Singapore will help search for missing Malaysian Airlines plane: Ng Eng Hen

Singapore will help search for missing Malaysian Airlines plane: Ng Eng Hen
The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER that disappeared from air traffic control screens on March 8, 2014, is seen taking off from Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport in France on Dec. 26, 2011. Photo: AP/Laurent Errera
Published: 10:02 PM, March 8, 2014
Updated: 10:44 AM, March 9, 2014

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Defence (Mindef) will assist in the search efforts to locate the Malaysian Airlines flight that went missing earlier today (March 8), Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said.

“When I heard of the news of the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 earlier today my sympathies immediately went to the families and loved ones of the passengers onboard, especially of our Malaysian neighbours,” Mr Eng told Channel NewsAsia in a phone interview.

“Earlier today Prime Minister Lee called Prime Minister Najib to express our deepest sympathies over the missing Malaysia Airlines flight and offered help with the search operations and Prime Minister Najib appreciated our swift offer and response.”

He added: “We have already mobilised a RSAF C130 that is at the site of the missing aircraft. I offered further assistance of our submarine support and rescue vessel.”

The rescue vessel is equipped to perform search operations underwater and divers on the ship can also assist with current efforts to locate the missing plane, Mr Ng said.

“Both the Singaporean and Malaysian Chiefs of Navy have spoken and they are co-ordinating the details to work out how this vessel can be deployed and help them in the search and locate efforts.

“I further offered Defence Minister Hishammuddin any other help he thinks Singapore can give and that we would be willing to assist him in these efforts and I wished him well in this very difficult period.”