MH370 Press Briefing By Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Defence Minister and Acting Transport Minister, March 16, 2014, 5:30PM MYT +0800

16 03 2014

Press briefing by Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein – News Straits Times

I know many of you have submitted questions, and I will try to answer some of those questions in my statement today.

Every day brings new angles, especially as we are refocusing and expanding the search area – and as always, we have a responsibility to release only information that has been corroborated and verified. We cannot respond to every request immediately, so I ask you to bear with us.

  • Search area

As the Prime Minister said yesterday, the operation has entered a new phase. The search was already a highly complex, multinational effort. It has now become even more difficult.

The search area has been significantly expanded. And the nature of the search has changed. From focusing mainly on shallow seas, we are now looking at large tracts of land, crossing 11 countries, as well as deep and remote oceans.

The number of countries involved in the search and rescue operation has increased from 14 to 25, which brings new challenges of co-ordination and diplomacy to the search effort.

This is a significant recalibration of the search.

The search and rescue operation continues to be a multi-national effort, one led and coordinated by Malaysia.

In the last 24 hours, the Prime Minister has spoken to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, the President of Turkmenistan, the President of Kazakhstan and Prime Minister of India.

Yesterday the Foreign Ministry of Malaysia briefed representatives from countries along the northern and southern corridors.

At 2pm today, the Foreign Ministry of Malaysia briefed representatives from 22 countries, including those along the northern and southern search corridors, as well other countries that may be able to help. These include Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, China, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Australia.

Malaysian officials are requesting support from these countries – as well as others. This support includes general satellite data, radar playback – both primary and secondary – provisions for ground, sea and aerial search, and assets as appropriate.

We are currently discussing with all partners how best to deploy assets along the two search corridors. At this stage, both the northern and southern corridors are being treated with equal importance.

We are asking countries that have satellite assets, including the US, China and France amongst others, to provide further satellite data. And we are contacting additional countries who may be able to contribute specific assets relevant to the search and rescue operation. Surveillance aircraft are required, and maritime vessels are needed, particularly for the southern corridor.

  • Police investigation

As the Prime Minister said yesterday, up until the time the aircraft left military primary radar coverage, its movements were consistent with deliberate action by someone on the plane.

I cannot comment on speculative theories as to what might have caused the deviation from the original flight path, as I do not wish to prejudice the on-going investigation.

I understand the hunger for new details. But we do not want to jump to conclusions. Out of respect to the families, and the process itself, we must wait for the investigation to run its course.

The Malaysian authorities are refocusing their investigation on all crew and passengers on board MH370, as well as all ground staff handling the aircraft.

Yesterday, officers from the Royal Malaysia Police visited the home of the pilot. They spoke to family members of the pilot and experts are examining the pilot’s flight simulator. The police also visited the home of the co-pilot. According to Malaysian Airlines, the pilot and co-pilot did not ask to fly together on MH370.

I would like to stress that Malaysia has been working with international law enforcement agencies since day one.

  • Aircraft maintenance

Malaysia Airlines has confirmed that the aircraft was subjected to the required maintenance program: the Boeing Maintenance Planning Document. Checks are done according to this program. The aircraft had been fully serviced and was fit to fly.

  • New involvement

The Inmarsat team arrived yesterday and will support the investigations team, which includes the Malaysian authorities, and the UK and US teams.

  • Concluding remarks

I would like to conclude by reiterating that the search for MH370 has entered a new phase.

The information released yesterday has provided new leads, and given new direction to the search process.

We will provide more detail on the redeployment of assets when it becomes available. Facts must be corroborated and verified before being released.

When possible, we will keep the media fully briefed, but our priority remains the search and rescue operation. To that end, we have been engaged in diplomatic and investigative efforts over the past 24 hours.





Malaysia Airlines’s 20th Media Statement On MH370 Flight Incident – Sunday, March 16, 5:15 PM MYT +0800

16 03 2014

The current general enquiry number +603 7884 1234 for the MH370 incident will change effective Monday, 17 March 2014 at 12.00 noon.

Moving forward, families of passengers and crew of MH370 may call +603 8777 5770. This is a dedicated number for families only.

For media queries, kindly contact +603 8777 5698/ +603 8787 1276.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the passengers and our colleagues on board MH370 as well as their families and loved ones.

马来西亚航空公司MH370航空事件

媒体声明二十

(2014年3月16日下午5时15分发布)

MH370航空事件目前的公众垂询专线+603 7884 1234将于2014年3月17日,星期一中午12时更改。

MH370航班的乘客与机组人员家属,请拨打专门为家属开放的专线+603 8777 5770。

媒体咨询,请联络+603 8777 5698/ +603 8787 1276。

我们仍然与MH370失联客机的同事及乘客的家属同在,一起为MH370 祈福。





#MH370: Missing Plane Has Not Landed At Diego Garcia

16 03 2014

There were reports that MH370 was re-directed to Diego Garcia following confirmation that the aircraft had made an ‘air turn back’.

However, acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said that the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 did not land on Diego Garcia, British India Ocean Territory as what is claimed.

According to the New Straits Times, the acting Transport Minister said that there was also no ransom sought by any party, to date.

Datuk Seri Hishamuddin, who is also the defense minister said, “No, there has not. And that makes it very difficult for us to verify whether it is hijacked or terrorist (act of terrorism). (We look into) all possibilities. We don’t take (anything) for granted”.








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