'No forgiveness for MH17 culprits, only justice'

comments         Published     Updated

Anger and disappointment poured from both sides of the divide in the special Parliamentary sitting called by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak on the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 today.

Both sides of the house unanimously condemn the shooting and vow to seek justice for the 298 on board who died in the crash in eastern Ukraine.

In a rare show of bi-partisanship, the PM and Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin were also seen crossing the House to shake hands with opposition leaders after the motion was passed.

Malaysiakini 's LIVE REPORT follows.

Motion to condemn downing of MH17 passed

5.10pm: The motion to condemn the shooting down of MH17 is passed by unanimous voice vote.

 
To recap, the motion in Parliament today sought to:
 
- Urge for a comprehensive investigation by an independent body;
 
- Urge for comprehensive investigation to be carried out to bring those responsible to justice;
 
- Condemn the parties responsible for shooting down the plane;
 
- Record condolences and deepest sympathies for the family of victims; and
 
- Record its deepest regret and profound sadness over the unfortunate tragedy.

Parliament adjourns to an undetermined date.
 

'Nothing' in Donestk deal other than three outcomes

5.05pm: Muhyiddin says there is no “deal” involved in the agreement brokered with east Ukraine separatist leader Alexander Borodai.

He was responding to a question by Lim Guan Eng (DAP-Bagan) who asked if the separatists had demanded anything in return from Malaysia.

He labelled Najib's success in negotiating with the separatists as a "diplomatic coup", and that it was done on the basis of securing the crash site.

 

"It was done in a smart way by the PM," he stresses.

 

"There is nothing in the deal. There was no other deals- the PM has told me. There were only the three agreements as we have outlined."

He also says that government will form a special investigative team consisting of police, the Department of Civil Aviation and other agencies to ensure investigations can start as soon as possible.

“If it is true that MH17 was shot down, Malaysia will pressure the parties responsible for this most despicable crime against humanity to be brought to face justice and punished severely,” he says.

He says negotiation with the separatists does not impair Malaysia’s resolve for justice if it is later established that the separatists were the ones who shot down the plane.

"We have no forgiveness for them, no matter who is responsible, if it is proven. We stick to our promise (to pursue justice)," he adds.

M'sia will seek justice on international level

4.50pm: Muhyiddin winds up the debates. He says that the government will seek justice on "an international level" for the MH17 tragedy. 
 
"Every effort will be taken to ensure those responsible are faced with justice, be it in domestic level or international," he says.
 
However, knowing that Malaysia has no jurisdiction to conduct investigations or arrests on other countries, Muhyiddin stresses that commitment and co-operation from other countries is imperative.
 
Malaysia will be using extra-territorial criminal application laws that it already has in order to take action against identified criminals in this tragedy.
 
These laws include the Penal Code and the Aviation Offences Act 1984.

He also reiterates that the route used by MH17 was approved as safe by the International Civil Aviation Organisaion (ICAO).

"Pilots are only allowed to divert with reason," he adds.

 

'PM a Germany, not a Brazil'

4.20pm: Jospeh Kurup (BN-Pensiangan) asks the government to call for a special international sitting with all countries affected by the MH17 tragedy to state a declaration to condemn the attack.

 
The minister in the prime minister's department proposes that it be called the "Kuala Lumpur Civil Air Safety Declaration". 
 
Kurup also pours praises on Najib for securing a deal with the separatists.
 
"The PM is definitely not a Brazil, but a Germany."

He was referring to the recent FIFA World Cup winners Germany as opposed to hosts Brazil.

 

'We don't want anyone to die in sin'

4.00pm: Muhyiddin will wrap up the debates on behalf of the government before the motion can be passed. He is expected to speak at 4.30pm.

The deputy speaker urges the remaining six MPs to finish their debates as swiftly as possible so that Muhyiddin can start his speech on time.

3.50pm: Siti Zailah Yusof (PAS-Rantau Panjang) urges the government to heed calls not to serve alcohol on board Malaysia Airlines' flights.

She also raises the issue of flight attendants' uniform, which do not adhere to Muslim dress code.

"We don't want (anyone) to die in sin. (The government) should pay attention to the basics of Islamic teachings.

"Even if we die in the line of duty, we must die in a state of worship to Allah.

