic Ocean, leaving no survivors, during a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris.

Official investigations concluded that the aircraft crashed after pilots failed to react correctly to temporary inconsistencies between air speed measurements.

This was likely due to ice crystals blocking the plane’s pitot tubes, which measure air speed.

Mr Mohandas said: “It is possible that something similar happened to Flight QZ8501. In their attempt to avoid extreme weather conditions, the pilots could have taken some actions, including possibly initiating a climb which requires more power.

“This coupled with adverse weather conditions, including turbulence, and possibly the formation of ice on the surface of the aircraft at high altitude, could have disengaged the plane’s auto-pilot systems.”

He said: “With little or no visibility and without auto pilot, you don’t know what’s in front of you and the crew could have become disorientated. Under such circumstances, the plane could have gone into an uncontrolled descent.”

With the wreckage found, experts can start piecing together the final moments of Flight QZ8501. To the relatives of those who perished, this may bring a sense of closure but, perhaps, no relief from the pain.

karam@sph.com.sg Straits Times/ANN

Related post:

AirAsia flight QZ8501 lost contact with air traffic control at 7.24am yesterday. There were 162 people on board – 155 passengers, and 7 c…

AirAsia flight QZ8501 disappearance caps horrendous 2014 for Malaysia-affiliated airline!


AirAsia flight QZ8501 lost contact with air traffic control at 7.24am yesterday. There were 162 people on board – 155 passengers, and 7 crew members. The plane was last seen between the Indonesian island of Belitung, and Pontianak in Borneo. There was bad weather over Belitung at the time.

Key points:

– An AirAsia flight QZ8501 from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore lost contact with air traffic control on Sunday at around 6:17 am local time.

– AirAsia has established an emergency call center. The number is +622129850801.

– Plane requested to deviation due to bad weather before contact was lost

– Plane is carrying 162 people – 155 Indonesian, three South Koreans, one French, one Malaysian, one Briton and one Singaporean.

Briton Choi Chi Man and his two-year-old daughter feared missing on the Air Asia plane was only on board because there was no room on an earlier flight, friends said. His wife and son flew on earlier flight.

Mr Choi, who is originally from Hull, Yorkshire, lives in Singapore but works in Indonesia where he is a unit managing director for electronic manufacturing firm Alstom Power.

An engineering graduate of Essex University, his parents still live in Hull, after emigrating from Hong Kong, and he is understood to have a brother and sister in the UK. – the Daily Telegraph

AirAsia,has been operating in Indonesia for 10 years, is 49% owned by Malaysia-listed AirAsia Bhd. The remaining stake is held by an Indonesia company that has 3 individuals as shareholders: Pin Harris with 20%, Senjaya Wijaya with 21% and a privately held entity PT Fersindo Nusaperkasa with 10%

The private company is believed to be linked to Riza Chalid, a tycoon said to have close links to Probowo Subbianto, who put up a strong challenge against Joko Widodo for the presidency post recently.

The incident caps a disastrous year for Malaysia-affiliated airlines.

Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 went missing on March 8 on a trip from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board and has not been found.

On July 17, the same airline’s Flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.

Experts compare disappearance to vanished Malaysia Airlines flight MH370

Google
The last communication between QZ8501's pilot and air traffic control was when he requested to increase his altitude to 34,000 feet due to bad weather

Weather: The last communication between QZ8501’s pilot and
air traffic control was when he requested to increase altitude due to
bad weather

 

View image on Twitter

@WilliamsJon

Hours after the disappearance of QZ8501 aviation experts have begun comparing the incident with still-missing Malaysian Airlines MH370.

Like MH370, the AirAsia flight disappeared from radars and made no further communication with Air Traffic Control – not even an emergency “squawk”.  Yesterday aviation expert Peter Stuart Smith said it was strange that QZ8501 had made no further contact was made with Air traffic control.

“Even if we assume that the aircraft did encounter such incredibly adverse weather conditions that it broke up in midair or the conditions led to the pilots losing control, there are still a number of questions that need answering,” said Mr Smith.

