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MH370: Loke gives assurance to get Cabinet approval to resume search

Publish date: Sun, 03 Mar 2024, 10:56 PM

PETALING JAYA (March 3): Minister of Transport Anthony Loke has given his assurance that his ministry will do everything possible to gain the Cabinet’s approval to sign a new contract with Ocean Infinity to resume the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 that went missing ten years ago.

He said his ministry would take action on the matter as soon as possible.

“I am glad that there is some progress in some of the new research and new technologies which have been presented (to us) and we really hope that the search can find the plane, as well as give the truth to the next-of-kins.

“Once again, we are standing with you (MH370 tragedy victims families). We will continue to support and stand in solidarity with all next-of-kins,” he said during his speech on “MH370: 10 Years Gone” held at a shopping mall here on Sunday.

Loke said he had also instructed the Ministry of Transport to invite Ocean Infinity to Malaysia to brief him on their latest “no cure, no fee” proposal.

“We are now waiting for them to provide suitable dates and I hope to meet them soon. The Malaysian Government is steadfast in our resolve to locate MH370.

“I hope the families and friends of the victims will remain strong. You have our deepest sympathies and will always be in our thoughts and prayers. More importantly, we will stand by you,” he added.

This Friday (March 8) marks a decade since the tragedy of the aircraft that vanished without a trace, leaving many questions unanswered and the passengers’ family members in limbo.

On the evening of March 8, 2014, the Malaysia Airlines aircraft with 239 people on board left the Kuala Lumpur International Airport for Beijing but vanished from the radar screen about two hours after its departure.

Following that, massive search operations involving several countries were conducted in the southern Indian Ocean but to no avail.

Meanwhile, in a press conference, Loke said that the new contract or proposal with Ocean Infinity on searching for the plane needs approval from the Cabinet, as it involves financial implications, although it is based on a “no find, no fee” policy.

“The previous contract has ended; the search was in 2017 and ended in 2018. Right now, it’s a fresh proposal by Ocean Infinity. We start with this proposal based on a ‘no find, no fee’ policy.

“We anticipate, let's say, we start in June with Ocean Infinity and we hope that the plane is found and when it (Ocean Infinity) finds it, there are financial implications to Malaysia,” Loke said, adding that he is confident that the Cabinet would approve the final proposal.

Asked whether Malaysia has already discussed with the Australian government regarding this matter, he said Malaysia would get in touch with the country after Ocean Infinity had finalised its proposal.

“For now, we are not in touch with the Australian government yet, but once Ocean Infinity has finalised their proposal, we definitely have to be in touch with the Australian government to get their cooperation for the search to immediately start,” he said.

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