06:13 GMT +323 March 2019
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    In this Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016, file photo, a waiter walks past a mural of flight MH370 in Shah Alam outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    Families of Missing MH370 Passengers Urge Malaysian Officials to Restart Search

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    Nearing the five-year anniversary of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, relatives of those lost are now calling for the Malaysian government to reboot their search and take the lead in finding answers.

    Family members and advocates of those lost in the doomed flight recently urged government officials to not "give up" on the search after Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke revealed this week that he would consider restarting the search if there were "specific proposals."

    Almost half a decade since flight MH370 and its 239 passengers went missing in 2014, Loke gave some of the victims' relatives a glimmer of hope while attending a memorial event at a Kuala Lumpur shopping mall on March 3. 

    "If there are any credible leads and any specific proposals, especially from Ocean Infinity, we are more than willing to look at it," asserted the transportation minister Sunday.

    The most recent of the two expansive searches was carried out by seabed exploration company Ocean Infinity, which was offered up to $70 million in the event that it found the plane. Unfortunately, the 90-day, 112,000-square-kilometer hunt in the Indian Ocean brought up nothing.

    "We are committed to resume the search if there is credible evidence, and we would like to see that we can find the plane and to give closure to the families," Loke told "60 Minutes Australia" after reportedly refusing all other interviews pertaining to the disappearance.

    Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, on the other hand, appeared to give more optimism and hope for another search, despite it being his first time agreeing to talk with a passenger's relative since the flight was lost in 2014.

    "Losing an aircraft is one thing, but losing people is something else," Mahathir told "60 Minutes Australia" and Danica Weeks. "You can't sleep thinking about what has happened; you keep on asking yourself that question, and you get no answer."

    A 2018 safety investigation report by Malaysian authorities was also inconclusive in narrowing down the plane's ultimate fate, but it did rule out a number of possibilities previously floated, such as the pilot's mental competence and state, aircraft malfunction or a possible "remote control takeover." 

    "I cannot think that a person who has been flying for so long, a very senior pilot, would do that," Mahathir added during the interview, addressing questions about the airman's involvement in the disappearance.

    As of now, a few pieces of debris from the aircraft, including a wing fragment and section of MH370's flaperon, have washed up on the shores of Eastern Africa and remain the only solid evidence of the plane's general whereabouts.

    "Please don't give up on us," begged the MH370 families' advocate at the end of the "60 Minutes Australia" interview with Mahathir.

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    Tags:
    Malaysia Airlines MH370, MH370, travel, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 Disappearance, Flight MH370, 60 Minutes, United States, Indian Ocean, Malaysia
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