Pakatan Rakyat should sort out its internal conflict and focus on the people instead of tussling over the Selangor mentri besar’s post, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
He said the contradictory views held by PAS, PKR and DAP on the post would cause negative repercussions for the people of Selangor.
“Pakatan needs to think of the people and ensure that the political scene in the state is stable,” he told reporters during a Hari Raya breakfast session with the media at his home here yesterday.
Muhyiddin said PKR wanted to replace Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim with party president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as they could not agree with the terms agreed to by the mentri besar over the Langat 2 project.
“We are in the final stages of the Langat 2 agreement and, now suddenly, there is a call for (Dr) Wan Azizah to take charge and review the matter.
“Whatever it is, I do not think they are taking the people’s issues into consideration,” he said.
Many netizens from Selangor and Kuala Lumpur are questioning Pakatan’s future in national politics following the MB controversy.
Tommy Kok wrote on Facebook that it was better to dissolve the Selangor state assembly.
However, Michael Lee opposed the idea of another state election.
Syahazzly Izham Hamzah reminded Pakatan of Khalid’s leadership strengths.
Shah Alam resident Khairul Azhar Nazri likened the crisis to an entertaining show.
Ho Kit Yen from Petaling Jaya also expressed her displeasure by posting: “Get over it. We want someone on the job, not making dramas”.
Gazan authorities said Israeli forces shelled a shelter at a U.N.-run
school on Thursday, killing at least 15 people as the Palestinian death
toll in the conflict climbed over 760 and attempts at a truce remained
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed
his horror at the attack on the school at Beit Hanoun in the northern
Gaza strip. "Many have been killed – including women and children, as
well as U.N. staff," he said in a statement. "Circumstances are still
unclear. I strongly condemn this act."
Ban later arrived to Cairo
where he was expected to meet U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who
has been working the telephones to try to broker an elusive truce.
Kerry's spokesman said the school attack incident "underscores the need to end the violence".
But there was no sign of progress on securing a ceasefire in
his four days in the region. "Gaps remain between the parties," a senior
U.S. official said, adding that Kerry wouldn't stay "for an indefinite
amount of time."
The Israeli military said it was investigating the incident.
Defense Forces (IDF) Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner said there was a
chance the school had been hit by stray Hamas rockets. "It could be
errant fire from the IDF or rockets landing from Gaza terrorists but we
still don't know, there's still a question mark," he told Reuters TV.
spokesman for the U.N. relief agency said it had tried in vain to
arrange an evacuation of civilians from the school with the Israeli
army, and noted reports of Hamas rockets falling in the area at the same
Pools of blood lay on the ground and on students' desks in
the courtyard of the school near the apparent impact mark of the shell,
according to a Reuters photographer at the scene.
Scores of crying
families who had been living in the school ran with their children to a
hospital where the victims were being treated a few hundred metres
away. Laila Al-Shinbari, a woman who was at the school when it was
shelled, told Reuters that families had gathered in the courtyard
expecting to be evacuated shortly in a Red Cross convoy.
us sat in one place when suddenly four shells landed on our heads ...
Bodies were on the ground, (there was) blood and screams. My son is dead
and all my relatives are wounded including my other kids," she wept.
al-Qidra, spokesman for the Gaza Health Ministry, said that as well as
the 15 dead, 200 people had been wounded in the attack. The director of a
local hospital said various medical centres around Beit Hanoun were
receiving the wounded.
More than 140,000
Palestinians have fled 17 days of fighting between Israel and Gaza
militants, many of them seeking shelter in buildings run by the U.N.
Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). Israeli forces are trying to stop
militants from Hamas and their allies from firing rockets into its
"It's clear that civilians are paying an unimaginable
price caught between both sides," said UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness.
"We were attempting to arrange a window for evacuation for the civilians
with the Israeli army that never came. The consequences were deeply
Britain called on Gaza's rulers to accept a truce
unconditionally. "Hamas must agree to a humanitarian ceasefire without
pre-conditions," Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told a news conference
in Cairo as Egypt tries to mediate.
"Then ... the Palestine
Authority (and) Israel would come together for discussions to ensure a
lasting and sustainable peace in Gaza so that we do not repeat this
cycle of violence."
Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said on Wednesday
his fighters had made gains against Israel and voiced support for a
humanitarian truce, but only if Israel eased restrictions on Gaza's 1.8
million people. Hamas wants Egypt to open up its border with Gaza too.
Palestinian death toll in Gaza reached 762 on Thursday, officials said.
Israel has lost at least 32 soldiers in clashes inside Gaza and with
Hamas raiders who have slipped under the fortified frontier in tunnels.
rockets and mortar bombs have also killed three civilians in Israel.
Such attacks surged last month as Israel cracked down on Hamas in the
occupied West Bank, triggering the July 8 air and sea barrage on the
Gaza Strip that escalated into an invasion a week ago.
Washington's encouragement, and the involvement of Turkey and Hamas
ally Qatar, Egypt has been trying to broker a limited humanitarian
ceasefire for the battered enclave.
One Cairo official said on
Wednesday it could take effect by the weekend, in time for the Eid
al-Fitr festival next Monday or Tuesday, Islam's biggest annual
celebration at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.
But a U.S.
official described any truce by the weekend as unlikely, as did an
Israeli security cabinet minister who said the army would need one to
two weeks to complete its main mission of razing tunnels used by Hamas
for cross-border raids.
"If the talk is of a humanitarian hiatus
for - this is not pleasant to say - removing bodies, all kinds of things
that are connected to the civilian population in the short-term, this
might be weighed," the minister, Gilad Erdan, told Israel Radio.
both that the tunnels
will be destroyed and what will happen in the post-ceasefire period -
how we will guarantee that quiet for the residents of Israel will really
be preserved in the long term."
Israel earlier won a partial reprieve from the economic damage of the
war with the lifting of a U.S. ban on commercial flights to Tel Aviv.
Israel's Iron Dome rocket interceptor has shot down most of the rockets
fired from Gaza, one that came close to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport
on Tuesday prompted the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to
bar American flights there.
An ensuing wave of cancellations by
foreign airlines sharply reduced traffic at Israel's usually bustling
international gateway at the height of the summer tourist season. It was
hailed as a victory by Hamas and prompted Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu to appeal to the Obama administration to intervene.
FAA cancelled the ban late on Wednesday after reviewing the security
situation. The European Air Safety Agency (EASA) said on Thursday it was
about to follow suit and lift its own recommendation to avoid flying to
US Airways, a unit of American Airlines Group Inc,
said it was resuming its non-stop Tel Aviv to Philadelphia service.
Germany's Lufthansa said its suspension of flights to Tel Aviv would
continue to Friday.
Gaza militants continued to fire rockets at
Israel on Thursday, sending thousands in the country's south racing to
shelters or safe rooms. There were no reported casualties.
U.N. COUNCIL INQUIRY
High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said on Wednesday that
there was "a strong possibility" that Israel was committing war crimes
in Gaza, where medical officials say most of those killed were
Pillay also condemned indiscriminate Islamist rocket
fire out of Gaza, and the U.N. Human Rights Council said it would launch
an international inquiry into alleged violations.
A furious Netanyahu denounced the inquiry as a "travesty".
HRC should be launching an investigation into Hamas's decision to turn
hospitals into military command centres, use schools as weapons depots
and place missile batteries next to playgrounds, private homes and
mosques," he said.
Ban, who has also been on a truce-seeking
mission, lashed out earlier at Gaza militants, expressing "outrage and
regret" that rockets had been found inside a U.N. school for refugees
for the second time during the conflict.
He said storing rockets
there "turned schools into potentially military targets, endangering the
lives of innocent children", along with U.N. employees and the tens of
thousands of sheltering Palestinians. He urged an investigation.
Gaza has been rocked by regular bouts of violence since Israel unilaterally pulled out of the territory in 2005.
Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk on Thursday resigned in a
shock move in protest at the disbanding of the ruling parliamentary
coalition, plunging the strife-torn nation into political uncertainty.
"I announce my resignation in connection with the dissolution of the
parliamentary coalition and the blocking of government initiatives," a
furious Yatsenyuk told parliament.
Yatsenyuk said the "government and the prime minister must resign"
after the withdrawal of several parties triggered the break up of the
European Choice parliamentary majority in a move that paved the way for
long-awaited early legislative elections.
Parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchynov called on deputies to put
forward immediately a candidate for a temporary premier "until
parliamentary elections are held."
