Malaysia to collect possible MH370 debris
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has sent officials from the Department of Civil Aviation to retrieve a piece of plane debris found in Madagascar to determine if it is from the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.
Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai confirmed that several officers had gone to Madagascar to collect the debris.
"We were contacted by the authorities from Madagascar and I have directed our officers to collect the debris from them," he said.
"It is only one small piece."
Mr Liow noted that it was standard operating procedure for the debris to be couriered back to Malaysia or for officers to be sent to collect it.
He said the move to send officers to Madagascar comes in the wake of the murder of Malaysia's Honorary Consul Zahid Raza last month.
Mr Liow said it was irresponsible to link Mr Zahid's assassination to the disappearance of MH370.
"I don't think that it is related. It is also irresponsible and premature to speculate as the case is still under police investigation," said Mr Liow.
Mr Zahid was gunned down on Aug 24 in Antananarivo, the island's capital.
Police said they were still investigating the motive behind the crime as there was no indication it was a robbery.
Mr Zahid, a prominent businessman in Madagascar, was appointed as honorary consul in 2013.
Flight MH370, a Boeing 777 carrying 239 people from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, disappeared on March 8, 2014. The plane is believed to have crashed way off course in the southern Indian Ocean.
Several pieces of the aircraft have since washed up along Madagascar's coasts, although the crash site has yet to be located. - THE STAR