World Cup 2014: Fans come alive in Rio de Janeiro

World Today

Tens of thousands of football fans watched Brazil’s opening match on Copacabana beach in Rio. Stephen Gibbs was there.

World Cup 2014: Fans come alive in Rio de Janeiro

World Cup 2014: Fans come alive in Rio de Janeiro

Tens of thousands of football fans watched Brazil's opening match on Copacabana beach in Rio. Stephen Gibbs was there.approach.

  • There was a very strange story that gained momentum during this incident which was attributed to a senior Malaysian military official, suggesting that that Flight MH370, after saying “goodnight” well enroute over water toward the southern tip of Viet Nam, had suddenly taken a left hand turn and headed west, flying across both Malay and Thai territories, and back out over open water, and finally that the plane was last seen in the middle of the mouth of the Malacca Strait near Pulau Perak.

    That story just made no sense at all.

    The story further lacked credibility, based on the underlying assumption that the goal of the pilot was, for safety reasons, to return to Kuala Lumpur. The fact is that there were a minimum of four international airport landing runways along that return “route” any one of which could and would have been selected for landing before MH370 got anywhere near KL!

    The most obvious would have been Sultan Ismail Petra Airport which is located in Kota Bharu. The plane had just flown over that area before going “off air.” And that particular airport has undergone a recently extended runway project. If the plane was only damaged, that would have been the logical place to set down.

    In other words, turning off the transponder and heading toward landfall and flying over a few international boarders without making any communications whatsoever, would not exactly the best among many less dangerous choices!

    It would have been insane. But that was a cover story that was pitched to the international press by a high ranking Malay official.

    As a result, it looks to me like the Republic of Malaysia owes the world a thorough investigation of how this unfolded, and a detailed exposure of those who cooked up that ridiculous cover story. By doing so, they will, over time, be able to restore their credibility in the community of nations of Southeast Asia.

    The encouragement of trade throughout the region is key to continued prosperity. And Malaysia is an indefensible partner in that enterprise.

    But the failure to investigate and expose this cover-up attempt would leave a measure of distrust in place amongst all the nations of the region.