New debris being checked for MH370 link

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
PHOTO: Youtube screengrab

KUALA LUMPUR - Two new pieces of debris have been found in the Maldives and are currently being analysed to see if these are linked to the missing MH370 plane, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

Liow said the two pieces were discovered on Friday and brought back by the Malaysian team in Maldives.

"The first debris is a honeycomb material while the other has a flat surface. Both are small and can easily be lifted," he told reporters after attending the 40th Selangor Wanita MCA state assembly here yesterday.

However, Liow said it was still too soon to say if the pieces were from MH370, adding that the analysing team would first have to determine if they actually came from a plane.

"If it is plane material, then the pieces will be sent to the international investigation team to confirm if they belong to MH370," he said.

The verification by the Malaysian team should not take long, he said, adding that updates would be provided as soon as the investigation was completed.

Liow said Malaysia, Australia and China were also committed to continuing with the search for MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean.

The Search Strategy Working Group, headed by Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) chief commissioner Martin Dolan, was analysing all data, including information on all debris found, to help locate the plane, he said.

"We hope to find the black box and the main frame of the plane as soon as possible," he said.

On MH17, Liow said early discussions were being carried out among Belgium, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Australia and Malaysia to go ahead with "Plan B" to bring justice for those killed onboard the downed flight.

"We felt sad when Russia rejected the proposal for the setting up of an international tribunal through a veto vote but we are working on an alternative.

"(It's) either that we will form a multi-state court or bring this matter to the International Criminal Court," he said.

All 298 people onboard were killed when the plane was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17 last year.

Russia was the only one among the 15-member United Nations Security Council to object to the proposal for the tribunal.