MH370: Committees will head to Canberra and Beijing to finalise new search efforts

MH370: Committees will head to Canberra and Beijing to finalise new search efforts
The MH370 press briefing on new search efforts at the Royale Chulan Hotel in the city today.
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will meet its search and rescue (SAR) operations counterparts in Canberra and Beijing to discuss assets deployment in its new phase of the search for missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) airliner MH370.

The Deployment of Assets Committee, led by Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri, will head to Canberra Tuesday to coordinate and finalise the terms and arrangements for Malaysia's participation.

"The sub-committee has been tasked to coordinate the participation of Malaysia’s assets especially with regards to the Government Furnished Equipment (GFE), consistent with Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s tender process requirements.

"We will also raise with our tripartite partners how best to manage and coordinate the deployment of assets that Malaysia have personally requested for from the US and other nation partners," Datuk Jailani Johari, chair of the Liaison, Communication and Media committee said in a press briefing today.
Chairs of the ministerial sub committees, led by Next-of-Kin Committee chair Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin, will subsequently go to Beijing to update on the latest efforts and Malaysia’s contribution in the operations.

Prior to this, Malaysia had set up three ministerial committees to streamline the ongoing search efforts, namely the Next-of-Kin Committee, Technical Committee and Deployment of Assets Committee, in addition to the Liaison, Communication and Media committee.

"We will also be discussing with the Chinese leadership on their views and future plans with regards to the MH370 search operation ranging from issues related to next-of-kins, asset deployment and technical expertise.”

PM, Hishammuddin to meet Voice370 in due time

Meanwhile, the Malaysian authorities have also acknowledged a request by Voice370, an international committee set up to represent families of those on board MH370, to meet with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and Hamzah.

“This meeting will be arranged in due time and we look forward to establish a working template in dealing with issues raised by the next-of-kins," Jailani said.

Cost of private contractors will be shared 50-50

On the cost of SAR, Hishammuddin revealed in parliament today that Malaysia has to date spent RM27.6 million in the first phase of the search operations to locate MH370.

The costs mainly covered the logistics of the Malaysian rescue team, including fuel and food.

As for the costs for hiring private contractors to assist in the search efforts, it will be split in half been Malaysia and Australia, which is coordinating the multinational operations through the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC).

“JACC will tender out services to the interested companies. So far, we have not known any participants. The cost is to be determined and be shared 50-50 between Malaysia and Australia,” Abdul Rahim added.