KUALA LUMPUR - The authorities involved in the search and recovery of the missing MH370 aircraft, which has spanned more than 40 days, will regroup and consider the next course of action when the time comes.
Echoing the stand of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said any course of action would not stop the search effort.
"I fully agree with Abbott that there will come a time when we need to regroup and reconsider our approach.
"However, in any event, the search will continue," he told a press conference at the end of the Defence Services Asia (DSA) exhibition here yesterday.
Hishammuddin, who is acting Transport Minister, said the time for such action would not be on "the number of days" the operations had been conducted but on "information obtained" by the authorities.
On the autonomous underwater vehicle Bluefin-21 which had been deployed for underwater search, Hishammuddin said Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) chief Angus Houston had informed him that the visual from the vehicle had been clear.
"It gives us a bit of a relief as we will intensify the deep water search.
"The Bluefin-21 has also been recalibrated to resurface beyond 2,500m. The most intensive search over the area will take place over the weekend," he said.
Hishammuddin said the Australian authorities had made preparations to receive the next-of-kin of those on board the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight at a time to be specified later.
"On our part, a team will be leaving for Beijing in the next couple of days to advise the family members on the latest development and preparation," he said, conceding that the most difficult part of an investigation of this nature was dealing with the families.
He clarified that the Cabinet had yet to discuss the formation of an international panel of inquiry into MH370, adding that the working paper was ready and he would table it at the next Cabinet meeting.
Asked on the financial implication of such unprecedented search and recovery operation, he said: "I am cautiously optimistic that many friends of Malaysia, apart from the 26 nations already taking part in the SaR, will assist us."