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10 years on, Malaysia may renew search

By Prime Sarmiento in Hong Kong | China Daily | Updated: 2024-03-09 07:12

Families of passengers attend a remembrance event commemorating the 10th anniversary of the disappearance of MH370, in Subang Jaya, Malaysia, on March 3. HASNOOR HUSSAIN/REUTERS

A decade after the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 mysteriously disappeared, family members of the passengers and cabin crew continue to grieve for their missing loved ones.

On March 3, a gathering was held in Kuala Lumpur to mark the 10th year of the plane's disappearance. Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook said the Malaysian government is "committed" to search for MH370 and is ready to discuss a search proposal with Ocean Infinity, a US-based marine robotics firm that tried to find the missing plane in 2018.

The Malaysian government's plan to renew the investigation is expected to provide closure on the tragic incident.

"We are grateful for the government's desire to resume a search after an extended period of silence on that part," Grace Subathirai Nathan, daughter of missing passenger Anne Daisy Nathan, told China Daily.

Though life went on for Nathan, the lawyer has continued to search for answers about MH370. She looks forward to the search resuming in the near future.

The red-eye flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing mysteriously disappeared on March 8, 2014. There were 227 passengers and 12 crew members aboard the plane.

Investigators still do not know exactly what happened to the plane and the 239 people onboard.

Despite the largest search in aviation history, the plane has never been found and the operation was suspended in January 2017. Malaysia then tapped Ocean Infinity in 2018 to search the southern Indian Ocean, offering to pay up to $70 million if it found the plane.

In July 2018, the Malaysian government released a more than 800-page report, noting that the evidence led to an "incontrovertible conclusion" that it was under manual control, and it was deliberately flown out into the Indian Ocean. Until the wreckage is found, it will remain unknown as to who was at the controls of the Boeing 777 during that time. Loke, who was also transport minister at the time, described it as the final and full report.

On condition

Nearly four years after the release of the report, Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said during a March 4 state visit to Australia that he would be "happy to reopen" the search for the missing MH370 "if there is compelling evidence".

"I don't think it's a technical issue. It's an issue affecting the lives of people and whatever needs to be done must be done," he said.

An earlier Australia-led search that covered 120,000 square kilometers in the Indian Ocean found hardly any trace of the plane, with only some pieces of debris picked up.

Agencies contributed to this story.


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