Malaysia Tightens Airline & Airport Security

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While the reason for the disappearance of flight MH370 is still unclear, Malaysian Defence Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein spoke earlier this week about the suggestion from investigators that the behaviour of the aircraft before vanishing from radar and radio contact was ‘consistent with deliberate action’ by someone onboard. Malaysia has agreed to ‘step up’ airline and airport security measures.

The comments followed strong advice from industry experts to consider better security measures across the world to minimise the threats against security. Malaysian Home Minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi confirmed that officials were re-examining security within airports and particularly at Kuala Lumpur International and consistently around airport security procedures and protocol for key entry points.

Malaysian authorities have confirmed that they do not check the Interpol database of lost and stolen passports, explaining that there are compatibility and speed issues with the system. This is in spite of the fact that the database contains more than 40 million entries. Early indications show that the stolen passports used to board flight MH370 had been reported missing more than 12 months before.

According to security experts, Malaysia could effectively enhance passenger screening with the use of current security measures if carried out correctly and efficiently without causing severe ground delays and by working with International law enforcement groups, such as Interpol.

“It’s very much the case that global organized criminal networks have exploited the lax government arrangements in Southeast Asia,” said Mr Carl Ungerer, lecturer of International relations at Australian Bond University, ‘Countries in the region should improve coordination between law enforcement agencies on intelligence sharing.’

‘We have increased security and enhanced monitoring procedures on board all our aircraft. However, for security purposes we are unable to discuss any such procedures publicly,’ a Malaysia Airlines spokeswoman said.

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