KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 – More countries have voiced out their intention and willingness to assist in the search efforts for Malaysia Airlines MH370, which has entered its 39th day Wednesday. Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said: “As we move forward…if some countries might want to scale down, there are other countries that have come forward. We just have to find creative ways to do that. “We have friends in the Middle East who want to assist but they do not have assets to be of direct assistance, (so) we have to find ways and means on how they can continue or begin to assist,” said Hishammuddin, who is also defence minister.
However, he declined to elaborate to reporters, on those countries which had offered to help. Earlier, he witnessed an agreement signing ceremony involving SME Ordnance Sdn Bhd (SMEO) with Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH, Poly Group China and Thai Arms Co Ltd Thailand at the Defence Services (DSA) Exhibition and Conference 2014 here today. On Malaysia’s part, Hishammuddin stressed the government had always been committed and would never slow down its efforts. He said this was further proven when Malaysia sent another of its auxiliary vessel, Bunga Mas 6 to the waters off Perth, Australia, to assist in the efforts. “I think, as far as Malaysia is concerned, we will not be slowing down (because) this is the promise that I have made to the relatives (of the passengers),” he said. Flight MH370, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew, left the KL International Airport at 12.41am and disappeared from radar screens about an hour later, while over the South China Sea. It was to have arrived 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 satellite telecommunications 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. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak then announced on March 24 – 17 days after the disappearance of the aircraft – that Flight MH370 “ended in the southern Indian Ocean”.