Malaysia PM vows no letting up in hunt

MALAYSIAN Prime Minister Najib Razak vowed yesterday that “we will not rest” until the fate of flight MH370 is known, as Australia called it the most difficult search in human history.

Najib toured the military base in Perth being used as a staging post in the hunt for the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 carrying 239 people that is believed to have crashed in the Indian Ocean.

“We want to find answers. We want to provide comfort to the families and we will not rest until answers are indeed found,” Najib said, as he thanked those involved in the eight-nation search.

Despite extensive scouring of the remote southern Indian Ocean, no debris that would indicate a crash site has been found, with time running out to locate the plane’s black box which only emits a signal for about 30 days.

Kuala Lumpur’s response to the crisis has been widely criticised, especially by distraught relatives of the 153 Chinese nationals aboard.

In contrast, Australia’s mobilisation since it was handed increased responsibility in the search effort has been praised.

Australia has far more experience than Malaysia of rescue operations, routinely monitoring huge tracts of ocean, but Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the search was the toughest ever.

“It is a very difficult search, the most difficult in human history, but as far as Australia is concerned we are throwing everything we have at it.” A British nuclear submarine with underwater search capabilities on Wednesday joined planes and ships scouring the search zone.

Ties between Beijing and Kuala Lumpur suffered a further blow yesterday after a Chinese tourist was kidnapped from a Malaysian diving resort by gunmen.

China’s foreign ministry pressed Malaysia to make an “allout effort” to rescue the woman and to take steps to ensure the safety of Chinese tourists. – AFP

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