KUALA LUMPUR, July 20:
The second air tragedy to hit Malaysia Airlines (MAS) this year has not affected the search for the first, according to Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.
On July 17, Flight MH17 crashed in Ukraine after apparently being shot down, resulting in 298 deaths while MH370 disappeared on March 8 with 239 people on board.
“No change in search for MH370 notwithstanding MH17. Different circumstances, challenges, stakeholders,” replied Hishammuddin in a brief message to The Rakyat Post.
However, he added that what was similar between the two incidents is the support for both.
Hishammuddin described it as overwhelming and united.
Hishammuddin was the Acting Transport Minister during the MH370 incident until Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai took over the role just 21 days before the MH17 incident.
Liow is currently in Ukraine, after flying over last night, in order to secure safe passage for Malaysia’s 30-member Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (Smart).
The MH17 crash site is located in an area controlled by the Donetsk People’s Republic, a pro-Russian separatist group, which has been accused by Ukraine and the United States governments as being responsible for shooting down the plane.