Early parliamentary elections in Ukraine have been expected since the
February ouster of Kremlin-backed leader Viktor Yanukovych following
months of deadly protests.
The formal dissolution of the majority coalition in Ukraine's
Verkhovna Rada gives President Petro Poroshenko the right over the next
month to announce a fresh parliamentary poll.
Poroshenko had pledged though that the possibility of upcoming
elections would not paralyse the work of parliament at a time when Kiev
is struggling to end a bloody separatist insurrection tearing apart the
east of the country.
As the Selangor Mentri Besar crisis continues to play out, state opposition leader Datuk Shamsuddin Lias says Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim should continue helming the post.
"The people have already accepted Khalid (as Mentri Besar) and for the sake of development he should just continue.
“This turmoil shows that there are many in PKR who are just
interested in power," the Selangor Umno leader told The Star Online
Shamsuddin pointed out that Khalid had previously said that this would be his last term in the post.
"When he was elected for the post, he was praised to the heavens but
not even a year into his term and they wanted to replace him.
“In any case, we will continue doing our job as the opposition," he said.
PKR had this week officially announced that it was backing party
president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to become Mentri Besar.
"He couldn't become Prime Minister, so he trained his sight on the
Mentri Besar post. But now that it is impossible, he wants his wife to
take the post. This is all just nepotism," said Shamsuddin in reference
to PKR de-facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
When asked if a no-confidence vote was initiated against Khalid,
Shamsuddin said, "we will just wait and see if it comes to that."
The initial plan had been for Anwar to take over from Khalid through
the Kajang byelection. But the plan was thwarted after the Appeal’s
Court found Anwar guilty of sodomy and sentenced him to five years’
imprisonment in March.
Dr Wan Azizah replaced Anwar as the PKR candidate in the June by-election and won the seat.
Khalid has been under pressure to vacate his seat in the past few
months but has remained defiant and said he will stay put until he is
legally removed according to the stipulated procedure.
Selangor PAS has objected to any move to replace Khalid.
Selangor PAS Youth has reiterated its support for Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim to continue as Selangor Mentri Besar and urged PKR not to gamble away Selangorians' trust in Pakatan Rakyat.
In a statement on Thursday morning, its youth chief Syarhan Humaizi
Abdul Halim concurred with Selangor Pas Commissioner Iskandar Samad who
was against PKR’s decision to replace Khalid with PKR president and
Kajang assemblyman Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
"This shows the maturity and responsibility of Selangor Pas to make
sure the state administration is stable while taking into account that
the main focus of Pakatan is the rakyat (people),” he said.
Syarhan Humaizi added that no one could deny the excellence of Khalid
in administrating the state that led to Pakatan’s victory in the last
"Any move to replace the Mentri Besar has to be done carefully with
the mutual agreement of Pakatan. It also has to take into account the
sentiment of every party involved in regards with the state’s enactment
including the palace," he said.
"Trying to justify that the move will stabilise PKR is not the best
excuse in gambling away the rakyat’s trust in Pakatan in Selangor and
Syarhan Humaizi also reminded those in the "movement" to oust Khalid
not to be hasty as it could be a move that could prove to be "penny wise
but pound foolish".
Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim has assured the Selangor Sultan that he will
continue to work hard until he is no longer the state Mentri Besar.
"What matters most to the Sultan (Sharafuddin Idris Shah) is the
responsible and trustworthy administration of the state, and I told him
that I would work until I am no longer Mentri Besar," said Khalid.
Khalid spoke to the media after accompanying the Sultan for the
breaking of fast at the Kampung Assam Jawa mosque here on Wednesday
Asked if he would step down if the PKR leadership told him to, Khalid said Selangor enactments had to be followed.
On Tuesday, Khalid had said that while he respected the party's
decision for him to be replaced by Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail,
he stressed that "proper steps" had to be taken, in accordance with the
Khalid said he would continue to lead the state until official procedures to unseat him were followed.
He was reported saying, "I respect the political decision of PKR in
fielding party president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as the
candidate for Mentri Besar".
“However, I strictly stand by the state constitution which stipulates
specific procedures for the appointment or replacement of the Mentri
Besar," said Khalid.
All available resources of the Malaysian Government and Malaysia
Airlines will be dedicated to the recovery of the remaining human
remains at the crash site of flight MH17, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai
"We urge the search to continue for those who are still missing and
pledge to exhaust all efforts to recover all human remains," the
Transport Minister said in a statement Wednesday.
