News / Asia

Australian, Malaysian Leaders in Perth as Search for Jet Continues

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, left, walks along the tarmac with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on their way to meet crew members involved in search of wreckage and debris of the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 in Perth, Australia, Thursday,
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, left, walks along the tarmac with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on their way to meet crew members involved in search of wreckage and debris of the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 in Perth, Australia, Thursday,
The prime minister of Malaysia, whose government is under criticism for its handling of the investigation into the disappearance of a jetliner on a flight to China, has gone to Australia to speak with the crews involved in the search for the aircraft. Meanwhile, an attack on a Malaysian island resort is likely to further exacerbate the relationship between Beijing and Kuala Lumpur, already under strain due to the airliner mystery.
 
Australia’s prime minister is trying to manage expectations about the likelihood of finding any trace of a missing Malaysia Airlines passenger jet in remote waters in the southern Indian Ocean.
 
PM Tony Abbott spoke alongside his Malaysian counterpart during a visit to an Australian air force base, where multi-national teams are staging a search the Australia’s leader terms “the most difficult in human history.”
 
"We cannot be certain of ultimate success in the search for the MH370. But we can be certain that we will spare no effort, that we will not rest, until we have done everything we humanly can,” said Abbott.  
 
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak told reporters he remains hopeful something will be found. 
 
“As I speak 10 aircrafts and nine ships are searching the Indian Ocean for any sign of the missing plane. The search area is vast and the conditions are not easy. But the new refined area of search has given us new hope,” said Najib.
 
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared nearly one month ago on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The plane was carrying 239 people. Most of the passengers were Chinese nationals.
 
Australia has taken the lead for the search by military personnel from seven countries (Australia, Britain, China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and the United States). Efforts are now focused on waters about 1,600 kilometers off Australia’s northwest coast.
 
Search planes Thursday were flying over a 223,000 square kilometer zone. Two weeks of scouring the southern India Ocean has not yielded any trace of the Boeing 777.
 
The battery of the aircraft’s black box is expected to lose power sometime in the coming days. Without that signal, it will become much more challenging to locate any significant parts of the plane, now believed to have sunk to the ocean floor.
 
An Australian warship, The Ocean Shield, is on the way with an American device that can detect "pings" from the flight recorders.
 
A British nuclear-powered submarine with advanced underwater search capability, HMS Tireless, and a British survey ship, HMS Echo, are also now part of the operation.
 
Meanwhile, there is a new irritant for relations between Beijing and Kuala Lumpur, already strained over the disappearance of flight MH370.
 
Authorities said members of the Abu Sayyaf militant group from the Philippines are the suspects in a raid that occurred late Wednesday at the Singamata Reef Resort, in Sabah state in eastern Malaysia, in which a Chinese national was abducted. 
 
Kidnapped at gunpoint by six men armed with pistols were a 28-year-old female tourist from Shanghai and a 40-year Filipino male receptionist at the dive resort. The gunmen fled in a speedboat.
 
Abu Sayyaf is also suspected of killing a Taiwanese tourist who was kidnapped from a resort in the Semporna area last November.
 
Abu Sayyaf has been linked to al-Qaida, but analysts say a U.S.-assisted military push into Sulu province in the southern part of the Philippines has weakened the group. It is still believed to have several hundred fighters and holding at least a dozen captives.
 
Error rendering storify.

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs