Updated: Tue, 08 Jul 2014 00:15:11 GMT | By The Malaysian Insider : Malaysia

Malaysia still in talks with Australia and China over MH370 search costs, says Hishammuddin

Malaysia, Australia and China are still discussing how to share the costs of the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, said a report in The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). Deputy defence minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri had said last month that Malaysia and Australia, which is currently leading the search in the southern Indian Ocean, would...


Malaysia Insider

Malaysia, Australia and China are still discussing how to share the costs of the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, said a report in The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

Deputy defence minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri had said last month that Malaysia and Australia, which is currently leading the search in the southern Indian Ocean, would split the the cost right down the middle, with each side paying 50% of the cost.

However, he had said that it was unclear if the Chinese government would offer any monetary contribution to the search effort.

MH370 disappeared on March 8 with 239 people on board shortly after take-off from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing.

There has not been any trace of the aircraft since.

"The sharing of cost is still being negotiated but I think it is only fair that China (and) Australia, together with Malaysia, find a way to share (and) bear the cost," WSJ quoted Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein as telling reporters at the sideline of a photo exhibition recently.

Hishammuddin had told Parliament that Malaysia had spent RM27.6 million ringgit on fuel and food for equipment and personnel in the search.

Australia, meanwhile, had said that it had allocated A$89.9 million (about RM266 million) for the search.

"I think about A$25 million of that is to go the defence force for the visual search they conducted," said Angus Houston, head of the search's Joint Agency Coordination Centre had said.

Authorities have engaged private contractors to lead the search after dozens of military ships and aircraft failed to locate the missing aircraft.

Hishammuddin had announced on Sunday that Petronas, Deftech and Boustead will work together with private companies Pheonix International and iXBlue Australia in the next phase of the search, which is expected to begin within the next few months.

"They will provide high-tech sonar equipment and instructions for immediate mobilisation have been given.

“The assets are expected to reach the search area in mid-August. The operational requirements for these assets will be coordinated with the Australian authorities," he had said.

Meanwhile, Astro Awani reported that Deputy Communication and Multimedia Minister, Datuk Jailani Johari, has denied claims that Malaysia, China and Australia had differences regarding the search mission.

He said such negative speculation spread in western and social media were inaccurate as the three countries were co-operating closely. – July 8, 2014.

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