CANBERRA: The families of those on board MH370 in China will be provided with scheduled progress reports on the search for the missing aircraft.
Although it has been more than five months since MH370 ended its journey, believed to be in the southern Indian Ocean on March 8, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai vowed that finding the plane remained a priority. As such, he said, the next of kin in China should be fed with the latest information.
“Malaysia and China will work closely to prepare the scheduled progress reports,” he said.
“The next of kin committee, headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin, will hold further meetings with China to come up with a workable schedule,” Liow said at a press conference after a Malaysia-China bilateral ministerial meeting on MH370 here yesterday.
“We want to give the families the latest developments and not keep them in the dark,” he added.
He said the committee would also work towards conducting weekly teleconferencing with China to keep the families informed.
Liow is heading the Malaysian delegation here for a tripartite meeting with China and Australia over the missing Malaysia Airlines flight.
The Malaysian team includes Hamzah, Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri, Deputy Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Jailani Johari and Department of Civil Aviation director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman.
Liow also hosted a dinner for Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss and China’s Transport Ministry Vice-Minister He Jianzhong yesterday.
Today, he will attend a tripartite meeting with both leaders at Australia’s Parliament House.
Asked on the cost of the MH370 search operation, Liow said the priority was to find the plane.
However, the latest phase of the search, which required searching the seabed, needed high-tech equipment, which only private firms could provide.
“We will discuss the cost of such an endeavour thoroughly during the tripartite meeting,” he added.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein had said a towed Prosas Side Scan Sonar would be deployed to the search site in the first week of September.