Malaysia's Transport Minister to lead team for talks on MH370

KUALA LUMPUR - A delegation of senior government officials will be in Australia next week to attend a tripartite meeting that also includes China pertaining to the missing Flight MH370.

Malaysia's delegation, led by Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, also include Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin and Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Rahim Bakri.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said Malaysia would sign a memorandum of understanding with Australia, which had already been approved by both governments.

A towed Prosas Side Scan Sonar would be deployed to join the search for MH370, he told repor­ters here yesterday.

To be mounted on a larger vessel, it will sail in the first week of September to the search site to do a pursuant sub-surface search after the bathymetric analysis of the affected area was completed.

Hishammuddin said Malaysian vessel KD Mutiara had problems with its starboard engine and was on its way to Jakarta for repairs.

Another vessel, Bunga Mas 6, is on its way back to Malaysia from Fremantle, Australia, after a four-month stint in the south Indian Ocean.

Hishammuddin added that Malaysia's involvement in the search would continue and that refinement works were also being carried out to narrow the search for the missing aircraft.

Asked about a report in The Star on the hacking of government computers following the disappearance of MH370, Hisham­muddin said he was not aware of the report.

In a related development, the De­­­partment of Civil Aviation (DCA) confirmed there was a leakage of information in its office network, which was reportedly targeted by hackers on March 9, a day after MH370 went missing.

DCA director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, however, said the incident was not detrimental to the ongoing investigation into the missing craft and that the information taken was already public knowledge.

"We detected some irregularities in the e-mails in our office on March 9 and March 10, but we managed to rectify it. We now have a better system to prevent leakage of our documents.

"What was in the e-mails is not detrimental to the investigation. Most of the information stolen is not sensitive or had already been made public," Azharuddin said.

He said more confidential information were safe from hackers as they were kept in hard copies.