Malaysia's Ministry of Transport delivered a press statement on the progress of the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
Below is the full transcript:
1. Support for relatives of those on board MH370
a. The Malaysian Government appreciates the importance of providing the relatives of those on board MH370 with accurate, up-to-date and verified information. Malaysia has also strived to ensure that Governments whose nationals were on board MH370 are fully briefed.
b. China had more nationals on board MH370 than any other country. Malaysia recognises its duty to provide the Government of China with verified information, which it can then use to brief the Chinese relatives of those on board MH370. Since MH370 went missing, Malaysia has been in constant communication with the Chinese authorities, at numerous levels of government, to ensure an accurate and timely flow of information. Since 8 March, Malaysia has provided the following members of the Chinese Government with full and thorough briefings:
- H.E. Zhang Yesui, the Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Special Envoy of the Government of China.
- H.E. Huang Huikang, the Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia.
- Officials from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).
- Officials from the Aircraft Accident Investigation Department (AAID).
- Members of the Chinese air force who have particular expertise in radar.
- Malaysia also sent a delegation to Beijing led by Deputy Foreign Minister Dato' Hamzah Zainudin, who met with his Chinese counterparts Vice Foreign Ministers Zhang Yesui and Liu Jian Chow.
2. Today's briefing for the Chinese relatives
a. A special briefing session was held today for the Chinese relatives of those on board MH370. The briefing took place from 10:00 to 13:00 at the Hotel Bangi in Putrajaya.
b. The briefing session was moderated by Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting, the Prime Minister's Special Envoy to China.
c. Datuk Azharuddin, Director-General of the Department of Civil Aviation, gave the opening statement, which reads as follows:
I understand you have many questions about what happened to your loved ones and to flight MH370. We are here today to give you as much information as possible, to help you understand why and how the international investigation team have reached its conclusions about MH370's movements.
The investigation into MH370 has been unprecedented. With so few clues to go on, investigators from around the world have been forced to use new methods to try and understand what happened.
The information we have been working from is the best we have. We have followed the evidence as it has led us from the South China Sea to the Straits of Malacca; from the Andaman Sea to the Northern and Southern corridors; and finally to the Indian Ocean.
Throughout the process, I want to assure you that we have done everything in our power to locate MH370. We have spared no effort and expense. We have worked hard, and co-operated with everyone who could help - including the people who are here today.
We will now begin the technical briefing.
d. The technical briefing was provided by the Department of Civil Aviation and Chinese technical experts.
e. Also present at the briefing, to help answer questions from the relatives, were:
- H.E. Huang Huikang, the Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia;
- the Chief of the Royal Malaysian Air Force, General Tan Sri Dato' Sri Rodzali Bin Daud;
- the Deputy Director of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Royal Malaysia Police, Dato' Huzir bin Mohamed;
- Deputy Secretary General III of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dato' Ibrahim Abdullah.
f. The briefing session was telecast live to relatives of those on board MH370, who are currently in Beijing.
3. Dato' Seri Hishammuddin Hussein's trip to the US-ASEAN Defence Forum
a. The Defence Minister and Acting Transport Minister, Dato' Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, is currently attending the US-ASEAN Defence Forum in Hawaii.
b. This morning, the Minister had a telephone call with the British Secretary of State for Defence, Phillip Hammond. During the call, Defence Secretary Hammond confirmed that Britain will send HMS Tireless, a Trafalgar-class nuclear submarine with sonar capabilities, to help in the multinational search operation for MH370.
4. Prime Minister's trip to Perth
a. Prime Minister Najib Razak is due to land at Perth International Airport at approximately 23:00 local time on Wednesday 2 April.
b. The Prime Minister is due to visit Pearce Air Force base on Thursday morning to meet with personnel involved in the multinational search operation for MH370. The Prime Minister will also be briefed on the latest developments regarding the search.
c. The Prime Minister is due to hold a bilateral meeting with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot later on Thursday morning.