Kuala Lumpur –“I felt very proud they appreciated the initiatives taken by the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) and the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) in the Save and Rescue (SAR) operations in the collision incident between the USS John S Mc Cain and the tanker MV Alnic MC near Singapore on Monday,” said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein here today.
Hishammuddin said, he met the Commander of the US Pacific Fleet Admiral Scott H Swift yesterday who was on his way to Singapore today (Tuesday).
In the incident, 10 sailors were reported missing as the collision tore a hole in the warship’s port side at the waterline, flooding compartments that included a crew sleeping area.
He added, in difficult situation they know who are real friends and who are just giving lip services.
“I told Scott that we had experienced such difficulties in Malaysia when Malaysian Airline Flight MH370 was missing on 8 March 2014. The United States of America came forward to help us together with 26 other countries.
“Without their help it was impossible for Malaysia with its limited assets to implement the SAR operations itself,” he said to the media after presenting the Education Excellence Awards to 607 recipients who are children of the Malaysian Armed Forces staff and army veterans at the Perkasa Hall, Wisma Perwira, Ministry of Defence here Tuesday afternoon.
He mentioned, even though MH370 was not found until today but the consistent efforts made by the Malaysian government had convinced the family members of the victims.
“United States of America, China and Arab Saudi who are bigger than us with more assets appreciated and recognized Malaysia for the wisdom of the Barisan Nasional’s government in handling such case,” Hishammuddin said.
In another development, the RMN through KD Handalan has found a body at 3.43 Tuesday afternoon in sector E, 4 nautica miles east of Tanjung Penawar in Malaysian waters.
According to Maritime Admiral, Datuk Indera Zulkifli Abu Bakar in a statement, the body was brought to the Royal Sultan Ismail Ship’s (KDSI) RMN jetty, Tanjung Pengelih, Johor.
Meanwhile, the RMN has made arrangement to hand over the body to the US Navy at KDSI.
Until 6.00 o’clock this evening, additional assets were set in the SAR operations via air.
The assets involved were Maritime Malaysia: KM Mulia, Penggalang 39, AW 139 Aircraft and Petir 11; RMN: KD Lekiu, KD Handalan, KD Gempita and Super Lnyx Aircraft; Marine Police Team (PDRM): RH 58, PA9 and RH 24, Marine Department Malaysia: MV AL-TAIR, AL-NILAM and United States of America: MH60 Seahawk and MV 22 Osprey. – Malaysia World News