Yesterday’s announcement by the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) that declared Flight MH370 an accident had been agreed to by the governments of Malaysia, China and Australia, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
He said the announcement was intended to enable families of the MH370 passengers and crew to move forward in life.
“This has been a trying time for the next-of-kin of the passengers and crew. My thoughts and prayers, and those of the nation, are with you at this difficult moment,” he said in a statement here yesterday.
Earlier yesterday evening, DCA director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, who appeared on a televised broadcast, announced that MH370 was an accident and all its 239 passengers and crew on board were presumed dead.
Liow said the announcement had no bearing on the search operation.
“The search will continue. The governments of Malaysia, China and Australia remain firmly committed to the ongoing search,” he said.
On the search operation, Liow said that recently Malaysia sent additional assets to the search area.
Four vessels, including the Fugro Supporter which has just arrived to assist in the underwater search, are now participating in the search.
He said the MH370 website had been enhanced and now included a section specifically for the next-of-kin.
Liow also thanked the Chinese and Australian governments as well as other nations and individuals for their assistance in this matter.
“Malaysia owes each and every one of the nations and individuals who have assisted us a tremendous debt of gratitude. We thank them for their support during one of the most challenging and trying periods in the history of aviation,” he said.