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Saturday March 7, 2015
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Department of Civil Aviation Director-General Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman speaks at a news conference at a hotel near the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang March 9, 2014. — Picture by Mohd Yusof Mat IsaDepartment of Civil Aviation Director-General Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman speaks at a news conference at a hotel near the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang March 9, 2014. — Picture by Mohd Yusof Mat IsaKUALA LUMPUR, March 7 — Addressing the perception and theory behind the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370 has been the biggest challenge facing the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) since it was reported missing on March 8, last year.

DCA director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said views from the local and international community that the country’s aviation agency purportedly withheld information were percepted as definitive.

“It’s not a lie, nothing has been hidden. Many suspect we have hidden something. Many do not believe, but what we release (statements) and answer (in press conferences) is the truth gathered from local and international experts investigating,” he said.

The Boeing 777 aircraft was carrying 239 passengers and crew when it disappeared from the radar screen during its flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8 last year. MAS lost 12 crew members and a staff of MASkargo.

On Jan 29, the Malaysian Government officially declared the incident an ‘accident’ under international aviation regulations and that all 239 people on board the aircraft were presumed dead.

When making the announcement, the government also stressed that the search for the aircraft remained a priority.

Azharuddin explained that whatever theories and claims on the whereabouts of the aircraft had been investigated by the agency, the search team and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) although at times, it was ridiculous and made no sense.

“We have a communication team which sits down day and night to discuss how to release a statement, in response to questions and the various theories or signs of the aircraft’s whereabouts.

“We need to be careful with the statement because every word would be misinterpreted, even though we released it correctly. We always focus on what we do and do not run away from our responsibilities,” he said.

In the Gallery


  • International school students light candles to pray for passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, in Zhuji, Zhejiang province, March 10, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A relative of a passenger of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 puts his palms together as he prays for his family member at the Lido Hotel in Beijing, March 10, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A sign filled with well wishes to the passengers of the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 reads ‘Have Hope’ at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport March 11, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Deputy commander of Vietnam Air Force Do Minh Tuan looks at a map on a TV screen during a news conference about their mission to find missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at Phu Quoc Airport on Phu Quoc Island March 11, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A US Navy SH-60R Seahawk helicopter takes off from the destroyer USS Pinckney in the Gulf of Thailand, to assist in the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, in this March 9, 2014 handout picture. — Reuters pic

  • Family members of passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 are seen in a car outside the hotel they are staying at, in Putrajaya March 11, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A family member of passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 cry inside a hotel they are staying at in Putrajaya March 11, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A relative of passengers on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 questions an aid worker (centre left) from Malaysia at restaurant in a hotel in Beijing March 11, 2014. — AFP pic

  • Family members of passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 from Beijing arrive at Cyberview Lodge Hotel, the hotel they are staying at, in Putrajaya March 11, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Family members of passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 from Beijing arrive at Cyberview Lodge Hotel, the hotel they are staying at, in Putrajaya March 11, 2014. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

  • Family members of passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 from Beijing arrive at Cyberview Lodge Hotel, the hotel they are staying at, in Putrajaya March 11, 2014. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

  • A reflection of military officer Duong Van Lanh is seen from instrument panels as he works onboard a Vietnamese air force AN-26 during a mission to find the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 off Tho Chu islands March 11, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Malaysians write and hang their wishes for the passengers of missing MH370 on a card before hanging it on the ‘Wall of Hope’ located at the entrance of Pavilion shopping centre in Kuala Lumpur March 11, 2014. — Picture by Mohd Yusof Mat Isa

  • Malaysians write and hang their wishes for the passengers of missing MH370 on a card before hanging it on the ‘Wall of Hope’ located at the entrance of Pavilion shopping centre in Kuala Lumpur March 11, 2014. — Picture by Mohd Yusof Mat Isa

  • Malaysians write and hang their wishes for the passengers of missing MH370 on a card before hanging it on the ‘Wall of Hope’ located at the entrance of Pavilion shopping centre in Kuala Lumpur March 11, 2014. — Picture by Mohd Yusof Mat Isa

  • Malaysians write and hang their wishes for the passengers of missing MH370 on a card before hanging it on the ‘Wall of Hope’ located at the entrance of Pavilion shopping centre in Kuala Lumpur March 11, 2014. — Picture by Mohd Yusof Mat Isa

  • Malaysians write and hang their wishes for the passengers of missing MH370 on a card before hanging it on the ‘Wall of Hope’ located at the entrace of Pavilion shopping centre in Kuala Lumpur March 11, 2014. — Picture by Mohd Yusof Mat Isa

  • Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar (centre) addresses a news conference on the two passengers who had travelled onboard the missing MH370 plane on stolen passports in KLIA, on March 11, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A policewoman holds up a photo of one of the two men whom they believe were travelling on board the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 on stolen passports after a news conference in Kuala Lumpur International Airport March 11, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A combination photo shows two men whom police said were travelling on stolen passports onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane, taken before their departure at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in this March 11, 2014 handout courtesy of the Malaysian Police. — Reuters pic

  • Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble (second right) speaks during a news conference at the Interpol headquarters in Lyon, March 11, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A Vietnamese officer stands next to a TV screen showing a flight route during a news conference about their mission to find missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at Phu Quoc Airport in Phu Quoc Island, March 11, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Deputy commander of Vietnam Air Force Do Minh Tuan (centre) gives a press conference at the search and rescue centre at Phu Quoc airport in Vietnam, on March 11, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May

  • Deputy commander of Vietnam Air Force Do Minh Tuan points to a map of the search area at the search and rescue centre at Phu Quoc airport in Vietnam, on March 11, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May

  • The search and rescue centre is based at Phu Quoc airport in Vietnam. Photo taken on March 11, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May

  • A Vietnamese helicopter taxies at Phu Quoc Airport before being utilised in the mission to find the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in Phu Quoc Island, March 11, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A helicopter lands after coming back from a search for the missing MH370 aircraft at Phu Quoc airport, on March 11, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May

  • Reporters doing an interview next to one of the planes that has just returned from a search for the missing MH370 aircraft, at Phu Quoc airport, on March 11, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May

  • A helicopter takes off from Jinggangshan warship to search the waters suspected to be the site of the missing Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in this March 11, 2014 photo courtesy of China News Service. — Reuters pic

  • A search boat carrying rescue workers is set down from Mianyang warship on the waters suspected to be the site of the missing Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in this March 10, 2014 photo provided by China News Service. — Reuters pic

  • Family members of passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vote to set a deadline for the company to answer their requests, including providing solatium without additional conditions, at a hotel in Beijing, March 11, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A journalist kisses Wan Tom Wan Chik, the mother of 33-year-old Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 passenger Mohd Sofuan Razak, after an interview at the hotel where relatives of the passengers are staying in Putrajaya March 10, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A woman holds a sign of support and hope for the passengers of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 she made and brought to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport March 11, 2014. — Reuters pic

Meanwhile, Azharuddin said there were certainly, a lot of things that could be learned by the various parties, including the DCA and the world’s airlines on what happened to the doomed plane.

He said the most significant thing was to introduce commercial aircraft detection in real time standards.

He said this would, among other things make it easier to exactly locate an aircraft at any time.

According to Azharuddin, these security measures have been proposed to ICAO for further attention and the international body will issue a final report on it in August. — Bernama

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