KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 — The multi-government search for the missing Flight MH370 is temporarily off due to a shortage of credible data and not money issues, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said today.
He said the investigators were waiting for more data to narrow the search locations that have a higher probability of discovering plane debris.
“They want to have more study to look into satellite images and debris pattern. Wait for the expert team to give us more data. As of now we suspend it. The search is pending the expert team to give us more credible data.
“Governments say give us more credible evidence to be sure of the area. So we cannot be just looking into an area we are not sure,” Liow told reporters after attending the Day of Remembrance for MH370 event at Publika here.
He insisted that funding was not the reason for the search to be suspended by the governments of Australia, China and Malaysia.
“Funding has not been an issue but we have to be more sure. We want more credible evidence before searching,” Liow added.
The federal minister also confirmed that from the 27 pieces of debris found with the latest two from South Africa, there of it have been identified as belonging to MH370.
Liow added that Malaysia has also enlisted Australia’s help to identity the debris and has been in touch with the South African government as well.
Putrajaya also has signed several memorandum of understanding (MOU) with coastal states in search locations to work together to find any debris, Liow said.
“We have signed some MOU with coastal states. So once signed MOU, the respective states of the nation’s will help us find the debris.
“If they find more debris, we will send a team to locate, to comb the coastal area of the debris found in the area. The Malaysian government will fly in to the respective state to take back the debris,” he said.
Liow announced in January that the search operation for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean had been suspended after three years since the plane went missing on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with all 239 people on board.