DECISION TO RESUME SEARCH FOR MH370 DEPENDS ON EXPERTS, COUNTRIES INVOLVED

KUALA LIPIS, Malaysia — The decision whether the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 will resume or not will depend on experts’ findings and the agreement of the three countries involved, says Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai.

He said this was because all information received, including from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), must be scrunitised and verified by the MH370 Action Committee led by the Civil Aviation Department director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman.

Let’s wait for the experts. We can’t jump into conclusion. The committee led by Azharuddin Abdul Rahman will look into the facts presented by CSIRO yesterday.

We have to look whether it is new or just an old data…and whether this fact can convince and be considered by Malaysia, China and Australia to reconsider the joint decision to suspend the MH370 search mission, he told reporters after witnessing the hand-over ceremony of Track Work Machinery to Fajarbaru Builder Group Berhad (Fajarbaru) at the Padang Tengku Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) office here today.

Also present were Fajarbaru chairman Low Keng Kok and executive director Eric Kuan Khian Leng, as well as KTBM general manager (Project Management) Abdul Rahman Din.

Liow was responding to a media report yesterday, quoting CSIRO’s David Griffin that the agency had potentially narrowed the search area to three specific locations based on satellite pictures taken two weeks after flight MH370 went missing.

The report also noted that the Australian government, however, rejected CSIRO’s report, saying it was not precise enough.

On March 8, 2014, flight MH370 carrying 239 people including 12 crew disappeared while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, prompting a massive search operation to be mounted involving various other countries, but on Jan 17 this year, Malaysia, Australia and China decided to suspend search operations until they found a new lead.

In another development, Liow said the project to upgrade the 550km railway tracks from Gemas, Negeri Sembilan to Tumpat, Kelantan undertaken by the government at a cost of RM800 million, was expected to be completed in 2020.

He said the project, which was divided into three packages, namely Tumpat-Gua Musang, Gua Musang-Mentakab and Mentakab-Gemas, was vital due to the poor condition of the tracks following the massive floods in 2014 and also the fact that some of the tracks were too old as they were built in 1903.

When the new railway tracks are in place, it will increase the speed of the intercity train, which currently runs 60kmh, to 90kmh and hence, reduce the travel time from Gemas to Tumpat by 12 hours, he said.

Liow said Fajarbaru was involved in upgrading the railway tracks from Jerantut, Pahang to Gua Musang which cost RM259 million, and for that purpose, it had purchased track work machinery worth RM50 million from Jiang KTK Locomotive and Rolling Stocks Co.Ltd and Gemac Engineering Machinery Co. Ltd from China.

The minister also described the project as timely as it coincides with the implementation of the East Coast Rail Line (ECRL) project, which also goes through Mentakab, making the district an interchange station in the future.

He added that all plans to improve the public transport sector would bring about positive economic spillover effects to the East Coast residents, including in the tourism industry.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK