Liow: Decision on proposals to resume search for MH370 to be based on tripartite agreement

SERI KEMBANGAN: Although Malaysia has received proposals from three companies offering to resume the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, any decision made will be based on the tripartite agreement, says Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

The Transport Minister said representatives from the tripartite nations (Malaysia, China and Australia) will meet and deliberate further on the proposals.

“We have not decided whether to embark on the search or not until we have a tripartite decision from Malaysia, China and Australia. It’s too early to say anything on the search.

“We are concerned about the search mission. In fact, the Australian team has sent in some details to us and we are looking into it,” he told reporters after officiating the Belt and Road’s China Smart Creation - Lifestyle Experiential Showcase here on Tuesday.

The proposals were received from US-based firm Ocean Infinity, Dutch firm Fugro and Malaysian company TMS.

Liow added that the Cabinet has approved for negotiations to be conducted with the three companies to conduct the search mission.

According to Australian daily The West Australian, Ocean Infinity has offered a “no-find, no-fee” proposal, using six HUGIN autonomous under-water vehicles capable of operating at depths of up to 6000m to collect high-resolution data at what it says are “record-breaking speeds”.

The daily also said that Fugro has offered a low-fee proposal.

MH370 disappeared on March 8, 2014 during a scheduled flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.

The search was suspended in January pending new credible evidence after an underwater sweep of 120,000sq km of the southern Indian Ocean proved futile.

In August, Liow said any decision to resume the search, based on any new data, had to be jointly made by Malaysia, Australia and China.