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Malaysia rules out releasing raw satellite data to MH370 kin

It was better for the International Panel of Experts to decide which information should be made public: Malaysian Transport Minister Hishamuddin Hussein

By: Press Trust of India | Kuala Lumpur | Published: May 12, 2014 5:57:40 pm
A search operating of Malaysian flight MH370

Malaysia on Monday ruled out releasing raw satellite data to the families of the 239 people on board the crashed MH370, as the transport ministry prepared to table a report on the outcome of a tripartite meeting in Australia on the future of the search for the plane.

Commenting on the request from the families of those on board Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 for the government to release raw satellite data, Acting Transport Minister Hishamuddin Hussein said it was better for the International Panel of Experts to decide which information should be made public.

He said the transport ministry is preparing a joint cabinet paper with the defence and foreign ministries on the outcome of the tripartite ministerial meeting between Malaysia, Australia and China in Australia, to be tabled this Wednesday.

Hishamuddin said the cabinet paper, among others, would put forward suggestions by the tripartite meeting on the new search phase for the plane.

The new phase of search includes an analysis and refinement of the Inmarsat satellite data and the mapping of the seabed in the southern Indian Ocean, where the flight was believed to have ended, he told reporters.

“The report will also, among others, include the deployment of assets, which have specific capabilities for the search mission,” he was quoted as saying by the state-run Bernama news agency.

The Tripartite Ministerial Meeting was held at the Australian Parliament House in Canberra on May 5 between Hishammuddin, Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss and Chinese Transport Minister Yang Chuangtang.

Hishammuddin described the meeting as comprehensive, complete, most constructive and one that reflected a high level of cooperation, collaboration and trust between the three nations.

“What is important is that the meeting in Australia (Canberra) (with the Australian deputy prime minister and Chinese transport minister) was quite historical because it had put aside a lot of conspiracy theories with regards to geopolitical arguments,” he said.

“The point that we are looking at now is on the deep sea search, on the asset that is very specialised and sharing of (search) cost because in the past there was no talk of dollars and cents to be fair to our partners it is time for us to actually look at it (cost sharing) more seriously, because it might be for a long haul,” Hishammuddin said.

The Beijing-bound Boeing 777-200 plane, carrying 239 people, including five Indians, an Indo-Canadian and 154 Chinese nationals – had mysteriously vanished on March 8 after taking off from Kuala Lumpur.

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