Malaysian authorities have submitted their first report on missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 without making it public, sparking speculation that they are hiding something, though they have denied it.
"It just adds fuel to the fire – which is like a furnace now – of disbelief, particularly in China, as to what is going on," Geoffrey Thomas, managing director of AirlineRatings.com told CNN.
Malaysia's acting Transport minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, has said the government "has nothing to hide" but keeping the report secret has been forcing many to challenge that statement.
"If they say there's nothing to hide, then release this preliminary report, as virtually every other jurisdiction does with an accident," said Thomas.
According to CNN, the report was sent to the International Civil Aviation Organization, the U.N. body for global aviation.
While the Malaysian government is not known for its transparency, CNN aviation correspondent Richard Quest said the release of the report after an accident of this nature is usually standard in most situations.
"In most cases, the report is published because it's not a controversial document," said Quest. "It's a statement of facts – what happened. And if there are any controversial or difficult facts, they can be redacted," he explained.
While Malaysian officials decide whether they will release the report, however, the ICAO said Malaysia recommended real-time tracking of commercial aircraft in the report. A similar safety recommendation was made after the Air France Flight 447 crash in the Atlantic Ocean in 2009 which killed all 228 people onboard.
Quest, however, does not see this recommendation as controversial enough to warrant keeping the report secret.
"To suggest in the future that all planes worldwide are tracked in real time, one might suggest, is a pretty noncontroversial suggestion," he said.
Malaysian and Australian authorities are now preparing a long-term search strategy to locate the plane which they say could go on for months or years.
Sources from the international search team currently trying to locate the aircraft suggested Monday that they could have been searching in the wrong place for the plane.
"We may have to regroup soon to look into this possibility if no positive results come back in the next few days ... but at the same time, the search mission in the Indian Ocean must go on," explained the sources.
"The thought of it landing somewhere else is not impossible, as we have not found a single debris that could be linked to MH370. However, the possibility of a specific country hiding the plane when more than 20 nations are searching for it, seems absurd," the sources added.