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MH370: Straits Times Web Special weighs in on MAS crisis management

Published on Apr 8, 2014 4:44 PM
 
Malaysia's acting Transport Minister Hussein answers questions during a news conference about missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. In the days after the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysia's Defence Minister who coordinates the search and chairs the regular media briefings, hardly slept. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

Missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 special report

In the days after the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysia's Defence Minister who coordinates the search and chairs the regular media briefings, hardly slept.

His day begins early, with the first meeting usually held at 9am. Mr Hishammuddin, who is also Acting Transport Minister, will then chair another five or so.

In coordinating the search, the 52-year-old works together with the Prime Minister's office, Malaysian Airlines and communications specialists engaged for the crisis to manage the flow of information.

It was physically exhausting and emotionally draining, admitted Mr Hishammuddin.

In an interview with the Malaysian media at Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur, he said: "I hardly sleep because of the time zone. Information comes from different time zones.

"When I want to retire to bed, they say a life jacket was found. When I wake up the following day, it is said the information is negative."

Malaysia's crisis management has been in the spotlight since the plane's disappearance.

The Straits Times' Malaysian Bureau Chief Carolyn Hong gives her analysis in the ST Web Special at Lost: The Untold Stories of MH370.

The Web Special comprises six chapters, ranging from intimate stories of the passengers and crew on board the plane to the scale of the multi-national search efforts.

The package includes interactive graphics such as an explanation on how a transponder works. It also has videos on the chaotic scenes in Beijing and Kuala Lumpur and of the search effort by Singapore's C130 Hercules aircraft.

vthor@sph.com.sg

Read it at www.straitstimes.com/mh370-special

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