Kuala Lumpur: The Malaysian government Wednesday pledged that the country will keep searching for the missing Malysia Airlines flight MH370 for as long as it takes.
Malaysia`s acting Minister of Transport Hishammuddin Hussein, in a statement, said that "we have entered a new difficult phase which brings with it new challenges which we will overcome together".
"We also have a firm commitment, formalised by our tripartite agreement between Malaysia, Australia and China that the search needs to be a continuous and efforts intensified," Xinhua quoted Hishammuddin as saying.
Hishammuddin noted that China and Malaysia have also agreed to work closely together in the next phase of the search operation in the southern Indian Ocean.
On the technical side, he said, preparations were well under way for the next phase of the search operations which includes the refinement of the search area.
"A team of experts set up and led by the Australian authorities in Canberra are currently conducting the re-analysis together with Inmarsat," he said, adding that "this team has given me the assurance that the search area remains in the arc of the Southern Corridor".
Speaking on asset deployment for the search operation, he said: "We have been in discussions with several Malaysian companies to deploy highly specialised underwater systems and platforms including the autonomous unmanned vehicles (AUVs), deep-water towed side scan sonars, and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs)."
He informed that Malaysia`s oil giant Petronas has agreed to deploy assets under the government furnished equipment (GFE) approach according to which Malaysian companies would be part of the resources to fund the search operations.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished mysteriously about an hour after taking off for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur shortly after midnight March 8.
The Boeing 777-200ER was scheduled to land in Beijing the same morning. The 227 passengers on board included five Indians, 154 Chinese and 38 Malaysians.