Putrajaya spent over RM27 million on search for MH370, says Hishammuddin

Putrajaya spent RM27.6 million looking for flight MH370 since the ill-fated aircraft disappeared on March 8.

Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the amount by five agencies was for food and fuel.

The agencies are the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), Royal Malaysian Navy, police and Fire and Rescue Services Department.

However, he said the amount is not finalised as the search operation is still ongoing.

"How can we finalise the amount if we have yet to find the plane? Once it has been identified, then only we can finalise the amount," he said at the parliament lobby today.

Although many countries are helping in the search for the plane that disappeared en route to Beijing with 239 people on board, Hishamuddin said Malaysia is thankful that they have not demanded any payment.

He said the search for the Boeing 777 jetliner has entered the "transition phase" with many private companies expressing interest to help look for the Malaysia Airlines plane.

A delegation which included Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi will head to Canberra, Australia tomorrow to discuss the new phase which includes assets location and costs to look for MH370.

"It will not be fair to other countries such as Australia to continue to shoulder the costs of looking for the aircraft," he said.

MH370 triggered the biggest search operation in aviation history covering the Malacca Strait, South China Sea and Indian Ocean.

With no progress in locating the aircraft, accusations have been levelled at the search authorities by some of the affected families.

There were also suggestions that the search was in the wrong place and that valuable time was wasted. – June 9, 2014.