Malaysia spent $29.69m last year in MH370 search: Transport minister

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Malaysian government spent about RM79 million (S$29.69 million) for the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 search-and-recovery (SAR) mission in 2014.

"As of December 2014, the Government has spent RM79,031,905.76 in search operations for flight MH370," according to a written reply from Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai to a question posed in the Dewan Rakyat by Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin (BN-Padang Besar) on Tuesday.

"However, the overall cost estimation for the search mission cannot be determined yet because search operations are still ongoing," Liow explained.

Among the agencies that were involved in the SAR are the Royal Malaysian Air Force, Royal Malaysian Navy, Royal Malaysian Police, Fire and Rescue Department and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.

Australia, China and the United States are among the countries that have also contributed extensively to the mission, which is the largest search in aviation history.

Flight MH370 disappeared on March 8 last year while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board.

On Jan 29, the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) declared the disappearance of the plane an accident.

The plane is believed to have ended its journey in the southern Indian Ocean.