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Disappearance 'well planned and professional': Experts

Experts say if it was a hostile takeover, perpetrators knew exactly what to do

Published on Mar 16, 2014 11:04 AM
A Japan Coast Guard studies a map with a Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency pilot (left) in JCG's Gulfstream V Jet aircraft customised for search and rescue operations as they search for the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane over the waters of the South China Sea on March 15, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

The disappearance of Flight MH370 is one of the most sophisticated, well-planned and well-orchestrated hostile takeovers of a plane since the 9/11 attacks in the United States 13 years ago, aviation and security experts said.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak declined to label the disappearance of the plane as a hijack but experts added that the people behind it had a clear mission and did all the right things.

"If this was a man-made event, the perpetrator was very knowledgeable about what to do," said Mr Jacques Astre, president of International Aviation Safety Solutions and a former United States Federal Aviation Administration official.

Eight days after the Malaysia Airlines jetliner went missing, its whereabouts remains a mystery.

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Background story

Confusing episode

"The whole incident has been so confusing and there are many theories going around. I don't know what to believe. All we can do is hope for the best for the passengers."

MR MELVIN ONG, 43, a construction boss who travels twice a month to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh

Hard to grasp

"I've been following the story every day. It's quite difficult to fathom how a plane that size with so many passengers disappeared. It's like the plot of some drama that keeps changing."

MR C. SHANNA, 26, a medical worker

No guarantees

"You can never be 100 per cent safe. Sometimes, we have to work overseas in places which are not very safe. But if work requires you to travel, you have to go."

MR STEVEN CHIA, 59, who travels every week to countries such as Myanmar, Indonesia and the Philippines to recruit workers

Taking precautions

"I believe in fate. But I will take precautions by spending more money to travel on established airlines."

MR ELDWIN CHUA, 37, chief executive of restaurant chain Paradise Dynasty, who travels every week to Hong Kong or Taiwan

Unavoidable risks

"The recent news shows there are security lapses and there are some risks that you have to take when you travel."

MR CHAN CHONG BENG, 60, chief executive of furnishings firm Goodrich

Close to home

"The incident is frightening. So many of us travel and the route the plane took is one that many of us in Asia are familiar with."

DR JESSICA PAN, 30, a university professor who travels monthly to the United States for work

Sobering reminder

"Every week, I have a friend or family member who is travelling. The incident may be rare but it is also a reminder that it could happen to any of us."

MS SYADINAH ISMAIL, 32, an accountant who travels to Europe every month for work

Transparency needed

"The Malaysian government has not been transparent and forthcoming with information to the public."

MS TRICIA LIM, 28, a bank executive who travels every two months for work or holidays

Isolated incident

"I will still fly for my trips no matter what. This is an isolated incident and the probability of it happening again is close to none."

MR ZHUANG JIN KANG, 26, an engineering executive

Holding out hope

"I know the chances are slim, but I'd still rather hold out hope that the people on the plane are out there and possibly alive, instead of thinking that they have crashed into the ocean."

MS KATHY TSANG, 49, an account manager

More afraid to fly

"I am definitely more fearful about air travel after this incident. I don't fly regularly but if I do, I will definitely avoid Malaysia Airlines."

MADAM SOON KAM MEE, 56, a housewife

Poorly handled

"I think the whole affair was handled quite poorly by the Malaysian authorities. The information distribution was poor, there were too many contradictory reports and too many rumours being circulated on social media."

MR RANDOLPH QUEK, 24, an undergraduate