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MISSING MAS FLIGHT: Updating MH370 search

Publication Date : 14-03-2014


Hearts are heavy over the fate of the crew and passengers, including 154 Chinese nationals, who boarded the missing Malaysia Airlines flight. Search teams from 12 countries and regions are scouring the seas for any sign of the plane, and people around the world are waiting for news.

Malaysia Airlines and the Malaysian authorities have reacted too, but some confusing information has cast a shadow over the search efforts, says an opinion piece in Beijing Times.

After two Iranians were reported to have boarded the aircraft with stolen passports, Malaysian police published their photos with obvious errors. Even if that was a fault in "photocopying" as they claimed, it shows haste at the cost of professionalism.

The arrangements made for those families who want to go to Malaysia to await news of their loved ones have not been satisfactory, but understandable perhaps in such a situation.

However, releasing inaccurate information must be avoided as it might hinder the search efforts.

On Wednesday, Malaysia said its military radar tracked the signal of what was possibly the missing plane near the Malacca Straits before it lost contact. That was only one day after they firmly denied that the missing plane made a U-turn and headed west to that region. If that information is true, rescue teams searching the sea east of the Malaysian peninsula based on the previous information they were given would find their efforts in vain. No wonder there are complaints that there is "too much confusion" regarding information released about the plane's flight path.

Speaking at a news conference at the conclusion of China's annual session of the National People's Congress on Thursday, Premier Li Keqiang said, "The Chinese government has asked relevant parties to enhance coordination, investigate the cause, locate the missing plane as quickly as possible and properly handle all related matters."

What Malaysia Airlines and the Malaysian authorities should do is release the necessary information timely and make sure it is reliable. They also need to promote greater efficiency among their own departments and better coordinate with other parties.

Families and friends are waiting for news, and Malaysia Airlines and the Malaysian authorities are expected to continue the search with tact and dedication.


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