Malaysia defends failure to scramble jet after plane went off course

Global News

CANBERRA, Australia – Malaysia’s defence minister on Monday defended his military’s failure to scramble a fighter jet to follow a Malaysian airliner when it veered off course and vanished two months ago, saying it wasn’t seen as a hostile object.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 became invisible to civilian radar when its transponder stopped transmitting during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8. But the plane was tracked by Malaysian military radar after it turned in a westerly direction across Peninsular Malaysia.

READ MORE: After MH 370 tragedy, ICAO looks into global flight tracking

In response to criticism that fighter jets should have been scrambled to investigate the then-unidentified flight through Malaysian air space, Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told Australian Broadcasting Corp.’s « Four Corners » program broadcast Monday that the plane was deemed commercial and not hostile.

« If you’re not going to shoot it down, what’s the point…

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