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Saturday, January 23, 2016

MH370 search: Australia looks to Malaysia to cover RM300 million shortfall

As the cost of the underwater search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 increases, Australia is depending on Malaysia to chip in a potential A$100 million (RM300 million) to make up for a shortfall.

The Australian reported yesterday that the revelation came after a survey vessel promised by Malaysia to partake in the search failed to arrive.

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said Malaysia was willing to provide assets and cover the remaining cost of the prolonged search.

“Malaysia has committed assets and financial contribution to fund the balance of the cost of the underwater search," the daily quoted Truss’s spokesman as saying.

It was reported that Australia and China have committed A$60 million and A$20 million respectively to the cost of the search.

The Joint Agency Coordination Centre, set up within Truss’s department to coordinate the search, reportedly said the underwater search may cost up to A$180 million.

Truss had also said two months ago that a Chinese vessel would also join the search, but none has showed up yet.

Australia has taken a major role to locate MH370, as the presumed final resting place, in the southern Indian Ocean, is within its search and rescue zone.

The search will end once the 120,000 sq km designated area has been covered, expected in June. MH370 disappeared from radar on March 8, 2014, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

All 227 passengers and 12 crew members aboard were presumed dead after the government declared it an accident based on international aviation rules.

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