Liow added that while it was a relief that the process of
identification of bodies can finally begin now they have been brought to
the Netherlands, those whose remains have not been found should not be
"In the meantime, our priority is to support those who share a common
grief while working closely with all governments, international
organisations and responsible parties to help guarantee a full and
thorough investigation is undertaken," he said.
Liow also said that Malaysia would join the international community
to discover the truth behind the incident, not only to help the families
to find a closure, but also to prevent such atrocities from happening
again and to bring those responsible to justice.
"Our goal now is to unite those who have perished with their families
and loved ones as fast as possible while allowing investigators to
continue their work at the crash site," he said.
Liow also thanked Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the government for their support and collaboration in this difficult time.
In an exclusive interview with The Star earlier, Liow said
it would be a very tough challenge bringing back the remains of
Malaysian victims before Hari Raya, despite the disaster victim
identification (DVI) team working as hard as they could.
"We will work hard, we will try our best, but if some of the remains need DNA tests, it will be difficult.
"This is also a detailed investigation which we cannot compromise on because we want to find out the truth," he said.
Liow said he hoped the first batch of bodies could be sent home
before Hari Raya, but admitted it would be a very tough challenge
because there are just two days left before Friday.
Nine Malaysian DVI experts will assist with the multinational identification process.
Two planes, a Dutch army C-130 and an Australian military C-7,
carrying 40 bodies arrived at Eindhoven airbase in the Netherlands.
Malaysian Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Dutch King
Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima, Prime Minister Mark Rutte, bereaved
relatives and representatives of the other nations that lost citizens on
the flight met the planes.
The arrival of the planes was met with a trumpet salute and a minute's silence.
All church bells in the Netherlands will ring at 1355 GMT (11.55pm Malaysia) in respect for the deceased.
Russian President Vladimir Putin promised Tuesday to do everything
possible to influence pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine and
help ensure a full probe into the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash
However, he added that it would not be enough with Kiev's continuing
military operation against the rebels, adding that the West must push
Ukraine's authorities to declare a ceasefire.
"Russia will do everything in its power for a full, comprehensive,
deep, and transparent investigation," Putin told a meeting of the
national security council, according to excerpts broadcast by Russian
"We are asked to exert influence on the militants of the south-east (of Ukraine). Of course we will do everything in our power.
"However, this would be absolutely inadequate given fresh attacks by Ukrainian troops," said Putin.
"Tanks broke through to the train station," he said of Monday's clashes on the outskirts of Donetsk.
"International experts who came to the tragedy could not lift their heads."
Ukrainian "authorities must be called upon to abide by elementary
decency, to introduce a ceasefire, at least for a short time for the
investigation," Putin added.
While other nations were criticising Russia and pro-Russian separatist
for their role in the MH17 crash, Malaysia opted for a ‘silent
diplomatic’ approach and it worked, said The New York Times.
NYT noted that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said in a live
television broadcast early Tuesday that the agreement with Alexander
Borodai, a commander of the separatist forces in Donetsk, Ukraine,
called for the bodies of the victims to be taken by train to Kharkiv, a
city held by the Ukrainian government.
Six Malaysian representatives were to oversee the transfer of the bodies in Kharkiv to Dutch custody.
Under the agreement, the bodies and the Malaysian representatives would
then be flown in a Dutch C-130 Hercules transport plane to the
Netherlands for identification and repatriation of remains.
NYT said if all participants honour the deal, it would be a diplomatic success for Malaysia.
"Mr Najib said that at times over the past few days he had wanted to be
more outspoken about events in Ukraine, “but sometimes, we must work
quietly in the service of a better outcome.”
"The agreement is the result of an unusual spate of diplomacy by Mr
Najib, who held a series of secret telephone calls with Mr Borodai.
"A person with a detailed knowledge of the negotiations said that Mr
Borodai concluded that he would only release the bodies and black boxes
to Malaysia, although Malaysia would then transfer the bodies to the
Netherlands and make the black boxes available for an international
"The backdrop for the negotiations was a slowly growing criticism
within Malaysia, including by some in the political opposition, that Mr
Najib did not appear to be more publicly critical of the separatists or
Russia," NYT said.
