KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 12 – Malaysia has requested China to deploy more vessels and assets to strengthen the on-going search of MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean. Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said he had discussed the matter with China recently.
He, however, declined to reveal the number of vessels that would be dispatched to reinforce the search, adding it would take place soon. “China received our request positively,” said Liow. The additional vessels will greatly assist in the current search where four vessels namely Fugro Equator, Fugro Discovery, Fugro Support and Go Phoenix had been deployed to search for the ill-fated airplane that went down on March 8.
Liow stressed that Malaysia remain committed in the search of the missing plane with its Australian and Chinese counterparts. He had also instructed Malaysia Airlines to give better cooperation, care and furnish the latest development of MH370 to the next of kin of passengers on board.
“We understand their feelings and we sympathise them. We are with them,” he said. Malaysia, he said, would discuss with the Australian and Chinese counterpart on their plans from now till March 8, which will mark the first year anniversary of the incident. Liow said this after launching the national level road safety campaign at Terminal Bersepadu Selatan in Bandar Tasik Selatan.
In PETALING JAYA, a group of 15 relatives of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 passengers from China has given MAS three days to response to their four demands. The demand includes a thorough explanation on why MAS and DCA had declared flight MH370 as an accident without any evidence, adding that they disagreed with the statement.
He also requested MAS to provide them with daily updates on the search operations in the south Indian Ocean and at the same time wanted MAS to bear the cost of a private investigation the group plan to establish. The other demand was for the national carrier to provide them financial assistance for their daily needs as their source of income had disappeared together with the plane.
Wen said more relatives of MH370 Chinese passengers were expected to arrive today and that they would stay as long as needed, most likely until their 30 day visa expires. These group members represented a total of 70 Chinese passengers on board flight MH370. MH370 disappeared on March 8 last year en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
Chinese passengers accounted for about two-thirds of the 239 people who were aboard the Boeing 777. The national carrier in statement confirmed that Ahmad Jauhari and members of the management committee met with the group representatives. MAS said they will respond with a written reply, as requested by the family members within the next few days.
“The airline continues to regularly communicate with the families via its Family Communications and Support Centre in Beijing. However, it is in no position to provide any further clarification or technical information on the fate of MH370 other than what is already available in the public domain.
“Since the beginning of the accident, the airline has given all available information and its full commitment to the investigating authorities. “Information provided to MAS regarding the outcome of the investigation, will be shared with the families, when it is made available,” the statement said. The statement also said that MAS had offered caregiving assistance by Mandarin speaking staff to the next-of-kin.