MH370: Next of Kin Committee's statement

Above: Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin speaks to reporters in Kuala Lumpur on April 20.

KUALA LUMPUR - Following is the statement from Chair of Next of Kin Committee and Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin.

Today marks Day 55 since the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

After weeks of an intensive search involving 26 countries spanning land, sea and air operations, it saddens me that MH370 is yet to be found. However, I need to stress that we are still continuing with search operations.

This is an excruciating time for the family and friends of those on board MH370and I empathise the pain and suffering that they are going through. I can assure that we have done everything in our capacity to ensure that the families' best interest are kept close to our hearts.

On that note, on behalf of the Malaysian Government, I would like to support and reaffirm Malaysia Airlines' statement made on the 1st of May 2014. I would like to put on record, my utmost confidence in Malaysia Airlines' commitment to continuing their support to the families of those on board MH370.

To reiterate Malaysia Airlines' statement,

Malaysia Airlines will make advance compensation payments as soon as possible to the next-of-kin who are entitled to claim compensation, in order to meet their immediate economic needs. Such advance payments will not affect the rights of the next-of-kin to claim compensation according to the law at a later stage, and will be calculated as part of the final compensation."

In addition, I wish to reaffirm that the Malaysian Government will ensure that Malaysia Airlines keep in close touch with the families through the airline's Family Support Centers which will be established immediately in Kuala Lumpur and in Beijing.

In conclusion, I would like to reiterate my support and appreciation to Malaysia Airlines in providing care and support to the next-of-kins at this very difficult time. Our thoughts remain with the families and friends of those on board.