It said the agreement with the separatists followed four days of
sometimes frenetic diplomacy in which a series of senior Malaysian
officials, including the country’s foreign minister and transport
minister, rushed to Kiev, Moscow and Amsterdam to broker a deal.
NYT said Malaysia, and particularly Mr Najib, have played an outsize
role in diplomatic agreements in Southeast Asia in recent years, and
tried to apply those skills to dealing with the separatists.
It said Malaysia has an enormous stake in resolving the problems that
have impeded a prompt investigation of the crash and the quick recovery
of the 298 victims, who are exposed to abuse and tampering.
"The downed jet belonged to the Malaysian national carrier, and those
who died included 43 Malaysian citizens, 15 of them crew members.
"As well, Malaysia was already struggling with the unexplained loss
of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, still missing more than four months
after it disappeared after turning from its planned course," it added.
However, NYT questioned why the separatists chose to deal with
Malaysia when they were under pressure by many big nations like United
States, Australia and Britain to release the bodies and surrender the
“A big question, which was not immediately clear, was why the
Ukrainian separatists chose to deal with the Malaysians at a time when
the separatists were under pressure by many countries to release the
bodies and surrender the black boxes,” it said.
Sydney Morning Herald also touched on Najib’s technique in
reaching the agreement and said the tragedy was deeply personal as his
step-grandmother was on board the plane.
“After cautiously refusing to blame pro-Russian rebels for shooting
down MH17, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak used secret diplomacy
to reach an agreement for the transfer of the bodies and black box
recording devices from the plane to Malaysian representatives.
“Mr Najib has been criticised in Malaysia for failing to directly
blame the separatists for bringing down the plane as anger grew across
the country about the lack of dignity for the bodies, 43 of whom were
“But he instead held a series of secret telephone calls with Mr
Borodai who is believed to have said he would only hand over the bodies
and black boxes to Malaysia,” said Southeast Asia correspondent Lindsay
Murdoch for Fairfax Media.
Russian envoy to Malaysia Lyudmila Vorobyeva has dismissed accusations that the separatists have hindered the investigation into downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
Speaking to a packed press conference here Tuesday, she said the
rebels were "eager to cooperate" from the first day the incident
occurred near the rebel-held Ukrainian village of Grabovo.
She said her opinion was based on observation made by the
Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) that the
pro-Russian separatists have been "helpful.
"There was a clear statement by these experts that the rebels are
doing everything within their power to secure the safety of their site.
"There also news reports by international experts who praised the
effort of the rebels to preserve the site, which is not easy as the
debris were scattered within 50km area in a 30 degrees heat," she said.
Previously, it was reported that gunmen prevented monitors from the
OSCE from observing the crime scene and some of them seemed intoxicated
while others would not let the investigators to look at the wreckage of
the Boeing 777.
Reports on rampant looting of the victims' personal belongings also surfaced, due to alleged lack of security in the area.
However, Vorobyeva said the rebels were helpful from day one, which
eventually led to the handover of two black box data recorders of the
doomed plane to the Malaysian team of investigators, Tuesday morning.
"The experts have also certified that the black boxes have not been
tampered with, and experts from the Netherlands have access to the
bodies which were being refrigerated," she said.
The black boxes were handed to the Malaysian officials hours after
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak reached an agreement with the
Ukrainian rebels for custody of the black boxes and access to the crash
When asked if the Russian had in any way assisted to the agreement, Vorobyeva briefly responded, "no comment".
She also stressed that the rebels have called for a ceasefire since
the incident occurred, but the government of Kiev has not stopped the
bombings and military operations.
"Russia has been calling for a full stop fighting and peaceful
dialogue by the diplomatic means and our stand has not altered," she
Malaysia has reached an agreement with Ukrainian rebels for custody
of the black boxes and access to the Malaysia airlines flight MH17 crash
site, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
"At approximately 9pm tonight Ukraine time (Tues, 2am Malaysian
time), the two black boxes will be handed over to the Malaysian team in
Donetsk who will take custody of them," the Prime Minister said in a
statement at Seri Perdana here late Monday.
