Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Clean up your backyard, focus on people, DPM tells Pakatan

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”.

Friday, July 25, 2014

At least 15 killed by Israeli shelling of Gaza school; toll exceeds 760

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 elusive.

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.

Israel 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.
A 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 time.

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.

"All of 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.

Ashraf 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 territory.

"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 tragic."

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.

The 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.

Palestinian 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.


With 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.

Though 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.

The 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 Tel Aviv.

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. 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 civilians.

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".

"The 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.

#MH17 : Ministers' Hari Raya (EID) open house cancelled out of respect to MH17 victims

The Cabinet Ministers' Hari Raya open house at Seri Perdana has been cancelled as mark of respect to the victims of flight MH17 and their families.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong said that the decision to call off the event was made at the Cabinet meeting on Thursday.

The open house is traditionally held on the first day of Syawal.

Dr Wee also confirmed that the national level Hari Raya Open House to be held at Dataran Rembau on Aug 17 had  been cancelled as well.

Ukraine's Prime Minister resigns

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.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Selangor MB crisis: Barisan wants Khalid to remain

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 Thursday.

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.   

#MH17: DPM postpones Pagoh Hari Raya (EID) open house.

The Hari Raya open house organised by the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in Pagoh has been postponed as a mark of respect for the victims, families and friends of MH17.
The gathering was originally scheduled for the second day of Syawal, July 29, at Kompleks Sri Pekembar, Pagoh, Johor.

The new date for the open house will be announced at a later time.

The move follows the Malaysian Cabinet’s decision to cancel the Cabinet Ministers’ Open House at Sri Perdana on the first day of Syawal,

The National level Hari Raya Open House to be held at Dataran Rembau on Aug 17 has also been cancelled.

#MH17: Hari Raya (EID) open house at Sri Perdana cancelled

The Cabinet Ministers' Hari Raya open house at Seri Perdana has been cancelled as mark of respect to the victims of flight MH17 and their families.

The open house is traditionally held on the first day of Syawal.

It is learnt that the decision to call off the event was made at the Cabinet meeting on Thursday.

It is also learnt that the National level Hari Raya Open House to be held at Dataran Rembau on Aug 17 had too been cancelled.

An official announcement on the matter is expected to be made later on Thursday.

Selangor MB crisis: State PAS Youth reiterates support for 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 general election.

"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 the country."

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".

I'll work till I'm no longer MB, Khalid assures Selangor Sultan

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 night.

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 state constitution.

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.

#MH17: Malaysia will give its all to recover victims' remains, says Liow

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 said.

"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 forgotten.

"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.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

#MH17: Two planes with victims' remain arrive in the Netherlands

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.

#MH17: Putin vows to press rebels, help crash probe

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 last week.

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 state television.

"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.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

#MH17: Najib's 'silent diplomatic' approach worked, says NYT

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 investigation.

"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 black boxes.

“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 Malaysians.

“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.

#MH17: Ukraine rebels didn't hinder investigations, says Russian ambassador

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 site.

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 said.

#MH17: Malaysia receives black boxes from Ukrainian rebels

DONETSK: Malaysian officials received the two MH17 black boxes from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) in Ukraine.

At 6.11am Tuesday, DPR representatives showed up at their government headquarters here with the Malaysian government representatives.

Speaking to the press, DPR leader Alexander Borodai thanked Malaysia and the Netherlands for sending teams here on Monday to resolve the MH17 matter.

"(Our) thanks to Malaysia and Netherlands for coming here without protection or help from Kiev (the Ukrainian government)," he said, according to a rough translation by a local.

A handover ceremony then took place between the DPR and Malaysian officials.
Both parties were seen signing various documents.

The DPR then produced a white sack containing the black boxes and showed them to the Malaysian officials.

The boxes were then inspected and later accepted by the Malaysian officials.

A man who introduced himself as Kol Mohd Shukri of the National Security Council thanked Borodai for handing the boxes back to Malaysia.

"I would like to convey our sincere appreciation to Borodai for giving us the opportunity and entertaining our special request to hand over the two black boxes to Malaysia," he said.

He added that teams from Malaysia would also be sent to the crash site although he did not specify a time and date for this.

On Monday Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak reached an agreement with Ukrainian rebels for custody of the black boxes and access to the Malaysia airlines flight MH17 crash site.

