Monday, March 31, 2014

MH370 : Australian PM backs Najib Razak, says 'overwhelming' evidence plane is lost

In the face of mounting criticism and skepticism over Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's announcement on March 24 that Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 crashed into the Indian Ocean with no hope of survivors, his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott has weighed in with support for Najib's stand on the matter.

He said, “The accumulation of evidence is that the aircraft has been lost and it has been lost somewhere in the south of the Indian Ocean,” he told reporters at the Perth military base coordinating the search.

“That's the absolutely overwhelming wave of evidence and I think that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was perfectly entitled to come to that conclusion, and I think once that conclusion had been arrived at, it was his duty to make that conclusion public.”

Flight MH370 disappeared from traffic control radars early March 8, while carrying 239 passengers and crew from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The disappearance sparked off a search and rescue operation involving 26 countries in areas as diverse as the South China Sea, the Malacca Straits, Central Asia, and the Indian Ocean. To date, no wreckage has been found.

Australia is coordinating the international hunt for the missing Boeing 777, which involves about 100 personnel searching from onboard surveillance aircraft and 1,000 sailors in ships in or near the search zone.

“This is an extraordinarly difficult exercise. We are searching a vast area of ocean and we are working on quite limited information,” Abbott said.

“Nevertheless, the best brains in the world are applying themselves to this task, all of the technological mastery that we have is being applied and brought to bear here. If this mystery is solvable, we will solve it. But I don't want to underestimate just how difficult it is.”
The Australian leader refused to put a time limit on the search, saying: “We can keep searching for quite some time to come. The intensity of our search and the magnitude of our search is increasing, not decreasing.”

“We owe it to the families, we owe it to everyone that travels by air, we owe it to the governments of the countries who had citizens on that aircraft, we owe it to the wider world which has been transfixed by this mystery for three weeks now,” he said.

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