Najib said he had spoken to rebel leader Alexander Borodai earlier
Monday evening, who is in command of the region where the tragedy
"Independent international investigators will be guaranteed safe
access to the crash site to begin a full investigation of the incident,"
The remains of 282 people currently in Torez will be moved to
Kharkiv, where they will be handed to representatives from the
"The train will depart this evening and will be accompanied by six
people from the Malaysian recovery team. The remains will be flown to
Amsterdam via Dutch Hercules C130 with the Malaysian team," said Najib.
Following any necessary forensic work, the remains of Malaysian citizens will then be flown home to Malaysia.
Najib added that Borodai and his followers have cooperated so far,
and asked all parties to continue to work together to ensure the
agreement is honoured.
"Only then can the investigation into MH17 truly begin, only then can
victims be afforded the respect they deserve. We need to know what
caused the plane to crash and who was responsible to it so justice can
be done," he said.
Though nothing can undo the damage done nor bring back the 298 lives
on board, Najib voiced his hope that the agreement would help the MH17
families towards closure.
"In recent days, there were times I wanted to give greater voice to
the great anger and grief that the Malaysian people feel and I feel. But
sometimes, we must work quietly in service of a better outcome. My
heart reaches out to those whose loved ones were lost on MH17," he
In recent days, we have been working behind the scenes to establish contact with those in charge of the MH17 crash site.
That contact has now been made. Under difficult and fluid
circumstances, we have been discussing the problems that have occupied
us all: securing vital evidence from the aircraft, launching an
independent investigation, and above all recovering the remains of those who lost their lives.
Tonight, we have established the basis of an agreement to do just that.
Earlier this evening I spoke to Alexander Borodai, who is in command of
the region where the tragedy occurred. We have agreed the following:
· Firstly, the remains of 282 people, currently in Torez, will
be moved by train to Kharkiv, where they will be handed over to
representatives from the Netherlands. The train will depart this evening
Ukraine time, and will be accompanied by six Malaysian members of the
recovery team. The remains will then be flown to Amsterdam on board a
Dutch C130 Hercules, together with the Malaysian team. Following any
necessary forensic work, the remains of Malaysian citizens will then be
flown home to Malaysia.
· Secondly, at
approximately 9pm tonight Ukraine time, the two black boxes will be
handed over to a Malaysian team in Donetsk, who will take custody of
· Thirdly, independent international
investigators will be guaranteed safe access to the crash site to begin a
full investigation of the incident.
I must stress that although agreement has been reached, there remain a number of steps required before it is completed.
There is work still to be done, work which relies on continued
communication in good faith. Mr Borodai and his people have so far given
I ask that all parties continue to work
together to ensure that this agreement is honoured; that the remains of
our people are returned, that the black box is handed over, and that the
international team is granted full access to the site.
then can the investigation into MH17 truly begin; only then can the
victims be afforded the respect they deserve. We need to know what
caused the plane to crash, and who was responsible for it, so that
justice may be done.
In recent days, there were times I wanted
to give greater voice to the anger and grief that the Malaysian people
feel. And that I feel. But sometimes, we must work quietly in the
service of a better outcome.
I understand that for the
families, nothing can undo this damage. The lives taken cannot be given
back; the dignity lost cannot be regained.
My heart reaches out
to those whose loved ones were lost on MH17. We hope and pray that the
agreement reached tonight helps bring them a clear step towards closure.
Pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine recovered objects which appear to
be the black boxes of downed Malaysia Airlines MH17 and are willing to
hand them over to international investigators.
"Jet parts resembling the black boxes were discovered at the crash
site," said Alexander Borodai, prime minister of the self-proclaimed
Donetsk People's Republic, adding that they would be handed over to
"international experts if they arrive".
Borodai also said bodies which have been removed from the crash site
will be kept in refrigerated carriages on a train near the scene "until
the experts arrive".
He said his teams had taken the corpses away from the crash site "out of
respect for the families" and because "it is becoming inhumane in these
"We couldn't wait any longer because of the heat and also because there are many dogs and wild animals in the zone," he added.
President of the National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (NUFAM),
Ismail Nasaruddin, said that the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) crew member's
community is deeply saddened and depressed by the tragic incident of
He said the airline had lost a total of 21 crew members in two tragic
events that occurred over the past four months, with the first being the
disappearance of flight MH370 on March 8.
