By Lim Kit Siang, MP for Gelang Patah
This is the sixth day of the disappearance of MH 370 with 239 passengers and crew, and what has made the past five days so excruciating and tormenting to the families, relatives and friends of the 239 people on board and well-wishers regardless of race, religion, political affiliation or nationality in Malaysia and world-wide is that nothing has been found despite a massive multi-national SAR operation involving 35 aircraft and 42 vessels to give any clue as to what actually happened or to indicate the final location of the aircraft.
With each passing day, our hopes and prayers that the 239 passengers and crew of MH 370 can survive safely through their ordeal become more and more tenuous, but even so, we must not give up hope and must continue to pray for a miracle for MH 370.
All Malaysians, in fact all humanity, regardless of race, religion, politics or nationality, have come together as one to pray for the safety of the 239 passengers and crew on board MH 370.
We cannot pretend that many questions are not being asked, whether by the aggrieved families, relatives and friends or by the humanity at large, whether in Malaysia or internationally, and which increase with each passing day, about the MH 370 tragedy, but the answers to these questions will have to wait as the sole focus and priority must be to find the aircraft.
Malaysians and the world, however, must be assured that at the right time and place, answers to all the questions that are being asked in the country and worldwide will be found.
The Malaysian Parliament which represents all Malaysians must play its role in this MH 370 tragedy, not only giving full support to all the efforts in the “search and rescue” efforts by the government and the various agencies but also subsequently to conduct full investigations into the MH 370 tragedy and its various controversies and confusions, including:
- Why the Prime Minister and the Acting Transport Minister had not been informed immediately when MH 370 with 239 people on board went missing as they only knew about it several crucial hours later
- Whether a Search and Rescue Operation (SAR) mission was initiated immediately at least within an hour of the “missing” aircraft as delays will result in SAR aircraft equipped with systems like forward-looking infrared being unable to detect the “heat signature” from the engine fuselage and bodies;
- When contact with the aircraft was lost, whether 1.30 am Malaysian time, about an hour after take-off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport or 2.40 am;
- The confusion over “stolen passports”, whether two or four, whether with “Asian features”, “blacks” or “Iranians”;
- The confusion over “checked baggages”, with contradictory and confusing statements by the Director of Civil Aviation, the Inspector-General of Police and the Malaysian Airlines;
- Whether the plane veered off course, resulting in the expansion of the search area from South China Sea to the Straits of Malacca and Andaman Sea?
For this reason, I call for the immediate formation of a Parliamentary Select Committee on Disasters to give full support to MH 370 “search and rescue” operation and to hold itself in readiness to conduct investigations after SAR ops to address all queries on the MH 370 tragedy.
I hope the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein can give their full support to this proposal.
*This is an excerpt of the speech by DAP Parliamentary Leader and MP for Gelang Patah Lim Kit Siang on 13th March 2014 in Parliament