KUALA LUMPUR, March 1 – The next of kin have to decide whether they want to visit MH17’s wreckage in the Netherlands, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai. “It is a traumatic experience. We do not want to force any next of kin to visit,” he said.
The Dutch Safety Board has announced that the next of kin are allowed to visit the plane wreckage at the Royal Netherlands Air Force base next week. However, Liow said there was no official invitation from Dutch authorities yet. “We can only facilitate the visit once the Netherlands sends an invitation,” he told a press conference after a Chinese New Year open house organised by the Federal Territory MCA.
On the search for MH370, Liow said the teams had covered 40% of the 60,000 square nautical mile targeted search area in the South Indian Ocean. “We will not give up and we will increase our efforts in search of the plane,” he said. Liow, who is MCA president, also spoke on enhancing racial ties through celebrating festivities together.
“The tradition of having the reunion dinner teaches us the value of unity,” he said. Liow said unity was an integral value in keeping the harmony in Malaysian society. “Today I see the rakyat from various races coming here to celebrate Chinese New Year together,” he said. Liow also stressed that the spirit of moderation was important in keeping peace in the country. He urged the public to reject all forms of extremism lest these destroy Malaysia.