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MH370 search on hold pending Australian evidence: Liow

  • Liow stresses that even if the search has been put on hold, it does not mean the government is "washing its hands" but is waiting for more evidence and analysis from Australian experts. Photo courtesy: Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, Mar 9 (Sin Chew Daily) -- Three years after the disappearance of MH370, the cause of the incident remains unknown.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai stresses that although the search has been put on hold, it does not mean the government is "washing its hands" but is waiting for more evidence and analysis from Australian experts.

Liow said in Dewan Rakyat that during the period where the search is halted, the government has appointed the action unit under the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) to handle matters related to MH370.

Many are still in sorrow three years after the incident, especially the family members, relatives and friends of those onboard.

Liow said the search team, which decided to suspend the search on January 17, had made a difficult decision as victims' families would find it hard to accept. The decision was made after the Australian and Chinese governments reached an agreement.

"This is hard to imagine, let alone accept it. However, all of us, whether family members, the government or ordinary Malaysians, would want the answer.

"Malaysians and people throughout the world feel sorry. Individuals from 13 countries were onboard the doomed aircraft.

"The pain of family members, relatives and friends are beyond words. Nothing can replace the loss of lives.

"We hope and pray every day that we can find an answer to this tragedy as we are responsible to the family members of all onboard. We have made all kinds of effort. When the search team has not found MH370, for sure all would be in despair."

The deputy speaker of Dewan Rakyat, led all members of parliament to observe one minute of silence in paying tribute to MH370 passengers and crew members.

Liow also said the government had spent RM456 million in the search of the missing MH370.

In his reply to Selayang MP William Leong from PKR, Liow said the joint team comprising Malaysia, Australia and China covered deep sea key area search of 120,000 square kilometers in southern Indian Ocean.

The search of MH370 was suspended on January 17.

Liow said the three countries agreed during a ministerial meeting last July that the search would continue when reliable leads and evidences surfaced.

He said the full investigation report by the relevant agencies would be released one year after the team stopped the search., adding that the DCA would lead a respond unit to monitor any new evidence.

He refuted claims that Malaysia did not hand over key information on MH370 to Australia for investigation.

He reiterated that the search team was a joint collaboration involving countries such as the United States, Britain, Australia, China, France, Singapore and Indonesia, and that the investigation was transparent and fair, and countries shared information of the investigation, including Australia.



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