"We may have advanced technolgies but this matter should not be viewed lightly. We cannot stop Allah's might."

This comes soon after Kedah PAS Youth information chief Ahmad Tarmizi Sulaiman is slammed for associating MAS policies on alcohol and crew uniform to the tragedy.

Not afraid of Putin, Ukraine or separatists

3.40pm: It happens to be Najib's birthday today. He turns 61.

 
Norah Abdul Rahman (BN-Tanjung Manis) points it out while wishing him when debating the MH17 motion. 
 
Najib is now back in the House listening to the debates in the.

He has so far received support from both sides of the political divide for negotiating with Ukranian separatists to secure the remains of the MH17 victims and the flight data recorders.

3.25pm: Azalina Othman (BN-Pengerang) says that the BN Backbenchers' Council (BNBBC) wants to know who will be responsible for compensation for the victims' families.

"This is so we don't just let them off the hook. We aren't afraid of Putin, the separatists or Ukraine, but we are afraid of the rakyat."

She also condemns the downing of the commercial flight by missile as a "barbaric mass murder".

"A commercial flight has become victim of (superpower) war. We must be fierce in this issue."

 

USA just 'going with the flow'

3.20pm: Steven Sim (DAP-Bukit Mertajam) is cut off by deputy speaker Ismail Mohamed Said when he interjects during fellow DAP colleague Teresa Kok's turn to debate.
 
Sim tried to raise concerns that a possible "reshuffling" in MAS following the tragedy will allow "crony capitalists" to benefit.
 
However, Ismail quickly turns down Sim's arguments, insisting that he sticks to the issue of debating MH17 and not stray.
 
"I want Seputeh (Kok) to continue with the speech. It's enough Bukit Mertajam (Sim)," Ismail says.
 
Kok says that she hopes the PM would take heed of what Sim "was trying to raise".

3.10pm : Bung Moktar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan) says that the US would not have reacted to the MH17 tragedy in the same vein if the flight that was shot down was one of their airlines.

"Because it is a MAS flight, they are just following with the flow."

He, however, does not specify how "different" the reaction would be.

 

Meanwhile, Najib has returned to Parliament for the evening session.

M'sia can't be pawn in superpower conflict

3pm: Mujahid Yusof Rawa (PAS-Parit Buntar) says Malaysia should not allow itself to become a "pawn" for international superpowers in their own conflict.

 
"This tragedy is linked to international politics, especially between US and Russia.
 
"All other countries are merely proxies for these superpowers...
 
"At this moment the whole world seems to want to point fingers at Russia... But we must be consistent not to be used in this matter."

Meanwhile Hanipa Maidin (PAS-Sepang) interjects Kamaruddin Jaafar (PAS-Tumpat) to propose that both sides of the house demand that an independent body investigate the incident.

 

2.35pm : Debates resume after lunch with Joseph Pairin Kitingan (STAR-Keningau) urging the United Nations (UN) to not only condemn the act of downing the plane, but also to take immediate action.

He also calls on the UN and Europeam community to be frank about the Ukraine crisis, and for international aviation bodies to update their risk assessments of routes above conflict zones.

"International aviation bodies cannot just abdicate responsibility in evaluating the risks of flying above conflict zones," he says, adding that MAS is not at fault.

Call to ratify International Criminal Court

1pm: Parliament now adjourns for lunch and will resume at 2.30pm.

Later, the government will wrap up by answering questions raised by MPs, who have debated the motion.

Till now, the list of debaters is only half exhausted. After the break, each MP will be given 10 minutes each to debate.

12.55pm: Charles Santiago (DAP-Klang) and M Kulasegaran (DAP-Ipoh Barat) raise the issue of Malaysia ratifying the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Malaysia is not a member state of the ICC, and Kulasegaran asks if Malaysia has missed an opportunity to bring the MH17 issue to the ICC.

The issue of ICC ratification was brought up by Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar.

Tempers flare of 'fake' Rafizi tweet

12.20pm: Pandemonium erupts in the House after Wee Ka Siong (BN-Ayer Hitam) accuses Rafizi Ramli (PKR-Pandan) of posting a tweet warning the government "not to use people's money to bribe separatists".

Rafizi and Pakatan Rakyat MPs are enraged by the accusation.

Rafizi says the tweet is fake and he planned to lodge a police report on the matter.

Wee, who is also minister in the prime minister's department, refuses to apologise and declines to retract his accusation, escalating the tension.

In his speech, Wee continuously takes jibes at opposition members for "trying to find fault" with MAS and the government's conduct in light of the tragedy.

He criticises Tanjong MP Ng Wei Aik for "not advising his partner", referring to a tweet by Ng's wife Yuki Tan criticising Malaysia on the MH17 incident.

Wee also trains his guns on DAP's Taiping MP Nga Kor Ming for questioning the air route.

Infuriated, Pakatan members press deputy speaker Ronald Kiandee to demand the MCA deputy president retracts the remark.

However, Ronald refuses to order Wee to retract the remark, saying Rafizi's explanation has already been recorded.

Mahfuz: Don't fly over conflict zones

12.05pm: Mahfuz Omar (PAS-Pokok Sena) says the government must not rely on other airlines and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in allowing MAS and AirAsia to use the airspace over strife-torn countries like Syria.

Mahfuz says a re-evaluation is important to ensure that an incident like MH17 does not recur.

"Do we need to rely on the ICAO to determine whether the route is safe or not although we know that the area is a conflict zone?

"A re-evaluation must be done. Wisma Putra or the embassy must give a full report on whether the particular airspace is safe or not.

"For example, the KL-London route sees flights going over Syria. I hope the government can look into the matter to ensure the safety of our planes."

Mahfuz also stands up to express his condolences and sympathy on the tragedy on behalf of PAS, saying that Malaysia needs to ensure that aviation tragedies do not become a "series" in the country.

"We need to identify and rectify our weakness so that these things do not repeat."

The PAS information chief says that MH17 has become a victim of superpowers "exercising their influence and powers."

However, he spends more time talking about the MH370 flight, asking the government to clarify the status of investigation as there is a need to know what actually happened to the plane.

'Postpone payment for Russian jets'

11.35am: Lim also urges the government to use whatever influence it has to place the necessary pressure in getting to the truth of what had happened to MH17.

                        

Although Malaysia's economic influence is not as significant compared to the US and other European countries, he says the country still has relevant economic relations with Russia.

"Malaysia bought 18 Sukhoi Su-30MKM fighter jets worth USD900 million in August 2003.

"If Malaysia has not settled the full payment for these jets, we should postpone the payment, if necessary.

"Malaysia should also be ready to cancel the second Angkasawan programme which was part of the fighter jets purchase if we think that Russia will not give its full cooperation to the international as well as Malaysian community.

"Also, as proposed by the international community, we should consider joining the boycott against Russia."

'Quiet diplomacy' the right approach

11.30am: Lim, who is the DAP secretary-general, also agrees that "quiet diplomacy" was the right approach to ensure the remains and the black boxes can be secured.

"These might have breached diplomatic protocol, but it is something that is well worth it.

"The Ukraine government clearly has no effective control over the region, and PM has taken the risk to negotiate with someone who has not been recognised at all. The prime minister has our full support in this matter."

Lim also says that he will stick to flying MAS despite the tragedy.

"Showing solidarity for MAS in these trying times is not limited to giving speech and words of encouragement alone.

"We would like stress here that we will continue flying with MAS, if time allows it."

He also describes those who shot down the plane as "animals in human masks."

Lim also seems to be leaning towards the accusation that the separatists shot down the plane en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

"Why would Ukraine military shoot down the plane when they know that the separatists do not have fighter jets?

"That leaves us with one scenario- that the separatists were somehow responsible for this act."

He says that Malaysia has to emulate the Brazilian and German governments which sent back its US ambassadors following revelations that the US spied on the two countries.

"We must not hesitate to call the Russia and Ukraine ambassadors to Wisma Putra. And while we are at it, we could also call the US ambassador to express our dissatisfaction with what is happening in Gaza."

Lim also stresses on the importance of confirming the allegation that Russia had supplied heavy weapons and artillery to the East Ukrainian separatists.

"We must confirm whether Russia sent its troops or its agents to help the separatists. We must also confirm whether Russia was responsible in helping them launch the missile."

Anwar: Controversial but the right approach

11am: Anwar throws his weight behind Najib, agreeing that negotiating with the separatists was necessary.

His show of support for the prime minister is lauded by other MPs, who tap on their tables.