“Obviously the first priority for the pilots is to fly the aircraft but relaying a message to Air Traffic Control (ATC) about what’s happening only involves depressing a single button on the control column and simply speaking.

“It would also only take a few seconds to squawk 7700 (emergency) on the SSR box which would alert ATC to there being a problem -although not what the problem was.”

Passenger who boarded Flight QZ8501 joked ‘goodbye forever’ to pal hours before plane vanished

A passenger who boarded missing Flight QZ8501 joked “goodbye forever” to a pal hours before the plane vanished en route from Indonesia to Singapore.

The distraught friend, a man in his 20s, told Indonesia’s TV One on Sunday: “This morning, before I went to pray, one of them called me and jokingly said: ‘See you in the new year and goodbye forever’.

“That’s all and then the bad news came.”

The man said he had planned to go on the trip but cancelled it two weeks ago because he was busy.

“I have two friends who were with five family members,” he said tearfully.

“Yes, I planned to spend (New Year’s Day) in Singapore actually.

“I hope for a miracle and may God save them all.

“I should have gone with them but I cancelled it two weeks ago as I had something to do.”

 

Full coverage:

AirAsia’s Flight QZ8501 Lost Contact

AirAsia plane with 162 people on board missing

VIDEO

http://player.cntv.cn/standard/cntvOutSidePlayer.swf

 

Related posts: Malaysia’s flight MH370 mistakes reflect stagnant politics …

Today our Malaysian National Day in pensive mood: Hate politics taking its toll!


Malaysia Flag_57

Malaysian raise the Jalur Gemilang during the Amanat Merdeka deliver by Datuk Seri Najib Razak at MATIC..– M. Azhar Arif/The Star

TODAY is our National Day but the mood in the country is pensive. This has been a year when the mood has been severely dampened by those who spew divisive remarks on a continuous basis.

TODAY is our National Day. I wish I could say that I woke up early to wave the Jalur Gemilang. And that my heart is bursting with pride because it is all pumped up with extra doses of patriotic fervour.

I do recall a time not too long ago when everyone was indeed eager to wave the flag. We even had little flags on our cars and there was a genuine spirit of patriotism. We needed no reminders that we are one as a nation.

Sad to say, the mood in my neighbourhood, and in the country overall, is pensive.

Please do not get me wrong. I am a patriot. And most of us, as citizens of this blessed land, do know what allegiance to the nation means. We not only love our nation but have full respect for the institutions that bind us together.

But on a day-to-day basis, this has been a year when the mood has been severely dampened by those who spew divisive remarks on a continuous basis.

From politicians who seek the limelight for all the wrong reasons to self-appointed champions of race and religion, these people have created an environment to embolden even the lesser-known individuals and instant NGOs to amplify their extremist views.

I dare say that I am more loyal than these people. Many of us wonder why they continue to find space in the media to arti­culate their outrageous views. The publicity given them by some media outlets is akin to providing oxygen to these dangerous elements.

A vibrant democracy should provide space for the healthy discourse of differing views and perspectives. We can certainly benefit by disagreeing without being disagreeable.

But hate politics does not deserve space.

I would like to put on record that like the majority of Malaysians, I am proud that we have come so far as a nation. In just over five decades, we have surely come a long way.

There were many naysayers when we achieved independence who did not give us much of a chance of making it. They predicted that the natives, as we were called, would end up fighting each other and the whole country would end up in chaos.

Well, they thought we would be like one of those countries in Central Africa which are forever locked in a civil war involving one ethnic group or another.

Malaysia has proven them wrong. Not only did we survive but we have progressed well and we remained intact too.

So what is it that disturbs me greatly this Merdeka?

Perhaps it is the sadness over the loss of the two Malaysia Airlines planes within the same year. The meaningless loss of innocent lives on board MH17 is so hard to bear even as we despair over the fate of MH370 where the plane has yet to be found.

It has been a horrible year indeed.

But it is also the never-ending, disturbing and offensive statements from extreme personalities. Many of us wonder why these people can get away with what they say. Shouldn’t they be charged with sedition or do they have powerful backers, as some have questioned?

