KUALA LUMPUR, April 9 – “Let’s all pray,” Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak tweeted on Wednesday in response to a message on the search for a missing Malaysian airliner. He was responding to a tweet from acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein. Hishammuddin had tweeted: “Through Angus Houston JACC (Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre chief co-ordinator) informed us of the two new signals this morning. We are cautiously more optimistic.” The two signals were detected by the Australian Defence Vessel (ADV) Ocean Shield at 4.27 pm and 10.17 pm yesterday and experts had confirmed that the pulse signals were from a man-made device, such as a black box, and not natural sounds from the ocean.
However, it had yet to be confirmed whether the signals had come from the black box of the missing Malaysian Airlines (MAS) flight, MH370. Last Monday, Ocean Shield detected two signals after having picked up one on Sunday, while a Chinese ship, Haixun 01, traced two signals last Friday and Saturday. Flight MH370, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew, left the KL International Airport at 12.41 am on March 8 and disappeared from radar screens about an hour later, while over the South China Sea. It was to have arrived in Beijing at 6.30 am on the same day.
A multinational search was mounted for the aircraft, first in the South China Sea and then, after it was learned that the plane had veered off course, along two corridors – the northern corridor stretching from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand, and the southern corridor, from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean.
Following an unprecedented type of analysis of satellite data, United Kingdom satellite telecommunications company Inmarsat and the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) concluded that Flight MH370 flew along the southern corridor and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth. Najib then announced on March 24, seventeen days after the disappearance of the Boeing 777-200ER aircraft, that the flight path of MH370 “ended in the southern Indian Ocean”.