PERTH, Nov 13 (Bernama) — Malaysia and Australia have expressed commitment to continue the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 as undersea search for the missing plane continues in the southern Indian Ocean under challenging conditions.
Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Malaysia appreciated all necessary assets and expertise put in place by Australia to locate the Boeing 777 plane whose passengers also comprised Australian nationals.
“We’re hopeful that there will be signs that point to where the plane may be found,” he said in his final press conference as he wrapped up his three-day working visit to Canberra and Perth which concluded here Thursday.
In talks with his Australian counterpart Warren Truss in Canberra on Wednesday, Muhyiddin said he mentioned that the Malaysian government would not let up in efforts to find the plane.
“We know that it’s important for family members of those on board to see that the search show some results in time to come,” he said.
“And the commitment from the Australian side is that they’ll continue to be with us until the conclusion of the search operation,” Muhyiddin said.
The deputy prime minister visited the office of Fugro Survey Pty Ltd outside Perth on Thursday during which he was briefed on the new phase of the undersea seach effort.
The briefing was conducted by officials from the Joint Agency Coordination Centre, Australian Transport Safety Bureau and Malaysia’s Department of Civil Aviation.
The renewed underwater probe, which began in early October, involves Fugro Survey’s two search vessels, an operation co-funded by Kuala Lumpur and Canberra to the tune of AUD120 million (about RM343 million), according to Muhyiddin.
GO Phoenix, a Malaysian-contracted vessel is also conducting the underwater search using sophisticated sonar systems in a RM67 million operation funded by Petronas.
Muhyiddin said he was told that the search teams faced rough sea conditions and depths of up to 7,000 metres in their bid to locate the plane which disappeared with 239 people on board on March 8.
Muhyiddin said the MH370 tragedy had brought Malaysia and Australia even closer together.
Besides Truss, the Malaysian leader also called on Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett in Perth on Thursday.
He said Barnett indicated the intention to set up a memorial in honour of those aboard MH370.
Muhyiddin said discussions with the Australian leaders also touched on the importance of enhancing Malaysia-Australia relations in areas like trade, education, tourism and military.
He also officially opened Malaysia Hall Perth in Newcastle Street.