Statement Analysis®

Disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

On March 8, 2014 at 12:41 a.m., Malaysia Airlines flight 370 took off from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 230 passengers and crew members aboard. Within an hour after takeoff, the Boeing 777-200 disappeared. It is believed to have crashed into the Indian Ocean. After two months of searching, the plane is still missing. Questions have been raised in regards to the satellite data which shaped the search. Some people believe the searchers are looking in the wrong place. The satellite data has not been released to the public which has fueled speculation the Malaysian Government is withholding something. The Malaysian Government has denied they possess the raw satellite data. Acting Minister of Transportation Hishammuddin Hussein has stated,

"The raw data is with Inmarsat (the satellite company), not with Malaysia, not with Australia, not with Malaysia Airlines, so if there is any request for this raw data to be made available to the public, it must be made to Inmarsat."

Chris McLaughlin, Inmarsat's vice president of external relations, told CNN,

"Inmarsat's raw data was provided to the investigation team at an early stage in the search for MH370."

So, who do we believe? Inmarsat said the "raw data was provided to the investigation team at an early stage in the search for MH370." They do not tell us to whom they provided the information. Did they give it to the Malaysian Government, the U.S. Government or the Australian Government? Since they said this was early in the investigation, it would appear they gave the raw data to the Malaysian Government.

The statement made by the Malaysian's Acting Minister of Transportation shows deception. We see this in his use of the word "with." The word "with" in any sentence always indicates distance. You will see something before this word and something after this word. The word "with" separates them. Saying, "Inmarsat has the raw data" is a good definitive statement. However, Hussein stated, "The raw data is with Inmarsat." That is a weaker statement. He does it again when he said the raw data is "not with Malaysia." He phrased it this way because he is either uncertain if they possess the raw data or he knows they have the raw data and does not want to admit to it. A much better statement would be to say, "Malaysia does not have the raw data." Most experts believe the Malaysians have the raw data. However, the Malaysian Government may not realize they have the data.

While the word "with" always indicates distance it does not always indicate deception. You probably use this word every day and you probably use it correctly. Remember though, there are several ways you can phrase a statement. Saying, "Jim and I went to the movies" shows more closeness than saying, "I went to the movies with Jim."

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