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Malaysia: $8.6 million spent on search for missing Flight MH 370

KUALA LUMPUR, June 9 (Reuters) - Malaysia has spent a total of 27.6 million ringgit ($8.6 million) so far on the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, authorities said on Monday, giving a specific cost figure for the first time.

"The figure of 27.6 million ringgit was only the sum spent by Malaysian agencies, we do not know how much other countries spent," Department of Civil Aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman told a news conference, saying he was unsure of the cost breakdown.

The search for MH370, which disappeared carrying 239 passengers and crew on March 8, is already set to be the most costly in aviation history and spending will rise significantly as the search expands to a wider swathe of the Indian Ocean off Australia. Experts have suggested the cost of searching for the missing jetliner could reach hundreds of millions of dollars.

The search has been dealt setbacks, most recently when Australian officials said last last month that wreckage from the aircraft was not on the seabed in the area they had identified, based on acoustic pings thought to be from the plane's black box recorders.

Azharuddin said Malaysian officials would travel to Australia on Tuesday and China later this week to discuss the latest analysis of satellite and other data being used to refine the new search area. About two-thirds of the passengers were Chinese nationals.

Asked where the new search area would be, Azharuddin said he did not know but that it "will not be very far away from where the search is now".

"The Australian and Malaysian investigators have done their analysis and are in the process of exchanging notes with Inmarsat," he said, referring to the British satellite firm whose analysis of signals from the plane is the basis for the current search area.

A Wall Street Journal report on Sunday cited sources as saying investigators were revising some of their basic assumptions about the plane's last position and could make an announcement on the new search area by mid-June.

The search area has already been extended to a 60,000 sq km (23,000 sq mile) zone that is being surveyed by a Chinese vessel. It will then be searched by a commercial operator in a mission expected to start in August and take up to a year, at a cost of A$60 million ($55 million) or more.

Officials are opening the search operations to bids by private firms. Malaysia's deputy defense minister, Abdul Rahim Bakri, said those costs would be shared equally by Malaysia and Australia. ($1 = 3.1985 ringgit) (Reporting By Trinna Leong; editing by Stuart Grudgings and Ron Popeski)

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peterhunt27 June 09 2014 at 5:33 PM

I'd rather know how much Obamas old lady has spent in our tax dollars on personal trips its gotta be 10 times this figure

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12 replies
gogators1980 June 09 2014 at 5:50 PM

On the bright side, Flight MH 370 should being showing up pretty soon, now that Obama released it's new flight crew from Gitmo last week.

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3 replies
Ben Dunlap June 09 2014 at 5:03 PM

How can an air craft that size just disappeare without a trace? Or was it landed and hidden without and Idea of where ?

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8 replies
Hi Rob June 09 2014 at 6:00 PM

It would have been nice to have spent the money on health care or feeding the people that live in the streets.

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2 replies
larry Hi Rob June 09 2014 at 7:42 PM

Most people that live on the streets, prefer that lifestyle. They do NOT want any responsibility of taxes, home ownership or bills of any kind. They also know that at the end of the day any money they have "panhandled" is tax free and they can spend it on drugs, alcohol, marijuana or food. I am no longer a bleeding heart due to the fact I walked amoung these people for 35 years and have seen what they do when they panhandle. There are shelters and food kitchens that give them the basics along with food stamps, government welfare and EBT cards. Giveing them money is a BIG mistake.

Flag Reply +10 rate up
excontroller Hi Rob June 09 2014 at 9:48 PM


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afreakaman June 09 2014 at 5:55 PM

It dosen't mattet what the topic might be,...some dolts aways find a way to work the Obamas into the mix--some of you mofos need to get a life;...for real!

Flag Reply +10 rate up
3 replies
boardsrbetter June 09 2014 at 5:10 PM

I want to be sensitive here, but this situation is in dire need of logic, so bear with me...

My condolences go to the family, friends, and loved ones of all who were on that plane. The whole world sees your pain, and grieves your loss.

That being said; The plane was confirmed to have crashed. There were no survivors. At this point, it honestly doesnt even matter why the plane crashed. So much money has been spent on this, I think its time to hold a memorial service for the men and women who lost thier lives, then drop this. I mean i dont get peoples facination with spending rediculous money to find out negligible info. We always do this all around the globe and it makes no sense to me.

America for example:
When murders happen, we like to catch the killer, prove it was him, charge him, then still have 10 detectives getting paid with our tax money trying to figure out "why he did this". they dont ask him, or move on to a drug bust or something productive.

Flag Reply +9 rate up
11 replies
bd2thebone June 09 2014 at 6:38 PM

I would have done the search from my living room for 1/2 that and got the same results.

Flag Reply +8 rate up
1 reply
drpmindmender bd2thebone June 10 2014 at 8:45 AM

Yours is the ONLY intelligent comment on this thread!

Flag Reply 0 rate up
JTalltrees1 June 09 2014 at 8:47 PM

This plane doesn't belong to my taxes!!!!!!

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2 replies
cqdeed JTalltrees1 June 09 2014 at 10:50 PM

Who said your taxes paid for the search?

Flag Reply +1 rate up
mennis0852 JTalltrees1 June 09 2014 at 11:28 PM

Well unless you live in Malaysia then it does not, other than what the US has already spent using the military, and you pay for them no matter where they sail.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
JOHNNY mennis0852 June 10 2014 at 8:20 AM

Spin it any way you want our taxes still paid for it.

Flag +5 rate up
treyn87957 June 09 2014 at 6:55 PM

Somebody doesn't want this plane found, Period!

Flag Reply +4 rate up
1 reply
mishiho treyn87957 June 09 2014 at 11:51 PM

It's in the South China Sea and you're right, someone does not want it found or the UAV Globle Hawk that crashed it!

Flag Reply +2 rate up
RICHARD BONNET June 09 2014 at 5:00 PM

It cost more than 8.6 M

Flag Reply +2 rate up
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