Country committed to solving MH370 mystery: Malaysian PM

Ms Dai Shuqin holding a poster that reads "President Xi will help us. The nation will help us. Good news about our family is sure to come", as she took part in a protest outside Lama Temple in Beijing yesterday. Relatives of missing passengers on Fli
Ms Dai Shuqin holding a poster that reads "President Xi will help us. The nation will help us. Good news about our family is sure to come", as she took part in a protest outside Lama Temple in Beijing yesterday. Relatives of missing passengers on Flight MH370 gathered at the temple to mark the second year since the flight from Kuala Lumpur disappeared while en route to Beijing.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has pledged continued commitment, within Malaysia's means, to solving the mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which went missing two years ago.

In a statement to mark the second anniversary of the plane's disappearance yesterday, Datuk Seri Najib said the search team had been working tirelessly, scouring some of the world's most inhospitable underwater terrains to find the Boeing 777.

He said he remained hopeful that the plane would be located in the 120,000 sq km search area in the southern Indian Ocean as a June deadline for the search looms.

"We remain committed to doing everything within our means to solving what is an agonising mystery for the loved ones of those who were lost," Mr Najib said.

Mr Martin Dolan, head of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, which is leading the massive search, was also quoted as saying that the plane would "very likely" be found in the next four months. Flight MH370 went missing on March 8, 2014 with 239 people on board soon after taking off from Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing.

"We've covered nearly three- quarters of the search area and, since we haven't found the aircraft in those areas, that increases the likelihood that it's in the areas we haven't looked at yet," Mr Dolan was quoted as saying in a Guardian report.

But if there is still no sign of the plane by the time the search ends, Mr Najib said, Malaysia, Australia and China will hold a tripartite meeting to discuss the way forward.

So far, only a piece of flaperon, from a plane's wing, that washed ashore last July on Reunion Island, off the coast of Madagascar, has been confirmed to be part of MH370. Two pieces of debris found in recent days - one off Mozambique on Feb 27 and the other on Reunion Island last Thursday - have yet to be verified.

Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai told reporters yesterday that the Malaysian team had arrived in Mozambique to inspect the metre-long piece of debris.

Malaysian MPs observed a minute's silence in Parliament yesterday to mark the anniversary.

Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia, in a speech, called the tragedy heartrending and urged the families of all those on board, including 50 Malaysians, to stay strong.

The MH370 investigation team yesterday released an interim statement, in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organisation regulations.

Investigator-in-charge Kok Soo Chon said in a televised statement that there had been no new leads and that the team was now working to finalise its report.

"New information that may become available before the completion of the final report may alter these analyses, findings/conclusions and safety recommendations," he added.

The final report will be completed when the wreckage of the plane is located or the search is called off.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 09, 2016, with the headline 'Country committed to solving MH370 mystery: Malaysian PM'. Print Edition | Subscribe