Malaysia has spent $75 million on MH370 search, says transport ministry

Malaysia has spent more than RM230million (S$74.9 million) searching for Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370.
Malaysia has spent more than RM230million (S$74.9 million) searching for Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370.PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR (The Star/Asia News Network) - Malaysia has spent more than RM230million (S$74.9 million) on the search for Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 as of October, 19 months after the plane went missing, the Transport Ministry said on Monday (Nov 2).

It said the government has also spent RM12.9 million on dealing with the aftermath of flight MH17, which was struck by a missile and crashed in Ukraine in July last year, killing all 298 people on board.

Compensation had been paid to the next of kin of both tragedies based on the Montreal Convention 1999, subject to proof of loss borne by each passenger, the ministry said.

"MAS (now renamed Malaysia Airlines Berhad) has offered Advance Compensation Payment and Crew Assistance Package amounting to US$50,000 (S$70,044) as part of compensation to the next of kin or families of the passengers and crew members of MH370 and MH17," said the Ministry in a written reply to opposition MP Teresa Kok on Monday.

Kok had asked about the amount spent on the search of MH370 and the handling of the MH17 tragedy.

MH370, with 239 people on board, disappeared from radar during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8 last year. The aircraft is believed to have ended its journey in the southern Indian ocean.

The Transport Ministry said 236 and 74 next of kin for MH17 and MH370 victims had received compensation amounting to US$16.6mil (RM70mil).

Flight MH17 was shot down in eastern Ukraine by a Russian-made anti-aircraft missile en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam on July 17 last year, killing all 298 people on board.