Malaysia’s government is deliberately concealing information that would help to explain what happened to miss
In a wide-ranging interview that cast doubt on the official investigation into the disappearance of the plane, Anwar Ibrahim said the country’s “sophisticated” radar system would have identified it after it changed course and crossed back over Malaysia.
In an interview with The Telegraph, he said that he had personally authorised the installation of “one of the most sophisticated radar” systems in the world, based near the South China Sea and covering Malaysia’s mainland and east and west coastlines, when he was the country’s finance minister in 1994.
It was “not only unacceptable but not possible, not feasible” that the plane had not been sighted by the Marconi radar system immediately after it changed course. The radar, he said, would have instantly detected the Boeing 777 as it travelled east to west across “at least four” Malaysian provinces.
Mr Anwar said it was “baffling” that the country’s air force had “remained silent”, and claimed that it “should take three minutes under SOP (standard operating procedure) for the air force planes to go. And there was no response.”
He added: “We don’t have the sophistication of the United States or Britain but still we have the capacity to protect our borders.”
It was “clearly baffling”, he said, to suggest that radar operators had been unable to observe the plane’s progress.
He said the families of the 153 Chinese victims on board were right to demand information from the Malaysian government, which had permitted a multi-national search operation to spend a week searching in what it must have known was the wrong place.
“Why didn’t we alert the Chinese, the Vietnamese that the operation should cease in the South China Sea and let them spend millions on search and rescue in a place that they know fairly well cannot be the site of the plane?”
That may be the real question. China has a pretty good idea of what Malaysian capabilities are and they have likely come to the same conclusion. This may well be a case of incompetence, but the entire disappearance remains strange and it appears that the authorities know more than they are saying.
Ibrahim has also been suspected of complicity due to his ties to the pilot, but if the pilot did indeed bring down the plane in support of Ibrahim, it would take some serious chutzpah for him to come forward and accuse the government. Not that it’s impossible or that the whole thing was engineered for precisely this scenario.
Either the goal was to provoke China into hostilities with the Malaysian government or to punish China for its clashes with Islam. Any third scenarios would involve pilot instability.