Category: Opinion Written by Syarif Hidayat and edited by Ismet Rauf
HOW TO SOLVE MH370 MYSTERY? ANWAR: “GIVE ME A SECOND”, NAJIB: “HE IS ILLOGICAL”
by Syarif Hidayat
After more than one month, the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines' (MAS) Flight MH370 and until today remains the main story in the Malaysian and world newspapers, news portals and television. It has also become a source or some kind of a trigger for hot debates between Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Malaysian opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. They rapped each other.
According to Bernama report, Datuk Seri Najib rapped a statement by an opposition leader who claimed he could solve the mystery of the missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 in one second. He said the disappearance of the flight MH370 had entered its 39th day and needed the support of countries within and outside the region due to the complexity (of the search) and its unprecedented challenges.
"The remark of the opposition leader is illogical and regarded the people of Malaysia as stupid," he said at the monthly meeting of the Finance Ministry here, today. On April 5, a Chinese newspaper published an interview by the Southern Weekly magazine with opposition chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim which quoted him as saying that if he were the Prime Minister, he would take one second to solve the issue of the missing MH370.
The flight MH370 with 239 people took off on March 8 from the KL International Airport at 12.41am and went off the radar screens an hour later while flying over the South China Sea. The aircraft should have landed in Beijing, China at 6.30am on the same day.
The mission to find the aircraft involved numerous countries, initially in the South China Sea and later - after the aircraft was detected diverting from its original route - along two corridors, namely, the northern corridor from the borders of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan until northern Thailand and the southern corridor from Indonesia to the Southern Indian Ocean.
Following an analysis of satellite data of a United Kingdom satellite telecommunication company, Inmarsat and the Air Accident Investigation Branch summarised that flight MH370 flew along the southern corridor and its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth.
On March 24, Najib announced that flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean. The head of the Joint Agency Coordination Centre, Air Chief Marshal (Retired) Angus Houston today said nine military aircraft, two public aircraft and 11 ships helped in the mission to look for MH370. Furthermore, the Australian Maritime Security Authority planned to conduct an air search involving 62,063 square kilometres and the location of the target was 2,170km northwest of Perth.
Anwar raps Najib
Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim criticised the Prime Minister for manipulating his statement of solving the MH370 crisis in a second.
Anwar (pic, right) said Datuk Seri Najib Razak was swift in retorting his statement but did not display such agility in handling the MH370 crisis.
“Najib did not answer the issues which have arisen due to the disappearance of MH370,” Anwar told a press conference today.
“But he appears to be nimble when replying to my claim that the tragedy could be resolved in a second.”
Anwar explained that the remark, which was translated from the Chinese language, was completely different to what had been reported by the media.
“In the original Chinese language text, I said it would take a second to carry out the necessary enforcement to guarantee national security,” he said.
He then denied issuing any statement that he would resolve the MH370 crisis in a second if he was prime minister.
“Najib twisted my statement and lied by misinterpreting my statement,” Anwar said. Ever since Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared on March 8 with 12 crew members and 227 passengers, Najib has not taken any questions from the media. “Instead, Najib preferred to hand over the responsibility to his cousin, acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein,” Anwar said.
Are foreign media abusing freedom?
Norshazlina Nor'azman, Sin Chew in an article titled “MH370: Are foreign media abusing freedom?” published in www.bernama.com write Till today the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines' (MAS) Flight MH370 remains the main story in the newspapers, news portals and television. Both the local and foreign media, provided wide coverage from day one up to the present search in the south of Indian Ocean.
They have been trying their best to outdo one another in reporting on the latest developments on the jetliner carrying 239 passengers and crew that went missing on March 8 while en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur.
Nonetheless, some of the foreign media went overboard by painting a negative picture on Malaysia especially through the lopsided and speculative reports.
Malaysians could only read, listen and watch in anguish many of the news reports especially by the foreign media that was critical of the of the airline, its crew and the country's leaders. As the days passed more stories that were spiteful appeared and one good example would be the US based Fox News Channel's news that linked Capt Zaharie Ahmad Shah and his co-pilot Fariq Ab Hamid with terrorism, sabotage and hijacking.
While search and rescue efforts were still on, CNN's security analyst Peter Bergen prematurely concluded that the plane's disappearance had something to do with terrorism or pilot suicide. Britain's tabloid the Daily Mail even went further in its speculation that Capt Zaharie had sabotaged the plane as he was unhappy with the Appeal Court's decision hours earlier on de facto opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim over a sodomy charge.
