KUALA LUMPUR- Malaysia would send a high-level working team to Beijing to deal with issues related to the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner, acting transport minister said today.
"The team will give briefings and updates to the next of kin on the latest situation, and on search and rescue plans," Hishammuddin Hussein, also Malaysia's defence minister, told a press conference. He said the team would be comprised of representatives from the Prime Minister's Office, the Foreign Ministry, the Royal Air Force, the Department of Civil Aviation and the Malaysia Airlines. The team, led by Lieutenant General Dato'Sri Ackbal bin Haji Abdul Samad, air operation commander of the Royal Air Force, would also include a senior 777 pilot.
The Boeing 777-200 flying as MH 370 went missing in the early hours of March 8, 2014 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. There were 239 people on board, including 154 Chinese. As many as 26 countries have been involved in the search that covers an area as large as Australia. The minister urged related countries to share "any and all information that could help with the investigation and the search for MH 370." "I can confirm that we have received some radar data, but we are not at liberty to release information from other countries," he said.
On the police investigation, the minister said some data had been deleted from the flight simulator found at the captain's home and experts were trying to retrieve the data. Reports said Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, has more than 18,000 hours of flying experience and is keen on cooking and had great enthusiasm for flying. He is also a member of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's party. Background checks have been conducted on passengers except those from Russia and Ukraine, he said, stressing that "no information of significance on any passengers has been found." He also dismissed reports alleging that a low flying jumbo jet sighted in the Maldives on the morning of the plane's disappearance could be MH370.