SEPANG - The search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has not been stopped, says Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
On the contrary, the Transport Minister said the search had widened from the current 60,000sq km to another 60,000sq km.
"There were some news reports that we stopped the search. It is not true," he said after launching Malindo Air's new in-flight services and magazine at the KLIA2 here yesterday.
"We are committed to continuing the search in the southern Indian Ocean," he added.
However, Liow said if there were no new leads by the end of the additional search zone, then the search might not continue.
"We decided at a tripartite meeting between Australia, Malaysia and China that if we cannot find anything in the current search area of 60,000sq km, we will expand it to another 60,000sq km.
"Now, we are reaching the end of our search in the current 60,000sq km," said Liow.
In April, Australia, Malaysia and China had agreed to double the search area to 120,000sq km and extend the efforts to another year if the plane was not found.
The Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) was reported by some media to have said that it would not expand the search without new leads.
"If we still cannot find the plane after scouring 120,000sq km, we would have to go back to the experts and decide what's next," he said.
On another matter, Liow said sightings of low-flying planes in Gua Musang were because of an air exercise between the Malaysian and US armed forces.
"I urge the public not to be overly concerned about this. It is a normal air exercise," he said.
On the restructuring exercise by Malaysia Airlines (MAS), Liow said 4,500 employees were retrenched, another 4,100 would be hired on contract basis while the remainder would be re-employed.
On PAS' ulama wing severing ties with DAP, Liow said this was expected.
"The three Opposition parties - PKR, PAS and DAP - do not share the same direction and are confrontational in dealing with issues.
"It is damaging and for our multi-racial society, we have to govern the country using a moderate approach."