BEIJING, March 12 – The last radio transmission from the cockpit of missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 was “Alright, good night”, Kuala Lumpur’s ambassador to Beijing reportedly said today during a meeting with Chinese relatives. Datuk Iskandar Sarudin was speaking to passengers’ relatives and friends at a Beijing hotel. A total of 153 of the 239 people on board the aircraft are Chinese. The flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing disappeared from radar screens early on Saturday without making a distress call and no confirmed wreckage has been found, despite a vast search.
The “alright, good night” comment from one of the pilots came as the flight switched from Malaysian to Vietnamese airspace, Singapore’s Straits Times newspaper quoted the ambassador as saying. As confusion deepens over the search area and whether Malaysian military radar tracked the aircraft, he said “now is not the time” to reveal what information the military had supplied civilian authorities.He also defended the crew, after an Australian television report that co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27, violated airline rules in 2011 by allowing two young South African women into their cockpit during a flight.
Seven Chinese ships are taking part in the search, with an eighth due to arrive today, according to the official Xinhua news agency. But web users lashed out at a Xinhua picture showing the chief of China’s maritime search and rescue centre sitting at a desk and speaking on the telephone. “What decade is it, that they’re still taking these kinds of photos?! Is it to prove that the leaders are keeping busy?” asked one user. “I have no other feeling but disgust,” wrote another. Others expressed frustration with the search effort. “It’s been nearly 96 hours since MH370 lost contact, and 10 countries have joined the search-and-rescue effort, but they still haven’t found any traces of the lost aircraft,” wrote one.
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