He says although Najib's action in contacting the separatist leader (Borodai) courted controversy, he supports the prime minister’s decision since "a responsible leader must safeguard the rakyat’s interests first".

"To get things done, there is no easy way out, so we have to negotiate with the separatists who are controlling the region."

Anwar also urges the government not to be afraid in dealing with superpowers.

"In facing this problem, I urge the government to ensure that the superpowers do not protect the real criminals."

"I also express my condolences to the PM as he has also lost his step-grandmother in the incident."

Anwar also asks if the issue of Gaza can be incorporated as an "integral" part of the debate today.

He says that Gaza is being "colonialised" by Israel.

10.50am: Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Shahidan Kassim moves that the House will not adjourn until the PM's motion is fully debated and passed.

This was after Natural Resources and Environment Minister G Palanivel seconded Najib's motion.

The motion will go to debate with 12 BN MPs selected to debate it, and 10 Pakatan MPs.

Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim will be the first to debate the motion.

Najib: We demand answers

10.45am: Najib says the Netherlands suffered a "huge" loss when the ratio of 192 of their citizens who died is compared with their population.

"To the families of the victims, I say worry not, because we will not stop seeking the truth."

He also says that "geopolitical conflicts" benefit nobody. "People only suffer further from this.”

Shortly after that, Najib ends his full motion speech.

10.40am: In a rare show of bi-partisanship, Najib expresses his thanks to both opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang for describing the incident as a "mass murder".

He also says that a "ceasefire" must be implemented at the conflict zone immediately.

10.37am: Najib urges for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine.

"Although a lot of effort has been made, many things are still left to be done.

"We will not stop mid-way. As such, investigation must be made by an independent body to determine the cause (of the incident).

"We demand for an immediate answer, whether the plane was shot by a missile and who was responsible for it? What were the motives and who supplied the weapon?

"Was the plane shot intentionally or was it a mistake? All these need concrete and clear evidence."

'I made a promise and so I took the risk'

10.35am: Najib explains that his decision to negotiate with Ukranian separatist leader Alexander Borodai, whose troops control the crash site, was a "risk" he had to take in order to secure the bodies of those who perished and to be able to find out what actually happened to MH17.

"I did this because I promised the families here that the victims can be buried before Syawal."

He adds that it would have beeen "extremely difficult" to make headway in the investigations without securing the black boxes.

10.30am: Najib says if the claims that the plane was shot down are true, it represented an "uncivilised and insolent" act by those responsible.

"But at the moment, we are not pointing fingers at anyone."

Najib says he was made to understand that the area where the incident occurred was controlled by the separatists.

Expressing his disappointment, he says: "I was told that they did not respect the (area of the incident) and did not follow international standards to ensure that the evidence do not get lost."

Najib is also angry with the delay in handling the tragedy which led to the failure in giving the deserved respect to the victims' remains.

10.25am: In a letter addressed to the prime minister, Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar requests Najib to also include the agenda to condemn the Israel-Gaza conflict, which is taking place right now and has been escalating over the past week.

She calls for Israel's attitude in its offensive against Gaza to be described as an act of a "terrorist state".

10.20am: Najib says the route taken by MH17 was certified safe by the Ukrainian authorities, and also by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

He adds that "several" other Asian airlines used the same route "hours" before the MH17 crash.

10.08am: Najib has started reading the motion calling on MPs from both sides of the divide to condemn the shooting down of the civilian aircraft and to demand for a thorough investigation.

10.06am: Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia tells all MPs to express their condolences to the families of the victims.

10.05am: Students from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) are handing out national flags and cheering the MPs arriving at Parliament. Some of the students are wearing black t-shirts with the words: "Justice 4MH17."

Keep Malaysiakini independent!

Malaysiakini will be 18 this year. That we’ve survived this long is because of you.

Your support matters. A lot. Especially those who pay RM150 annually, RM288 biennially or RM388 triennially to keep Malaysiakini independent from government/opposition influence and corporate interests. Advertising alone will not keep Malaysiakini afloat.

Together, we’ve gone far. We’ve covered three prime ministers, four general elections, five Bersih rallies, and countless scandals. But the journey continues.

Help us deliver news and views that matter to Malaysians. Help us make a difference for Malaysia.

Support Malaysiakini



Malaysiakini
news and views that matter


Sign In