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Thursday, 24 July 2014

Parliament condemns MH17 downing

KUALA LUMPUR: The Dewan Rakyat unanimously approved a motion condemning the “inhumane, uncivilised, violent and irresponsible” act of shooting down Flight MH17 in east Ukraine.

The motion tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak during a special parliamentary meeting yesterday called for an international body to undertake a comprehensive investigation into the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) disaster on July 17.

The House also extended its deepest regrets, profound sadness and sorrow at the unfortunate tragedy that befell the 298 passengers and crew members.

Najib’s strongly worded motion called on all parties to cooperate to ensure that investigations were carried out immediately.

“The august House also demands that a comprehensive investigation be carried out so that those believed to be responsible for this crime against humanity through the shooting down of MH17 are immediately brought to justice,” he said to thumps of approval from the members of Parliament.

At the outset of the proceedings, Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia called for a minute of prayer for the victims.

Later, Najib, looking sombre in a grey suit, called for a minute of silence as a mark of respect for them.

Among the victims were 43 Malaysians, including 15 crew members and two infants.

Najib voiced his anger and disappointment over the fact that the crash site was not immediately secured according to international practices, leading to a loss of and tainted evidence as well as protection of the remains of the deceased.

He assured the families of the victims that Malaysia would continue to seek the truth.

“Let us walk through this difficult time together, united in sorrow,” added Najib.

He also reminded the people not to forget the ill fate of “our brethren, the Palestinians in Gaza who have lost many innocent lives due to oppression and cruelty” and called for an immediate ceasefire.

Najib thanked Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and DAP senior advisor Lim Kit Siang along with other party heads for supporting the Government in the motion.

Anwar, who is Permatang Pauh MP, said that legal action should be taken to ensure justice for each victim and to make sure that no life would ever be lost this way again.

He also called for those who shot Flight MH17 out of the sky to be brought before the International Criminal Court.

“The weapons used to shoot down Flight MH17 were sophisticated and only could be supplied either by Russia or the United States. I urge the Government not to be pressured when facing the world superpowers.”

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng (DAP-Bagan) called for a delay in payment for the delivery of Russian-made fighter jets and a cancellation of the Angkasawan Negara programme sponsored by Russia if they did not cooperate in the investigations.

“Our focus is to seek truth for the victims and their families. Those who shot the plane down are animals.

“Datuk Seri Najib took a risk in negotiating with pro-Russian rebel leader Alexander Borodai to secure the black boxes.

“This contact may be a breach of diplomatic protocol, but we feel that it was worth it.”

Guan Eng voiced his appreciation for MAS staff, saying DAP leaders and members would fly on the national carrier as a sign of faith in the airline.

Datuk Mahfuz Omar (PAS-Pokok Sena) said MAS should make its own risk assessment and independent analysis on routes in and near conflict zones and not solely rely on recommendations by Icao and other countries over the safety of the routes.

Mahfuz expressed his concern that MAS London-bound flights flew over Syria.

“I want the Government to look into this to ensure that we can secure the safety of our planes,” he said.

Tags / Keywords: Nation , Transport Safety , MH17 , Dewan Rakyat , MH17 , Ukraine , MAS


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