KUALA LUMPUR, May 30 – Malaysia and China’s partnership on the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 search provides a new model for global relations, said Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein. “I cannot run away from the fact I am responsible for the search of MH370. I really believe that a lot of things happen for a reason and it’s an emotional journey for me, going through (the disappearance of) MH370.
“And that emotional journey has very strong links with China and its people. So much has happened in 40 years. It is significant for me (because) I have promised the families of missing passengers that I would come here and engage with them,” he said in an interview with CCTV News Anchor, James Chau, in Beijing, China, Thursday. The interview can be viewed here at: http://youtu.be/tFVdbdmLDkE
At the time China and Malaysia are celebrating 40 years of diplomatic ties, Hishammuddin said personally, the ties meant a lot for him and for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak as the relations were built by their fore fathers. “More importantly, it means a lot to bilateral relations between two nations, how we conduct ourselves with the leaders and people of China. It is important because the world is watching and this can be a good example of bilateral relations,” he said.
Flight MH370, which disappeared from radar en route to Beijing on March 8, carried mostly Chinese nationals. Hishammuddin, who is also the Defence Minister, reassured Malaysia’s commitment that it would not let up its ongoing efforts to locate the missing MH370. “On behalf of my family, the Malaysian government and its people, the search will continue. I am still in touch with families of some of the passengers. I have assured all the family members that I will not let up,” he said.
Hishammuddin said the most difficult part of the search was having to deal with the families and he was still dealing with it right now. “I believe that not one single person in the search team has broken down even though it is heart-wrenching to see the families affected by the missing MH370 flight,” he said. When asked whether Malaysia was in a better position to offer new innovation and knowledge, Hishammuddin said that they were in such a position and he was proud of it. “That is something that I’m proud about, no matter what people say. Not many countries can coordinate and get everybody to cooperate. “I’m lucky because I have to deal with people who are pretty decent and the fact that we are moving to a new phase looking into deep sea search,” he said.
He added that the support to help Malaysia in the new phase was overwhelming. “The technology available out there is so sophisticated. I also feel that Malaysia, Australia and China are in a position that is pretty unique in the history of mankind,” said Hishammuddin. Hishammuddin was also asked why he chose to visit the families of the passengers privately in one of the hotels in Kuala Lumpur during the early days of the search, without the presence of media. For that question, Hishammuddin said: “Because it’s between the families and me. There is a limit to politicise things, a limit to seek ratings and a limit to answer allegations even though it is personal to me when you say I’m uncaring.
“I’ve always said this, history will always judge us. Going on television, hugging, kissing and crying with them, that again is just temporary. That is not me. People are now beginning to understand who I am. If I reflect Malaysia, I think I’ve done my job,” he said. Based on Inmarsat calculations of the satellite data, MH370 was plotted over the southern Indian Ocean – completely opposite to the direction it should have been heading – and is believed lost in that area. However, in a report from The Australian-led Joint Agency Coordination Centre today, the swathe of Indian Ocean where acoustic transmissions were detected was Thursday ruled out as the crash zone of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 after a lengthy underwater search.