MH370 search under review, may be scrapped: Mahathir

May 23, 2018
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared in March 2014 with 239 people onboard while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing

The hunt for missing flight MH370 is being reviewed and may be scrapped, Malaysia's prime minister said Wednesday, as the country's new government seeks cuts in public spending.

The Malaysia Airlines jet disappeared in March 2014 with 239 mostly Chinese people onboard while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

No sign of the plane was found in a 120,000 square kilometre (46,000 square mile) sea search zone and the Australian-led hunt, the largest in aviation history, was suspended in January last year.

The former Malaysian government struck a "no find, no fee" deal with exploration firm Ocean Infinity to resume the search in an area north of the original zone, that scientists now believe is the likeliest crash site.

The search restarted in January and Ocean Infinity stands to make as much as $70 million if the jet is found.

However Malaysia's new government, which came to power after a surprise election victory on May 9, said they may not continue the deal.

"We are reviewing the contract," Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad told reporters after chairing his first cabinet meeting since the poll.

"We may terminate it if it's not useful."

The new administration has said the country's finances are in bad shape partly due to allegations that billions of dollars were looted from a state fund by ousted leader Najib Razak and his cronies.

Najib is now being probed over his role in the scandal. He denies any wrongdoing.

Mahathir announced Wednesday that members of the cabinet would have their base salaries cut by 10 percent to demonstrate the was concerned about the nation's finances.

Mahathir's coalition, the Pact of Hope, unseated the once-powerful Barisan Nasional, which had ruled the country uninterrupted for 61 years.

Explore further: Mahathir raises 'remote takeover' theory in MH370 mystery

Related Stories

Mahathir raises 'remote takeover' theory in MH370 mystery

March 23, 2018

Malaysia's veteran ex-leader Mahathir Mohamad said Friday that missing flight MH370 might have been taken over remotely in a bid to foil a hijack, reviving one of the many conspiracy theories surrounding its disappearance.

Scientists potentially narrow MH370 search area to 3 spots

August 16, 2017

Scientists have potentially narrowed the search area for the missing Malaysian airliner to three specific locations in the southern Indian Ocean through new satellite and drift analysis of the 2014 crash released Wednesday.

Malaysia's Mahathir calls for Internet censorship

August 2, 2014

Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has called for the Internet to be censored to preserve "public morality", in what the opposition suggested Saturday was an attempt to silence government critics.

Recommended for you

Technology near for real-time TV political fact checks

January 18, 2019

A Duke University team expects to have a product available for election year that will allow television networks to offer real-time fact checks onscreen when a politician makes a questionable claim during a speech or debate.

Privacy becomes a selling point at tech show

January 7, 2019

Apple is not among the exhibitors at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, but that didn't prevent the iPhone maker from sending a message to attendees on a large billboard.

China's Huawei unveils chip for global big data market

January 7, 2019

Huawei Technologies Ltd. showed off a new processor chip for data centers and cloud computing Monday, expanding into new and growing markets despite Western warnings the company might be a security risk.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet May 23, 2018
The Malaysian government just passed a Tax cut that's why they suddenly had no money.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.