KUALA LUMPUR – The debris of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH17 should be brought back to Malaysia as it rightfully belongs to the national carrier, said former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He said, by right, Malaysia should be the one leading the investigation team on the tragedy, adding that the responsibility must be held by Malaysia because it was this country which is currently being sued by relatives of the victims.
“The aircraft belongs to Malaysia and the pilots, staff and quite a number of the passengers were Malaysians. Yet it seems that Malaysia is only grudgingly permitted to participate in the examination of the wrecks recovered. And they are not even brought back to Malaysia.
“Granted the highest number of the passengers who lost their lives were Dutch. But under what law is the aircraft the property of the Dutch?” Dr Mahathir asked in his latest blog posting titled ‘MH17’.
Malaysia, was the last country permitted by the Dutch National Public Prosecutor’s Office on Nov 28 to participate in the MH17 Joint Investigation Team, joining Netherlands, Australia, Belgium and Ukraine.
It was speculated earlier that Malaysia’s entrance into the investigation team was denied since Putrajaya had refused to point fingers at either Russia or Ukraine for being responsible for the tragedy without any concrete evidence.
Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir also questioned the relevance of the MH17’s black boxes being under the custody of the Dutch and British governments.
“As far as I know the black box (Cockpit Voice Recorder) contains a tape or electronic recording of the conversations and sounds some minutes before the crash. Can it be that Malaysians have no capacity to hear the records even? Are only the Dutch and the British capable of doing this?.
“Malaysia seems unduly grateful for being allowed to participate in examining the wreckage in Holland. What is there to be grateful for?” he asked further.
The Boeing 777-200ER aircraft was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17 as it was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
All 298 passengers and crew, including 44 Malaysians, were killed. – BERNAMA