It has been more than a year since flight MH370 disappeared off the face of the earth, but the Malaysian government remains committed to searching for the missing aircraft despite having already spent USD 53.95M on efforts, Malay Online Today reports.
This commitment was affirmed by Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abd Aziz Kaprawi on Sunday, after chairing the 56th Annual General Meeting of the Road Safety Council at the national level in Kangar, Malaysia.
Abd Aziz said during the event that this mission was still focusing on 120,000 square kilometres in the Indian Ocean. He also expressed his confidence in Australia as the leader in the search efforts.
The news comes alongside reports that Malaysia has already spent at least 231.45 million ringgit (53.95 million dollars) on the renegade flight.
The Independent Online reports that Transport Minister Liow Tiong told the parliament that this amount was computed for the end of October. However, it was not known what the full cost was since two other countries - Australia and China - were involved in the effort.
Liow also told the parliament that Malaysia Airlines has so far paid partial compensation to 74 family members of those who perished on the MH370, not to mention to the 236 relatives of victims of flight MH17, which went down in eastern Ukraine in July 2014 after a missile shot it down.
In sum, the total amount paid to the next of kin in the two incidents has amounted to 71.27 million ringgit. This amount was based on the Montreal Convention 1999, which establishes airline liability for death, injury or delay to passengers or where delay, damage or loss of baggage and cargo are concerned.
The Star also reports that Malaysia's Transport Ministry said in a statement that: "MAS (now renamed Malaysia Airlines Berhad) has offered Advance Compensation Payment and Crew Assistance Package amounting to USD 50,000 (RM211,050) as part of compensation to the next of kin or families of the passengers and crew members of MH370 and MH17."
The statement was made in a written reply to Teresa Kok (DAP-Seputeh) Monday when the latter had asked how much has been spent for the search of MH370 and the handling of the MH17 tragedy.
MH370 disappeared without a trace enroute to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur on March 8 last year. Meanwhile, Flight MH17 headed for Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam was shot down in eastern Ukraine by a Russian-made anti-aircraft missile on July 17 last year, killing all 298 passengers onboard.