KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 – The cooperation and professionalism shown in the international search effort for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which is co-coordinated by Malaysia, earned praise from several countries. Austrian Ambassador to Malaysia Christophe Ceska Wednesday commended Malaysia over its handling of operations in the search for the lost MH370, said Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia.
Ceska, who had paid a courtesy call on Pandikar Amin at his office at Parliament House, informed him that his country was satisfied with the measures adopted by the Malaysian government along with the other nations in the search for the aircraft. “He (Ceska) expressed his country’s sympathies, saying the incident was unprecedented in aviation history,” said Pandikar Amin, adding that Ceska said it was normal for people to hurl criticism.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who moved a condolence motion in his parliament today, had praised the international cooperation shown in the search effort for the missing aircraft. “We mourn all those 239 passengers and crew. We especially mourn the six Australian citizens and one Australian resident who must be presumed dead and we grief with their families and loved ones,” he said. Meanwhile, China had given assurance that it would continue with its commitment to help in the search for the lost Malaysia Airlines aircraft, believed to have gone down in the southern Indian Ocean.
The assurance was given by Zhang Ye Sui, the special envoy of the Chinese President, to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak during a meeting at the Prime Minister’s office at Parliament House here today. The Chinese government would also work closely with Malaysia as it considers the country as one of its most important global partners. In a daily media briefing on the latest development pertaining to the search for the missing aircraft, Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said new satellite images have detected 122 potential objects that may be related to MH370, approximately 2,557km from Perth, Australia.
Hishammuddin said Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency (MRSA) yesterday received new satellite images which were taken on March 23, from French-based Airbus Defence and Space. “It must be emphasized that we cannot tell whether the potential objects are from MH370. Nevertheless, this is another new lead that will help direct the search operation,” he said. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said in a statement that a total of 12 aircraft were involved in the search operation today, with seven of the aircraft, military planes and the other five civil aircraft.
“A total of six countries are now assisting in the search and recovery operation – Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Japan, China and the Republic of Korea,” it said. Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew, left the KL International Airport at 12.41am on March 8 and disappeared from radar screens about an hour later while over the South China Sea. It was to have landed in Beijing at 6.30am on the same day. A multinational search was mounted for the aircraft, first in the South China Sea and then, after it was learned that the plane had veered off course, along two corridors – the northern corridor stretching from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand and the southern corridor, from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean.
Following an unprecedented type of analysis of satellite data, United Kingdom company Inmarsat and the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) concluded that Flight MH370 flew along the southern corridor and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth, Australia. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak then announced on March 24, seventeen days after the disappearance of Flight MH370 that it “ended in the southern Indian Ocean”.