Malaysia's Department of Civil Aviation Director-General
Azharuddin Abdul Rahman leaves after attending a news
conference on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370,
in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. REUTERS/Samsul Said
The Malaysian government has revealed it has spent just a
fraction of what Australia has paid in the search for missing
flight MH370, as officials from both countries prepare to meet
to discuss the next phase of the mission.
Officials from Malaysia are expected in Canberra today for
talks, including discussions around funding for the
The Australian government has set aside almost $A90 million
for the search - expected to be the most expensive in
aviation history - but it's possible that figure could
The head of the joint task force charged with finding MH370,
Angus Houston, said today discussions around the next phase
of the search would include negotiations with Malaysia over
the cost of the search.
"The government has allocated $89.9 million. I think about
$25 million of that is to go the defence force for the visual
search they conducted," former defence force chief Air Chief
Marshal Houston told the ABC.
"There's another $60 million that's been allocated for the
"That money has been allocated but we're still to crunch, or
still to negotiate the burden-sharing with for example
But a senior Malaysian government official has already said
Australia was expected to share the cost of the next phase,
adding there were no figures yet for how much would have to
"Costs will be shared 50-50 between Malaysia and Australia,"
Malaysia's Deputy Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Bakri said.
The comments came as Malaysia's Transport Minister
Hishammuddin Hussein confirmed his government had spent 27.6
million ringgit ($A9.30 million) in fuel and food for
equipment and personnel in the search.
"The cost that we had to bear is relatively small compared to
the other assets given by other countries used in the
search," Mr Hishammuddin said.
"I am proud that many of our friends have come forward to
help in the search, and they bear their own expenses and have
not made any claims from us."
More than three months have passed since the Malaysia
Airlines Boeing 777 disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to
Beijing with 239 people aboard - including six Australians.
The Boeing 777 is believed to have crashed in the southern
Indian Ocean, but an extensive search has turned up no sign
The Australia Transport Safety Board last week issued a
tender to continue the deep-water search for the ill-fated