"Yes, we are affected. Some of the crew members are even demoralised by
this incident. We have also seen reports about some crew members being
unable to fly because they are badly affected, mentally and
emotionally," he told a press conference at the Sama Sama Hotel here
Noting that the MH17 tragedy was an event that most Malaysian crew
members had never seen before, he said NUFAM would try to help those
badly-affected crew members by providing them support and consultations.
He said this incident was something that a lot of the crew members
found very difficult to accept, let alone to believe that it involved
another MAS flight.
"Except for the MH370 incident, we have not seen anything like this since the 1977 incident in Tanjung Kupang," he added.
On Dec 4, 1977, MAS flight MH653, en-route from Penang to Kuala Lumpur,
crashed in Tanjung Kupang, Johor, killing 93 passengers and seven crew
members. It was the first fatal air crash for the national airline.
Meanwhile, asked if any of the family members of the MH17 crew had come
forward with demands for compensation, he said that NUFAM had not heard
any complaints or demands made by any family members.
He also noted that MAS had so far given its level best to provide assistance to the family members.
Malaysia Airlines (MAS) today released the full passenger manifest of
Flight MH17 with the name, nationality and gender of those onboard.
There are 193 people from the Netherlands (including 1 dual
Netherlands/United States citizen), Malaysia (43 people, including 15
crew and two infants), Australia (27), Indonesia (12, including an
infant), United Kingdom (10, including one dual UK/South Africa
citizen), Germany (four), Belgium (four), the Philipines (three), Canada
(one), New Zealand (one).
In its latest media statement today, the airline said despite efforts
made in the past 45 hours with the assistance of various foreign
embassies to establish contact with the next-of-kin of the passengers,
it was still unable to identify many more family members.
Hence, the airline is appealing to family members or friends of those
onboard MH17 to contact the MAS Family Support Centre at +603-78841234
(in Malaysia) or the numbers below in their respective countries:
An emergency Parliament sitting will be convened to discuss issues regarding the "inhumane act" which brought down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
In a special address that was televised live on Friday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak also said that the Government has called for all flags to be flown at half-mast until Mon, July 21, and the
Najib also said that despite speculation that the Boeing 777 was shot down by militants, the Malaysian Government would not be "pointing fingers" at any party until there is substantial evidence to prove it.
"However, we condemn the inhumane and uncivilised action which has taken the lives of 298 innocents," said Najib.
He also called on all Muslims, irrespective of political inclination, to come together and pray for the well-being and continued peace of the nation in the holy month of Ramadan.
He also encouraged Malaysians of other faiths to conduct their own prayers as well.
Najib said the crash site was under the control of Ukrainian separatists, but the Government was doing its utmost - including using diplomatic channels - so investigators can have unhindered access to the area to carry out their work.
In presenting the demands of the Malaysian Government, Najib firstly called upon the parties involved to ensure and guarantee the safety of investigators as they carried out their tasks.
"Secondly, the Malaysian Government urges parties involved not to tamper or contaminate evidence at the scene of the crash so investigations will be effective and transparent.
"Lastly, if it is indeed proven that the plane was shot down, the Malaysia will demand for the perpetrators to be brought to justice," he said.
The Prime Minister, in closing his speech, conveyed his condolences to the family and friends of all those on board MH17 and asked for everyone to remain patient until investigations are complete.
In a statement later, Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia said Parliament will convene next Wednesday, July 23, in line with Standing Order Rule 11(3).
The security forces' service and
sacrifice in safeguarding peace and security in the country would always
be appreciated and remembered by the state government, said Sabah Chief
Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.
He also urged the people in the state to support and give their full
cooperation to the security forces in Sabah who were also defending the
sovereignty of the country.
"During every festival, they have to be on duty far away for our sake.
If not for them, we would not be able to feel safe and have events such
as this. It is therefore incumbent on us to always appreciate and
remember them," he said while presenting 'kuih raya' packages to
representatives of the country's security frontliners here Thursday.
Musa who is also state security council chairman, also expressed his
thanks to associations, private companies, non-governmental
organisations and government-linked companies for their part in
preparing the raya packages.
Meanwhile, he also urged the people to pray for the safety and wellbeing of the security forces.
Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk
Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman today stressed that the security in Sabah,
especially along the east coast, is under control and urged the public
not to believe rumour spread on the internet.
Denying that the security of Sabah was being threatened and there would
be intrusions along the east coast of the state, he said police were
now investigating the guilty parties spreading the rumour.
