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Malaysian minister denies there was chaos in search for missing plane MH370

Published on Mar 12, 2014 7:29 PM
 

Malaysia's Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said Wednesday that there was no chaos in Malaysia's handling of the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner.

He said Prime Minister Najib Razak had announced on Saturday itself that the search operations would be expanded to the west of Peninsular Malaysia after a review of the military radar showed that the flight MH370 may have tried to turn back.

The Boeing 777-200 had lost contact while in the waters over the east of Peninsular Malaysia as it headed from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Mr Hishammuddin said this was done even while the military radar findings were still being analysed by experts and corroborated with radars of neighbouring countries.

Malaysia's acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein answers questions during a news conference about the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport March 12, 2014. Malaysia's Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said Wednesday, March 11, 2014, that there was no chaos in Malaysia's handling of the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner.  -- PHOTO: REUTERS

The Armed Forces chief Zulkefli Zin said although they were not sure what that blip on the military radar meant, they still sent ships and aircraft to scour the Straits of Malacca.

Malaysia has been harshly criticised for the contradictory information and lack of coordination that had caused confusion, leaving it unclear whether it was searching for the missing plane in the right place.

It clarified on Wednesday that it was searching in both east and west of Peninsular Malaysia due to the uncertain nature of the information available.

carolynh@sph.com.sg

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