The Daily Mail too in another article stated that Capt Zahari went into recluse several weeks before the tragedy, indirectly pointing that he could be behind the plane's disappearance. And there was this news carried by the foreign media that a Chinese national Liu Guiqui, the mother to one of the passengers on the ill-fated flight, was manhandled by police after she gate crashed into the press conference room. The misreporting was so appalling that Liu herself found it fit to rubbish the report in an interview with China Central Television (CCTV).
Soon after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that based on satellite ping analysis flight MH370 had ended in the Indian Ocean, CNN hit out at MAS' for informing the fate of the passengers to the families through SMS. The report drew public wrath on MAS that had made all attempts to communicate directly with the next of kin and made the company appear as if it was totally irresponsible. And the list of wrong reporting or unsubstantiated speculations and claims on MH370 continues.
Abusing media freedom
The media reports were obviously unfair and lacked integrity, and what more when it was the wanton abuse of freedom of the press. A lecturer at the Universiti Teknologi MARA's (UiTM) campus in Shah Alam, Associate Professor Dr Ismail Sualman noted that the foreign media had a tendency to sensationalise the missing flight MH370.
The lecturer with the Communications and Media Studies faculty noted that the foreign media were ready to overstep the journalistic ethics boundary all in the name of so called transparency. He opined that much of dramatic speculation and theories were to get the scoop, to enhance the circulations and ratings without bothering of their implications.
"If this is all about the freedom of the media, that its nonsense! These media are totally irresponsible and unethical as they are ever ready to spin stories knowing well they are not true."There is no point in clamouring for the freedom of the press when they cannot provide fair and true coverage," he said to Bernama.
This should not be happening
Media speculations are harmful not only for the next of kin's emotion but also diverts the attention of the investigators, and search and rescue teams though their stories are just based on assumptions. Ismail noted that the media often gets their facts wrong and were quick to point fingers without checking further.
He also found it shocking that a renowned news network like CNN could get its facts wrong like Kuala Lumpur in Indonesia and that the Malaysian prime minister's name is Najib Rahman. "Mistakes like this coming from the so called credible news network are unbelievable and shocking... they are just no more than spin doctors," he said.
Malaysia doing its best
Whatever said and done by the media, the fact remains that Malaysia has given utmost priority to the welfare and the feelings of the family members of crew and passengers, something that cannot be seen elsewhere in such tragedies.
"This is unlike in the foreign countries, the government only emphasizes on search and rescue mission beforehand, before looking into the family's welfare. "I feel Malaysia is really good in this aspect," he said.
Despite the unwelcome remarks from the foreign media and some next of kin, Malaysia took everything in humility and continued to seek a closure over the MH370 episode.
Actively deflecting criticisms
Meanwhile, he said that the local media has to be proactive in refuting the negative and inaccurate reports issued by the foreign media.The move is highly pertinent in preserving the nation's image, apart from disseminating credible information over the incident. "The local media has to work harder in uniting the Malaysians across the political divide and provide full moral support for the leaders in facing testing times like this," he said. (T/E01/IR)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)
Last Updated on Monday, 21 April 2014 00:30
Category: Middle East Written by Nidiya, Rina and edited by Syarif Hidayat
Gaza, 20 Jumadil Akhir 1435/20 April 2014 (MINA) - Head of Fatah reconciliation delegation Azzam al-Ahmad has revealed that he is going to head a Palestinian Authority (PA) delegation to the Gaza Strip next week to discuss reconciliation with Hamas officials.
Al-Ahmad reaffirmed what PA President has previously described Hamas as "an inseparable part of the Palestinians nation," according to Middle East Monitor (MEMO) report quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA).
In wake of his meeting with the Board of Trustees of Arab and International Relations (BTAIR) on Thursday in Amman, Al-Ahmad denied the intervention of non-Arab mediators in the internal Palestinian division. He hopes that his delegation would help ending it.
Regarding Palestinian-Israeli talks, he said that the PA is waiting until April 29 in order to take the appropriate decisions. He said that Abbas had informed the BTAIR members about the latest on the Palestinian issue, including the Israeli aggressions on Jerusalem and the peace talks.
Furthermore, Al-Ahmad reiterated that the Palestinian side will not compromise Palestinians' rights and principles, as well as the peace process based on international legitimacy and the two-state solution.
Al-Ahmad also reiterated Palestinian refusal to recognise Israel as a Jewish state and insisted on resolving the issue of Palestinian refugees based on UN resolution 194 and the Arab Peace Initiative.
The head of Fatah parliamentary bloc called on the BTAIR to support Palestinian position in international organisations. (T/Nidiya/P03/E01)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)
Last Updated on Sunday, 20 April 2014 22:40
Category: Palestine Written by Widi K. edited by Rina Asrina
Gaza, 20 Jumadil Akhir 1435/20 April 2014 (MINA) – The Head of Hamas political bureau, Khaled Meshaal, said that the Islamic Resistance Movement would do its best in favor of our hero prisoners, Jerusalem, al-Aqsa mosque, the right of return, and the whole Palestinian land.
Meshaal assured that all Palestinian parties should cooperate with Hamas to serve the Palestinian cause. He pointed out reconciliation with Fatah movement, resistance, sticking to Palestinian land, constants, and the right of return are part of our just cause.
He called on ending the Palestinian split, unifying the Palestinian people, and strengthening the internal Palestinian relations, pointing out that the political decision is the responsibility of the whole people. Palestine's Al Ray reported as quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA).
"Occupation will not incapacitate us. As we forced the Israeli settlers to withdraw from the Gaza Strip, we will also force themas well to withdraw from the West Bank, Jerusalem, and the whole Palestine too," Meshaal added.
He said Palestinian youth are in clashes with the Israeli occupation to free Palestine and in favor of Jerusalem, the Palestinian capital, Al-Aqsa, and the Palestinian refugees.
Khaled Mashal, born 28 May 1956 is a Palestinian political leader and the leader of the Hamas political bureau since the Israeli assassination of Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi in 2004.
After the founding of Hamas in 1987, Mashal came to lead the Kuwaiti branch of the organization. He moved from Kuwait to Jordan in 1991. Since the expulsion of the Hamas leadership from Jordan in August 1999, Mashal lived in Qatar before moving to the Syrian capital of Damascus in 2001. He returned to Qatar in 2012 as a result of the Syrian civil war.
In 2010, the British magazine New Statesman listed Khaled Mashal at number 18 in the list of "The World's 50 Most Influential Figures 2010".In February 2012, as the Syrian civil war progressed, Meshal left Syria and returned to Qatar. Soon after, he announced his support for the Syrian opposition. In 2012, he visited Gaza for the first time, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Hamas.
Mashal was involved in negotiating a prisoner exchange deal which released captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israel. Shalit was seized inside Israel near the southern Gaza Strip border by a coalition of Palestinian paramilitary groups, including Hamas, who had crossed the border through an underground tunnel near the Kerem Shalom border crossing. On 10 July 2006, Mashal spoke authoritatively concerning the Israeli prisoner, stating Shalit was a prisoner of war and demanding a prisoner swap (T/P04/P03)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)
Last Updated on Sunday, 20 April 2014 22:22
Category: Palestine Written by Arif Asy'ari and edited by Widi Kusnadi
Betlehem, 20 Jumadil Akhir 1435/20 April 2014 (MINA) – An Israeli media 972mag on Saturday released the new weapon, which is remote-controlled and shoots “skunk” water (putrid-smelling liquid), began operating over the last month.
According to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, the weapon can also fire tear gas, among other crowd-dispersal means.
In the past month, Palestinian residents of Bethlehem began noticing the new weapon perched on top of the separation wall in an area near where most of the protests against the occupation and the barrier take place, as 972mag.com reported and quoted by MINA as reporting.
According to participants in last week’s Palestine Marathon, the new camera-equipped weapon moved on its axis and followed them as they passed by it during their run.
One rumor that came up in conversations among Palestinians on social media outlets stated that the weapon was the same one that was installed on the walls separating Israel from Gaza.
According to a photojournalist working in the occupied territories, soldiers often use live ammunition against protests near the guard tower in that specific portion of the wall. However, a source in the army told +972 that the weapon will be used exclusively for crowd-dispersal means and will be controlled by the Border Police.
In response to an inquiry by +972, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit stated that the weapon is “part of our means for riot dispersal in Judea and Samaria. The weapon is remote controlled and has the ability to fire water, tear gas grenades, etc..
It is important to state that it does not fire live ammunition. Israeli security forces act in various ways in order to maintain order in the area, while avoiding harming innocents.” The unit refrained from responding to questions about the reason for installing the system, and whether there are any plans to use the weapon in more areas across the separation barrier.
Bethlehem is a Palestinian city located in the central West Bank, neighboring south Jerusalem, with a population of about 25,000 people. It is the capital of the Bethlehem Governorate of the Palestinian Authority. The economy is primarily tourist-driven
Bethlehem has a Muslim majority, but is also home to one of the largest Palestinian Christian communities. Bethlehem's chief economic sector is tourism which peaks during the Christmas season when Christian pilgrims throng to the Church of the Nativity. Bethlehem has over thirty hotels and three hundred handicraft work shops. Rachel's Tomb, an important Jewish holy site, is located at the northern entrance of Bethlehem.(T/P015/P04)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)
Last Updated on Sunday, 20 April 2014 20:52