Disagreeing with Anwar, Pakatan reps say Malaysian apology for MH370 unnecessary


(MM) – Several Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers have disagreed with their de facto chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s suggestion that Malaysia apologise for the MH370 crisis, saying the country should first focus on solving the mystery that has continued to baffle experts the world over.

The lawmakers said an apology is unnecessary at this point, as more importantly, Malaysia must prove its worth by covering all bases in the ongoing investigation and making sure that information is made readily available to the public.

The country needs to display a humble front, they said, especially to the grieving families of those aboard the ill-fated jetliner.

“We must be seen we are prepared to find answers to so many questions, confusion, conspiracy and theories.

“We have to be prepared to have a full and in-depth investigation,” DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang told The Malay Mail Online.

“We can think about apologising later, I don’t think it’s the most important thing now,” he added.

Last week, Anwar mooted the idea of an apology to China, saying this would have been his move if he had been handling the MH370 crisis.

Speaking in London during an interview with Channel 4 News’ Jonathan Rugman, the Opposition Leader asserted that the Malaysian government had “blundered” in the way it conducted search operations for the Malaysia Airlines plane that disappeared on March 8 with 239 people — 153 of whom were Chinese — on board.

“If I have a say, I would say first you need to apologise because some blunders were committed, for example the way we treated some passengers and the fact we knew that the plane turned back but we continued to let the Chinese and the Vietnamese to continue searching in the South China Sea,” Anwar said.

He was answering Rugman’s question about the anger that some Chinese citizens have directed at Malaysia since the plane’s disappearance.

On Saturday, acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein brushed off hints from Anwar of Malaysia’s complicity in the airline disaster and said a simple apology would be insufficient at this point in time.

The senior Umno leader, who has been Malaysia’s man of the hour since the crisis started a month ago, said that instead of an apology, more soul-searching and emotional support was needed.

PKR’s Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad agreed with Lim and said an apology was not the key issue today in the ongoing hunt for MH370.

He said the government should be proactive and set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the incident as without the aircraft’s black boxes, no conclusive statements can be made on the tragedy.

“I don’t think apology is an issue. I think a royal commission should get to the bottom of it, I think those are the things to be dealt with before we take any further steps.

“Unless that happens, then the focus is having a royal commission looking at things that had led to the disappearance and the response to the crisis, those should be the priority,” he said.

Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong said Malaysia should take a “humble stand” but that does not mean it does not apologise, as it is not warranted at this stage.

“The government has to take note of the unhappiness among other countries affected and how we are to remedy their concerns.

“How we react and respond at this time will be closely monitored therefore we have to show maturity, humility and sincerity,” he said

Liew added that the tragedy will likely impact the Malaysia-China 40 years of diplomatic relationship celebrations, as well as the tourism industry, and to a certain extent, the property market.

The massive international hunt for the missing Boeing 777-200ER and the 239 people on board entered its full, one-month mark today. But despite round-the-clock efforts manned by sophisticated land and sea equipment in a hunt that was once joined by a staggering 26 nations, there has been no sign of the missing jetliner.

Over the weekend, some promising leads emerged in the hunt for the wide-body aircraft. A Chinese vessel picked up pulse signals twice during its search in the Indian Ocean — once on Friday and then again on Saturday.

Ships and aircraft were dispatched to investigate the source of the signals, which were recorded at a 37.5 kHz frequency, consistent with that of an aircraft’s black box pinger.

Yesterday, the Australian authorities confirmed that one of its search vessels picked up yet another “ping” from beneath the Indian Ocean floor when search resumed for the missing MH370 jetliner in the morning.

Retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston reportedly said Australia’s Ocean Shield picked up the “acoustic detection” at an area some 300 nautical miles from where a Chinese vessel heard a similar electronic pulse.

But like all other leads so far, the authorities have yet to successfully verify if the either of the signals had come from MH370.