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Friday, March 28, 2014

MAS press conference abruptly cancelled


MH370 A MAS press conference originally scheduled for 6pm today has been cancelled, leaving press officers at the MH370 media centre in the dark.

The conference slated to be held at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) was highly anticipated following allegations of sabotage at MAS’ avionics workshop in Subang, and after Chinese ticketing agencies have reportedly boycotted the airline.

The timing meant the press conference was expected to begin just as the government concludes its daily press conference on the MH370 crisis at the same venue.

At the end of the government press conference however, MAS group chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya merely stepped down from the stage with acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and Department of Civil Aviation director-general Azharuddin Abdul Rahman and left the venue.

When queried by reporters, Department of Information press officers running the media centre had to contact a MAS representative, then inform reporters that there will be no further MAS press conferences for the day.

A notice announcing the 6pm press conference posted at the media centre’s notice board was taken down at about 6.25pm.

Earlier today, South China Morning Post reported that several top Chinese online ticketing had stopped offering MAS flights as an option, saying that they will boycott MAS until it “gets to the bottom of the truth on Flight MH370”.

This is the latest in the Chinese backlash against Malaysia, following alleged mishandling of the crisis and contradictory statements led to allegations of ‘murder’ and ‘cover-up’.

Separately yesterday evening, a minor fire broke out at MAS’ avionics workshop, which led former Wangsa Maju MP Wee Choo Keong to raise questions of sabotage.

“What documents or properties have been destroyed by this mysterious fire and was this an act of  sabotage?” he said, while demanding MAS Aerospace Engineering CEO Azhari Dhalan to explain the fire.

Avionics - short for ‘aviation electronics’ - is a blanket term for electronic equipment related to aviation, such as black boxes, transponders, navigational equipment and radios.

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