"We urge the public and the people of Sabah not to listen to rumours
which are scaring the people. The security agencies are capable of
controlling the situation should anything happen," he told reporters
here Thursday after a ceremony to present Aidilfitri cookies to the
armed forces by Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.
Jalaluddin was commenting on the rumours which were rife on the internet and WhatsApp about the security situation in Sabah.
On the statement by Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu
Bakar yesterday that police would announce a curfew along a
1,400km-stretch of the Sabah east coast in 48 hours, Jalaluddin said
they were ready to carry out the order.
"We held a meeting today in Semporna to discuss various issues
(security as well as curfew)...definitely we are prepared," he said.
The curfew would be enforced during specific times from the
international waters up to the East Sabah waters to prevent intruders
and kidnappers from entering the state.
This follows the ambush on Pulau Mabul, Semporna recently when eight
heavily armed individuals killed Koperal Ab Rajah Jamuan, 32, and
kidnapped Konstabel Zakia Ali, 26.
Yesterday evening, I was informed of the terrible and deeply shocking news that a Malaysia Airlines jet went down in eastern Ukraine.
Malaysia Airlines has confirmed that the jet was Malaysia Airlines flight 17, which was on a scheduled flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
The flight departed Amsterdam at 12.15pm, local time. It was scheduled to arrive in Kuala Lumpur at 6.10 am, local, Malaysian time.
The aircraft was a Boeing 777-200.
The aircraft’s flight route was declared safe by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
And International Air Transportation Association has stated that the airspace the aircraft was traversing was not subject to restrictions.
Malaysia Airlines has confirmed that the aircraft did not make a distress call.
The flight was carrying a total number of 295 people – comprising 280 passengers and 15 crew members.
Malaysia Airlines is in the process of notifying the next-of-kin of the passengers and crew. All possible care will be provided to the next-of-kin.
The Government of Malaysia is dispatching a special flight to Kiev, carrying a Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team, as well as a medical team.
According to information provided by Kiev Air Traffic Control, the location of the plane’s emergency locator beacon is 48 degrees 7 minutes and 23 seconds North; and 38 degrees 31 minutes and 33 seconds East.
The Ukrainian authorities believe that the plane was shot down.
At this early stage, however, Malaysia is unable to verify the cause of this tragedy.
But we must – and we will – find out precisely what happened to this flight.
No stone can be left unturned.
If it transpires that the plane was indeed shot down, we insist that the perpetrators must swiftly be brought to justice.
Emergency operations centres have been established. In the last few hours, Malaysian officials have been in constant contact with their counterparts in Ukraine and elsewhere.
And I will be speaking to a number of world leaders over the coming hours.
I have had several conversations with the Prime Minister of the Netherlands.
I have also spoken to the President of Ukraine. He has pledged that there will be a full, thorough and independent investigation, and Malaysian officials will be invited to take part.
The Ukrainian president also confirmed that his government will negotiate with rebels in the east of the country, in order to establish a humanitarian corridor to the crash site.
Just now, I received a call from President Obama.
He and I both agreed that the investigation must not be hindered in anyway.
An international team must have full access to the crash site.
And no one should interfere with the area, or move any debris, including the black box.
This is a tragic day, in what has already been a tragic year, for Malaysia.
As we work to understand what happened, our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of those onboard the flight.
I cannot imagine what they must be going through at this painful time.
The flight’s passengers and crew came from many different countries.
But today, regardless of nationality, we are all united in grief.
GRABOVE, UKRAINE: Dozens of severely
mutilated corpses could be seen strewn in the wreckage of a Malaysian
airliner that crashed Thursday in rebel-held eastern Ukraine, an AFP
reporter at the scene said.
Debris was spread out for many kilometres and the tail of a passenger
jet lay in a corn field with the Malaysian Airlines insignia on it
while insurgent fighters and several fire trucks were seen nearby the
crash site. - AFP
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International Conference "Expose War Crimes – Criminalise War"
“Wars increasingly involve the killings of innocent people and are therefore, abhorrent and criminal. Killings in war are as criminal as the killings within societies in times of peace. Since killings in peace time are subject to the domestic law of crime, killings in war must likewise be subject to the international law of crimes. This should be so irrespective of whether these killings in war are authorised or permitted by domestic laws.”