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Sunday, March 30, 2014

'Malaysia needs new gov't, not new radar system'


Malaysia does not need a new radar system for its royal airforce, rather it needs a new government, said PAS Parit Buntar MP Mujahid Yusof Rawa in Penang last night.

He dismissed the idea of the Royal Malaysian Air Force needing anew radar system to detect unidentified airplanes, as it failed to act when a blip that could have missing MH370 plane showed up.

The plane, enroute to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, vanished on March 8, with 239 people on board.

Instead what Malaysia needs most was a new government who can handle such a major crisis responsibly, he said.

"It is not about whether the existing radar is of low quality or that those monitoring were asleep when the plane allegedly flew across the Straits of Malacca," Mujahid said at a dinner organised by the Penang PAS Supporters Club in Bayan Lepas last night.

"It's strange that the government is saying that they will buy a new radar system. It is not about a new radar, we need a new government!" Mujahid exclaimed, drawing cheers from the 100 odd crowd.

Among those present at the event to enhance PAS ties with non-Muslims were the Penang Catholic Bishop Sebastian Francis.

"This aging government could not even handle that breach of security of the country and they have the guts to tell us they want to buy new radar?" Mujahid quipped.

He was responding to a statement by acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein late last night that he has to find the money to change the country's radar system.

He was quick to add that much of the satellite imagery used in the search were from commercial satellites rather than military.

Shame expressed

Mujahid then expressed shame, condemning the Malaysian authorities for not defending pilot Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah but instead allowed speculation by foreigners that he could be a terrorist.

Mujahid said the Malaysian authorities did nothing to defend him when there were "wild accusations" in the foreign media that Zaharie might have been responsible for the disappearance of the Beijing-bound plane.

He said Zaharie (right)  was two years his senior when they both studied at the Penang Free School, adding that the 53 year old pilot was a responsible man, known for his smooth landing skills on short runways - a rare ability among pilots.

"He has more than 18,000 hours of flying time to his name. As Malaysians, we should be proud of Captain Zaharie," said Mujahid, who is also the state’s PAS deputy commissioner.

"There is a view that if the pilot has decided to make a U-turn, it meant that he had wanted to save the plane, to land in Langkawi, the nearest airport.

"But how did our authorities respond? That they are investigating Zaharie's background. What is this? You should defend your own Malaysian pilot instead of saying yes to your enemies," he stressed.

Zaharie has become one of the targets of the probe to determine what happened to the Boeing 777-200ER.

Zaharie's self-constructed flight simulator had been seized, with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation working on it to retrieve deleted data. Police have also raided his house in Shah Alam and questioned his family.

Zaharie's membership in PKR also became a point of inquiry when a British tabloid claimed that he was present in court when Anwar was convicted of sodomy and slapped with a five-year jail term, hours before MH370 went missing.

On the same note, Mujahid slammed the government for "not being brave" to form a royal commission of inquiry or special parliamentary select committee on MH370 because these would possibly reveal all kinds of irregularities, weaknesses and security breaches that the authorities are responsible for.

"The RCI or PSC will show the world our willingness to resolve this crisis in a transparent manner but the id not considering it despite all the pressure from us (the opposition).

"If you do not have anything to hide, why should you conceal the information that the world needs?" he queried.

He was responding to Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Shahidan Kassim, who had said in Parliament that the government may consider the RCI but that has to wait until the flight recorder and black box data of the flight has been retrieved.

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