Sadly, it is not just these politico-types but also ordinary Malaysians who post outrageous remarks on social media. They involve normal people, some of whom I thought I know well enough. But their inability to exercise some form of self-restraint and not add fuel to the fire is highly ­worrying.

No one is spared now. Thanks to social media, these people seem to believe that they can post and put up whatever comments they want without a second thought. They do not care if their sweeping comments affect the feelings of fellow Malaysians.

Everything seems to be fair game. While politicians are expected to take even the harshest criticisms in stride, there has always been an understanding that we do not undermine the various institutions that not only make Malaysia unique but also hold us together as a people.

Even the royalty has been targeted, and many of the remarks made are not only improper but outrightly seditious. It does not help that some politicians are leading by example. If they are in Thailand, they would be in jail now.

I am sure our founding fathers, if they were alive now, would have been shocked, if not saddened, by what they see of us today.

Yes, in terms of physical development and our standard of living, we have been a shining example. We have a huge middle class, unlike other neighbouring countries where the gap between the rich and poor is wide.

This is a country where people have no worries over the next meal although many are unfit because they eat too much. We spend huge sums of money to reduce weight and even bigger amounts to slim down.

We have also become a country of whiners. We complain over our high electricity bills but we want to sleep with the air-conditioners on, while wrapped up in our blankets. Of course, it is much easier to blame the government for increasing our electricity bills.

We should be glad that we have taken away preventive laws such as the Internal Security Act and the famous detention camp in Kamunting has closed down.

But, to some people, this seems to have opened the floodgates for unrestrained remarks, often laced with extreme racial elements, to flourish.

Many of us seem unable to articulate a point or a thought over an issue without dragging the racial element in.

Many of us also cannot draw the distinction between criticism and insult.

Some have become arrogant in their line of comment while some have become so thin-skinned and sensitive that they take offence easily, sometimes blowing up over a minor issue.

I grew up in Penang where places of worship were built next to each other. This is similar in many parts of the country too. We take pride in it. Now we have bureaucrats and politicians who tell us it’s not possible because it is sensitive.

Sensitive to who? The racially twisted bureaucrats and politicians themselves, perhaps? Real people have no issue with one another.

This is a multi-racial country even though the demographic landscape has changed drastically. A plural society is an asset, not a political liability. But we seem to have reached a point where many of us are frightened, not just shy, of upholding such values lest we be seen as going against our own community and religion.

Like it or not, there are certain realities that we, as Malaysians, must accept so we can be realistic in our expectations.

For a start, the Malays are the majority and they are Muslims. We must acknow­ledge and respect their deep reverence towards Islam, the race and the royalty.

But the Chinese and Indians are here to stay, so please stop these nonsensical pendatang remarks. Together with the many other races, and especially the original inhabitants of this land, we are all Malaysians.

We need to focus on real issues within our country, which include education, health, crime and a healthy business environment. Our priority must also be to ponder seriously on how to handle race relations, religious freedom and the sentiments of the people in Sabah and Sarawak who are an integral part of Malaysia.

We need to get our act right so we can compete efficiently as a member of the global community.

We should spend more time thinking, listening and reflecting instead of making silly remarks. We can help chart a better future for Malaysia. Then we will not only fly the flag on Merdeka Day but our heart will always beat as a Malaysian too, all the time.

By Wong Chun Wai On the beat –  The Star/Asia News Network > The views expressed are entirely the writer’s own..

Wong Chun Wai began his career as a journalist in Penang, and has served The Star for over 27 years in various capacities and roles. He is now the group’s managing director/chief executive officer and formerly the group chief editor.

On The Beat made its debut on Feb 23 1997 and Chun Wai has penned the column weekly without a break, except for the occasional press holiday when the paper was not published. In May 2011, a compilation of selected articles of On The Beat was published as a book and launched in conjunction with his 50th birthday. Chun Wai also comments on current issues in The Star.

Related posts:.

I always get excited when I meet fellow Malaysians, whether at work or during social functions. – Lee Yee Thian Our sense of belonging …
Malaysia Airlines to cut 6,000 staff, new company to be formed
 
Malaysia is poised to escape the middle-income trap, but also ready to fall back into it. Normally the middle-income trap refers to count…
%d bloggers like this: