Despite the strong criticism leveled at the ruling Barisan Nasional leaders for the various weaknesses exposed in the search of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370, the Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS) is grateful for the efforts of hundreds of men and women who had been scouring the land and oceans for the last 4 weeks for any sign of the missing plane.
“Even though the voices of PAS and Pakatan Rakyat have been loud on this issue, we have never claimed that the search and rescue teams for example were unimportant or ridiculed their efforts, as certain media outlets had been trying to portray.
“The members of all agencies involved, locally and abroad, we owe a debt of gratitude to them. Everyone had gone beyond the call of duty,” PAS information chief, Dato Mahfuz Omar said.
Let us ensure that their dedication and hard work does not go to vain by respecting them and the relatives of the passengers and crew of MH370, and not getting them involved in political ploys and hidden agendas.
Mahfuz also said while the search for the “black box” was important, it cannot answer all the questions with regard to MH370.
An independent body must be established, he said, to investigate the mysterious circumstances surrounding the still lost plane.
In addition to that, from the statements of various leaders and officials involved with the search, it seemed ‘hidden hands of major powers’ might also be at work, he said.
MAS for example, confirmed Mar 21 that flight MH370 had been carrying highly flammable lithium-ion batteries in its cargo hold, and the admission came four days after MAS CEO Ahmad Jauhari denied the aircraft was carrying any dangerous items and nearly two weeks after the plane went missing.
Jauhari had said the authorities were investigating the cargo, but did not regard the batteries as hazardous - despite the law dictating they are classed as such - because they were packaged according to safety regulations.
Lithium-ion batteries, Mahfuz reminded, have been responsible for a number of fires on planes and have even brought aircraft down, most recently in 2010.