PKR backs Wan Azizah for Selangor MB

PKR has officially backed party leader Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail for the Selangor Mentri Besar post.

However, details will only be discussed at the Pakatan Presidential Council on Wednesday and revealed later, said PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil.

The political drama in Selangor has dragged on for months, since the 'Kajang move' was engineered as part of a strategy to remove Khalid from the post.

Dr Wan Azizah came into the picture after she won the Kajang by-election and was tipped to be next MB.

Some party sources have claimed that Azmin received strong backing from both PAS and DAP in the state, but this was later disputed by both parties.

However, PKR de-facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is believed more keen on having his wife Azizah take over the hot seat.

Khalid is under intense pressure to give up his post following a barrage of criticism thrown at him by his party colleagues over his handling of various issues in the state.

#MH17: Black boxes to be handed over to Malaysia, says Najib

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 occurred.

"Independent international investigators will be guaranteed safe access to the crash site to begin a full investigation of the incident," he added.

The remains of 282 people currently in Torez will be moved to Kharkiv, where they will be handed to representatives from the Netherlands.

"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 added.


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 them.

· 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 their co-operation.

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.

Only 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.


Monday, July 21, 2014

#MH17: We recovered "black boxes," says rebel leader

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 conditions".

"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.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

#MH17 & #MH370 : Losing 21 Crew Members In Four Months, Depressing Moment In MAS History

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 flight MH17.

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 Saturday night.

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.

#MH17 : Malaysia Airlines Releases Full Passenger Manifest Of MH17

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:

1. Netherlands (MAS Amsterdam office) - +31205216252

2. Australia (MAS Sydney office) - +61293643526

3. Indonesia (MAS Jakarta office) - +62215229705

4. New Zealand (MAS Auckland office) - +6493063930

5. United Kingdom (MAS London office) - +442073412060

6. Germany (MAS Frankfurt office) - +496913871980

7. Philippines (MAS Manila office) - +6328891863

Following is the full list:

Name Nationality Gender

1. John Alder United Kingdom Male

2. Christopher Allen Netherlands Male

3. Ian Allen Netherlands Male

4. John Allen United Kingdom Male

5. Julian Allen Netherland Male

6. Stephen Leslie Anderson United Kindgom Male

7. Andre Anghel Canada Male

8. Mabel Anthonysamy Malaysia Female

9. Ithamar Avnon Netherlands Male

10. Robert Ayley United Kingdoms Male

11. Joycemrs Baay Netherlands Female

12. Theresa Baker Australia Female

13. Wayne Baker Australia Male

14. Willem Bakker Netherlands Male

15. Rowen Bats Netherlands Male

16. Emma Bell Australia Female

17. Natashja Binda Netherlands Female

18. Muhammad Afruz Bin Tambi Malaysia Male

19. Muhammad Afzal Bin Tambi Malaysia Male

20. Marsha Azmeena Binti Tambi Malaysia Female

21. Helen Borgsteede Netherlands Female

22. Catharina Bras Netherlands Female

23. Wilhelminalouise Broghammer Germany Female

24. Therese Brouwer Netherlands Female

25. Elisabeth Brouwers Netherlands Female

26. Anton Camfferman Netherlands Male

27. Benoit Chardome Belgium Male

28. Carol Clancy Australia Female

29. Michael Clancy Australia Male

30. Regis Crolla Netherlands Male

31. Edith Cuijpers Netherlands Female

32. Auke Dalstra Netherlands Male

33. Cameron Dalziel United Kingdom Male

34. Minhchau Dang Netherlands Female

35. Quocduy Dang Netherlands Male

36. Francescam Davison Australia Female

37. Liam Davison Australia Male

38. Elsemiek Deborts Netherlands Female

39. Barbaramaria Debruin Netherlands Female

40. Johanna Dehaan Netherlands Female

41. Annetje Dejong Netherlands Female

42. Pim Wilhelm Dekuijer Netherlands Male

43. Saskia Deleeuw Netherlands Female

44. Liliane Derden Australia Female

45. Esther Deridder Netherlands Female

46. Joopalbert Deroo Netherlands Male

47. Christiene Desadeleer Netherlands Female

48. Mariaadriana Deschutter Netherlands Female

49. Maarten Devos Netherlands Male

50. Aafke Devries Netherlands Female

51. Shaliza Zaini Dewa Malaysia Female

52. Esther Dewaal Netherlands Female

53. Donny Toekiran Djodikromo Netherlands Male

54. Fatima Dyczynski Germany Female

55. Lisanne Laura Engels Netherlands Female

56. Tamara Ernst Netherlands Female

57. Emma Essers Netherlands Female

58. Peter Essers Netherlands Male

59. Valentijn Essers Netherlands Male

60. Shun Po Fan Netherlands Male

61. Ming Lee Foo Malaysia Male

62. Bryce Fredriksz Netherlands Male

63. Ariza Binti Gazalee Malaysia Female

64. Angelique Gianotten Netherlands Female

65. Kaelamayajay Goes Malaysia Male

66. Paul Goes Netherlands Male

67. Marco Grippeling Netherlands Male

68. Wilhelmus Grootscholten Netherlands Male

69. Jillhelen Guard Australia Female

70. Rogerwatson Guard Australia Male

71. Darryl Gunawan Philippines Male

72. Hadiono Gunawan Indonesia Male

73. Irene Gunawan Philippines Female

74. Sherryl Gunawan Philippines Female

75. Annemieke Hakse Netherlands Female

76. Davy Joseph Gerardus Hally Netherlands Male

77. Megan Hally Netherlands Female

78. Yuli Hastini Indonesia Female

79. Geertruida Heemskerk Netherlands Female

80. Lidwina Heerkens Netherlands Female

81. Robin Hemelrijk Netherlands Male

82. Hendry Indonesia Male

83. Susan Hijmans Netherlands Female

84. Andrew Hoare United Kingdom Male

85. Friso Hoare Netherlands Male

86. Jasper Hoare Netherlands Male

87. Katharina Hoonakker Netherlands Female

88. Howard Horder Australia Male

89. Susan Horder Australia Female

90. Astrid Hornikx Netherlands Female

91. Pieter Jan Willem Huijbers Netherlands Male

92. Arnoud Huizen Netherlands Male

93. Clarice Yelena Huizen Indonesia Female

94. Mariam Huntjens Netherlands Female

95. Olga Ioppa German Female

96. Cornelia Janssen Netherlands Female

97. Kevin Jesurun Netherlands Male

98. Rishi Jhinkoe Netherlands Male

99. Tambi Bin Jiee Malaysia Male

100. Subashni Jretnam Malaysia Female

101. Mattheus Kamsma Netherlands Male

102. Qium Kamsma Netherlands Male

103. Yvonne Kappen Netherlands Female

104. Vickiline Kurniati Kardia Indonesia Female

105. Karamjitsingh Karnailsingh Malaysia Male

106. Karlijn Keijzer Netherlands Female

107. Barry Kooijmans Netherlands Male

108. Isa Kooijmans Netherlands Female

109. Mira Kooijmans Netherlands Female

110. Oscar Kotte Netherlands Male

111. Remco Kotte Netherlands Male

112. Hendrikrokus Kroon Netherlands Male

113. Johannes Lahaye Netherlands Male

114. Gerda Leliana Lahenda Indonesia Female

115. Hubertus Lambregts Netherlands Male

116. Joseph Lange Netherlands Male

117. Gabriele Lauschet German Female

118. Jianhan Benjamin Lee Malaysia Male

119. Kiah Yeen Lee Malaysia Female

120. Mona Chens Sim Lee Australia Female

121. Why Keong Lee Australia Male

122. Yau Chee Liew Malaysia Male

123. Yanhwa Loh Netherlands Female

124. Henricus Maas Netherlands Male

125. Edel Mahady Australia Female

126. Emiel Mehler Netherlands Male

127. Lisa Marckelbach Netherlands Female

128. Elizabeth Martens Netherlands Female

129. Sandra Martens Netherlands Female

130. Evie Coco Anne Maslin Australia Female

131. Mo Robert Anderson Maslin Australia Male

132. Otis Samuel Frederick Maslin Australia Male

133. Tina Pauline Mastenbroek Netherlands Female

134. Richard Mayne United Kingdom Male

135. Mohd Ali Bin Md Salim Malaysia Male

136. Ingrid Meijer Netherlands Female

137. Sascha Meijer Netherlands Female

138. Gerardus Menke Netherlands Male

139. Mary Menke New Zealand Female

140. Hannah Sophia Meuleman Netherlands Female

141. Anelene Rostijem Misran Netherlands Female

142. Augustinus Moors Netherlands Male

143. Melinganak Mula Malaysia Male

144. Johanna Nelissen Netherlands Female

145. Lyetielisabeth Ng Malaysia Female

146. Qingzheng Ng Malaysia Male

147. Shiing Ng Malaysia Female

148. Ngoc Minh Nguyen Netherlands Female

149. Tim Nieburg Netherlands Male

150. Dafne Nieveen Netherlands Female

151. Tallander Franciscus Niewold Netherlands Male

152. Rahimmah Noor Malaysia Female

153. Jan Noreilde Belgium Male

154. Steven Noreilde Belgium Male

155. Nicoll Charles Anderson Norris Australia Male

156. Jolette Nuesink Netherlands Female

157. Jack Samuel Obrien Australia Male

158. Daisy Oehlers Netherlands Female

159. Victor Oreshkin Australia Male

160. Julian Ottochian Netherlands Male

161. Sergio Ottochian Netherlands Male

162. Lubberta Palm Netherlands Female

163. Miguel G Panduwinata Netherlands Male

164. Shaka T Panduwinata Netherlands Male

165. Hasni Hardi Bin Parlan Malaysia Male

166. Johnny Paulissen Netherlands Male

167. Martin Paulissen Netherlands Male

168. Sri Paulissen Netherlands Female

169. Sjors Adrianus Pijnenburg Netherlands Male

170. Alex Ploeg Netherlands Male

171. Robert Ploeg Netherlands Male

172. Benjamin Pocock United Kingdom Male

173. Kaushalya Jairamdas Punjabi Malaysia Female

174. Hielkje Raap Netherlands Female

175. Jeroen Renkers Netherlands Male

176. Tim Renkers Netherlands Male

177. Daisy Risah Netherlands Female

178. Albert Rizk Australia Male

179. Maree Rizk Australia Female

180. Catharina Ruijter Netherlands Female

181. Arjen Ryder Australia Male

182. Yvonne Ryder Australia Female

183. Quinn Schansman Netherlands Male

184. Cornelis Schilder Netherlands Male

185. Rik Schuyesmans Belgium Male

186. Helena Sidelik Australia Female

187. Siti Amirah Binti Parawira Malaysia Female

188. Matthew Ezekial Sivagnanam Malaysia Male

189. Paul Rajasingam Sivagnanam Malaysia Male

190. Gary Slok Netherlands Male

191. Carlijn Smallenburg Netherlands Female

192. Charles Smallenburg Netherlands Male

193. Werther Smallenburg Netherlands Male

194. Maria Smolders Netherlands Female

195. Jane M Adi Soetjipto Indonesia Female

196. Peter Souren Netherlands Male

197. Reinmar Specken Netherlands Male

198. Cornelia Stuiver Netherlands Female

199. Wayan Sujana Indonesia Male

200. Supartini Indonesia Female

201. Liam Sweeney United Kingdom Male

202. Muhammad Afif Tambi Malaysia Male

203. Charles Eliza David Tamtelahitu Netherlands Male

204. Siew Poh Tan Malaysia Female

205. Elaine Teoh Malaysia Female

206. Yodricunda Theistiasih Indonesia Female

207. Glenn Raymond Thomas United Kingdom Male

208. Mary Tiernan Australia Female

209. Gerardus Timmers Netherlands Male

210. Cornelia Tol Netherlands Female

211. Hendrikjan Tournier Netherlands Male

212. Liv Trugg Netherlands Female

213. Remco Trugg Netherlands Male

214. Tess Trugg Netherlands Female

215. Thamsanqa Uijterlinde Netherlands Male

216. Lorenzo Vandekraats Netherlands Male

217. Robertjan Vandekraats Netherlands Male

218. Jeroen Vendemortel Netherlands Male

219. Milia Vandemortel Netherlands Female

220. Johannes Rudolfus Vandenhende Netherlands Male

221. Margaux Larissa Vandenhende Netherlands Female

222. Marnix Reduan Vandenhende Netherlands Male

223. Piers Adnan Vandenhende Netherlands Male

224. Christina Anna Elisa Vandenschoor Netherlands Female

225. Laurens Vandergraaff Netherlands Male

226. Jennifer Vanderleij United Kingdom Female

227. Mark Vanderlinde Netherlands Male

228. Merel Vanderlinde Netherlands Female

229. Robert Vanderlinde Netherlands Male

230. Bente Vandermeer Netherlands Female

231. Fleur Vandermeer Netherlands Female

232. Sophie Vandermeer Netherlands Female

233. Ericus Vanderpoel Netherlands Male

234. Paulus Vandersande Netherlands Male

235. Steven Vandersande Netherlands Male

236. Tessa Vandersande Netherlands Female

237. Inge Vandersar Netherlands Female

238. Jan Vandersteen Netherlands Male

239. Frank Vanderweide Netherlands Male

240. April Vandoorn Netherlands Female

241. Caroline Vandoorn Netherlands Female

242. Gijsbert Vanduijn Netherlands Male

243. Petronella Vaneldijk Netherlands Female

244. Rene Vangeene Netherlands Male

245. Erik Peter Vanheijningen Netherlands Male

246. Zeger Leonard Vanheijningen Netherlands Male

247. Allard Vankeulen Netherlands Male

248. Jeroen Vankeulen Netherlands Male

249. Robert Vankeulen Netherlands Male

250. Petra Vanlangeveld Netherlands Female

251. Klaas Willem Vanluik Netherlands Male

252. Luciepaulamaria Vanmens Netherlands Female

253. Adinda Larasati Putri Vanmuijlwijk Netherlands Female

254. Emile Vanmuijlwijk Netherlands Male

255. Stefan F W Vannielen Netherlands Male

256. Jacqueline Vantongeren Netherlands Female

257. Anthonius Vanveldhuizen Netherlands Male

258. Pijke Vanveldhuizen Netherlands Male

259. Quint Vanveldhuizen Netherlands Male

260. Huub Vanvreeswijk Netherlands Male

261. Winneke Vanwiggen Netherlands Female

262. Frederique Vanzijtveld Netherlands Female

263. Robertjan Vanzijtveld Netherlands Male

264. Kim Elisa Petronella Verhaegh Netherlands Female

265. Marie Vermeulen Netherlands Female

266. Erik Vleesenbeek Netherlands Male

267. Cornelia Voorham Netherlands Female

268. Wouter Vorsselman Netherlands Male

269. Eline Vranckx Netherlands Female

270. Hendrik Wagemans Netherlands Male

271. Amel Wals Netherlands Female

272. Brett Wals Netherlands Male

273. Jeroen Wals Netherlands Male

274. Jinte Wals Netherlands Female

275. Solenn Wals Netherlands Female

276. Leonardus Wels Netherlands Male

277. Sem Wels Netherlands Male

278. Ineke Westerveld Netherlands Female

279. Ketut Wiartini Indonesia Female

280. Marit Witteveen Netherlands Female

281. Willem Witteveen Netherlands Male

282. Ninik Yuriani Indonesia Female

283. Desiree Zantkuijl Netherlands Female

MH17 Tech & Cabin Crew (All Malaysians)

Name Gender

1. Captain Wan Amran Wan Hussin Male

2. Captain Eugene Choo Jin Leong Male

3. First Officer Ahmad Hakimi Hanapi Male

4. First Officer Muhamad Firdaus Abdul Rahim Male

5. In-Flight Supervisor Mohd Ghafar Abu Bakar Male

6. Chief Stewardess Dora Shahila binti Kassim Female

7. Chief Stewardess Azrina binti Yakob Female

8. Leading Stewardess Lee Hui Pin Female

9. Leading Stewardess Mastura Mustafa Female

10. Flight Stewardess Chong Yee Pheng Female

11. Flight Steward Shaikh Mohd Noor Mahmood Male

12. Flight Steward Sanjid Singh Sandhu Male

13. Flight Stewardess Hamfazlin Sham Mohamedarifin Female

14. Flight Stewardess Nur Shazana Mohamed Salleh Female

15. Flight Stewardess Angeline Premila Rajandaran Female

Saturday, July 19, 2014

MH17 crash: Emergency Parliament sitting to be convened, flags to fly at half-mast

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).

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sabah Government Appreciates Security Forces' Service, Sacrifice - Musa

 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.

Security In Sabah Under Control, Do Not Believe Rumour - Police

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.

MH17- Najib's press statement.

18 July 2014
Statement by Prime Minister Najib Razak:
Malaysian Airlines flight 17
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.

MH17 crash: Many dead at airliner crash site, says AFP report

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