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

Video Analysts: Beijing Parade a 'Bazaar' of Stolen Technology

Show commemorating victory over Japan in World War II involved long, medium and short range missiles, a range of tanks and 200 fighter aircraft More

Bernie Sanders Surge Reflects US Shift on Socialism

Although most analysts say it is unlikely he will get the Democratic nomination, Sanders' campaign opens up questions and issues that are otherwise marginalized More

Video On IS Frontline, Kurdish Fighters Ready for Offensive

Peshmerga soldiers say although they need more heavy artillery, they are poised to take the fight to the Islamic State extremists on their turf More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outragei
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 04, 2015 11:36 AM
The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outrage

The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Russians Observe 11th Anniversary of Beslan School Attack

This week, Russians have been observing the 11th anniversary of the attack by Islamic militants on a school in Russia's North Caucasus region that killed more than 330 hostages, including 186 children. The three-day siege and massacre that started on September 1, 2004 took place in Beslan, a town in the republic of North Ossetia, and is one of the bloodiest terrorist acts ever in Russia. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Video

Video Native Americans Debate: Father Serra, Saint or Sinner?

Pope Francis will canonize an 18th century missionary to Spanish California during a papal visit to the United States this month.  But some Native Americans have criticized the elevation to sainthood of the missionary priest, Junipero Serra. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video China Announces Troop Cuts at WWII Parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday announced plans to cut the world’s largest military force by 300,000 troops. The announcement was made during a massive military parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II. The event was shunned by most Western leaders and for some is raising fresh concerns about China’s military ambitions. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

VOA Blogs