CANBERRA, Nov 12 – Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today called on his counterpart Warren Truss during which he expressed appreciation for Australia’s assistance and support over the Malaysia Airlines MH370 and MH17 tragedies. Their meeting took place at Truss’s office in Parliament House in this Australian capital on the second day of Muhyiddin’s three-day working visit to Canberra and Perth from yesterday.
“We view Australia as a true friend of Malaysia,” he told Malaysian media covering his visit to Australia. Muhyiddin later left for Perth, the second leg of his visit, where he is scheduled to be briefed on the new phase of the search operation for MH370 missing since March 8. He noted that it was important to continue to emphasise on cooperation which had been established all these years with Australia.
Leaders of the two countries had always brought up matters of mutual interest such as trade, education and tourism in their meetings, Muhyiddin said. This, he said, fitted in with Malaysia’s intention to have as many friends as possible to, among others, market its products and draw investments from. Flight MH370 with 239 people aboard was en route to Beijing when it vanished about an hour after take-off from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on March 8.
The current phase of underwater search for the Malaysian aircraft is being conducted in the southern Indian Ocean in waters off western Australia where it is believed to have gone down after veering off course under mysterious circumstances. Flight MH17 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17, killing all 298 people aboard, including 44 Malaysians as well as 38 Australians.