From Mohd Razman Abdullah
PERTH (Australia), (Oct 22) — Malaysia is optimistic over the search effort for the missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370, whose final resting place is believed to be in the remote Indian ocean, after it disappeared on March 8.
Malaysian Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said he was 99.9 per cent confident with the search mission based on the latest cutting-edge equipment.
“I am 99.9 per cent optimistic in locating the missing aircraft but the ocean is huge.
“And it all depends on various factors including the condition of the sea,” he said when launching the Malaysian contracted vessel, Go Pheonix and sophisticated underwater search equipment called ProSAS towed side scan sonar, at Freemantle Port here, Wednesday.
Among those attending were Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Deputy Minister Datuk Jailani Johari, Petronas President and Chief Executive Officer, Tan Sri Shamsul Azhar Abbas, DRB-HICOM group managing director, Tan Sri Mohd Khamil Jamil and Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) chief coordinator, Judith Zielke.
Flight MH370, which was carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members left the KL International Airport at 12.41am on March 8, and disappeared from radar about an hour later while over the South China Sea.
It was to have arrived in Beijing at 6.30am on the same day.
The search for the aircraft is ongoing, with no concrete evidence being found yet.
Hishammuddin also expressed his gratitude to the countries involved in the search mission, including Australia and China, and reiterated the Malaysian government’s commitment to continue the search without any specific timeline.
At the same function, Petronas vice president for Malaysia Petroleum Management, Adif Zukifli said Petronas had provided USD 21 million (RM67 million) to fund the cost for the vessel, completed with crew members and the underwater search equipment.
“The funds will go to the lease of the search equipment for the duration of six months until Feb 2015,” he said.
The vessel is expected to begin its 30-day search mission tomorrow (Thursday) at the southern part of the Indian ocean, about 3,000 km off Perth and Deftech DRB-HICOM Defence Technologies Sdn Bhd acts as a vendor to provide technical services for the vessel.
Meanwhile Zielke said she would go to Kuala Lumpur today for a meeting with Malaysian authorities and international experts, involved in the MH370 investigation committee to discuss on several matters relating to the missing aircraft probe.
“We are going to discuss on the Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) procedure if there is the possibility the aircraft can be found,” she said.
Jailani, who is also the MH370 Media Committee chairman, expressed concern that the foreign and local media should not speculate about the missing aircraft and to produce reports based on verified information.
On the downed MAS MH17 investigation, Hishammuddin said Malaysia was committed to resolve quickly the investigation and had no intention to point any finger on anybody over who was responsible for the tragedy until the investigation completed.
Flight, MH17, was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it went down in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine near the Russian border on July 17.
The Boeing 777-200 aircraft which was carrying 298 people – 283 passengers and 15 crew – was believed to have been shot down, but until today no one has claimed responsibility for the heinous act. BERNAMA