Thursday, June 20, 2019

Malaysia : Prime Minister Mahathir denounces murder charges agaisnt Russians regards the downing of Flight MH17 as heresay.

(Kuala Lumpur) On the 17th of July 2014 (MH17) on a scheduled passenger flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur that was shot down while flying over eastern Ukraine, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew on board.  The investigation that followed revealed hard evidence that the missile used was a Buk missile system, transported from Russia into the separatist part of eastern Ukraine. From the get go, the Russians have obstructed the investigation; initially they stated that the Ukrainians fired the missile, and then they tried pushing the view that a Ukrainian Su 25 shot down MH17. (The problem there is the SU 25 is a ground attack aircraft and not fitted to carry air to air missiles.)  Also there exists damning video evidence of a surface to air launch and the actual wreckage of the missile used, a missile that could only come from a Buk Anti-aircraft missile system.

In October 2015, the Dutch Safety Board concluded the plane had been hit by a Buk missile, causing it to break apart in mid-air. The Dutch-led joint investigation team (JIT)- which includes officials from the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine - concluded in May 2018 that the missile system belonged to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile brigade, based in the western Russian city of Kursk. It produced evidence that it said proved how the missile system had reached eastern Ukraine.

Anyway, 5 years down the line and the Dutch released their findings to the world yesterday and they indicted 3 Russians (Igor Girkin, Sergei Dubinsky and Oleg Pulatov) , and 1 Ukrainian separatist  (Leonid Kharchenko.)

Naturally the Russians have slated the finding stating they that they reject the findings of the JIT which were "aimed at discrediting the Russian Federation in the eyes of the international community". But what was really surprising is that  Mahathir Mohamad, the Prime Minister of Malaysia , the country the plane that was shot down belonged to has parroted the very same line as the Russians.

"Blaming Russia for the shooting down of flight MH17 has always been the “script” of an international political plot to attack the country"
That got me thinking why would he go down that line. A quick check and it works out that Russia has been throwing  a lot of money at Malaysia these past few years:
  • On the 15th March 2016, a Russian-Malaysian business council was established with the intent to strengthen cooperation on economic, scientific, technological issues and culture. 
  • On the 20th May 2016 a bilateral meetingbetween Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Russian President Putin  explored the  possibility of negotiating for a free trade agreement (FTA) between Malaysia with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) in which Russia was among the leading countries. They also looked at direct flights between Malaysia and Russia as well as Russia supplying Malaysia with weapons 
  • On the 22nd of Feb 2018 Russia opened its second Russian Centre of Science and Culture (RCSC) branch office in the country, the first was opened in 1981.
  • Funny enough trade between the two countries has also risen in 2012 it was $1.769 billion , by 2016 it had risen to $2.19 billion in 2016.
  •  When Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad met with President Putin last  November they they discussed how there had been significant increase in bilateral trade of over 60% in the last eight months.
Hey I'm not saying the PM of Malaysia has been bought off by Moscow, but for him to come right out and defend the Russians when all the evidence points at them does raise a lot of questions.