Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, who was the acting Transport Minister at the time of the tragedy, urged all the affected family members to remain strong and patient. (pic by ADNAN IBRAHIM)

KLUANG: "I pray that the mission to find MH370 by Ocean Infinity goes smoothly because we all want to know what actually happened," said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

He said like all Malaysians, especially the family and friends of the victims, the MH370 tragedy had left a deep and lasting impact on him.

Hishammuddin, who was the acting Transport Minister at the time of the tragedy, urged all the affected family members to remain strong and patient.

"The MH370 tragedy is very close to my heart. I always pray that there will be an end to this so that the families get the actual answer.

"I still remember having to handle the case when I was the acting Transport Minister. I had put the position of the family of MH370 passengers as priority.

"If I was in their position, I would definitely have wondered whether the investigation or search would result in anything that would give me relief or closure," said Hishammuddin after launching the 'Karnival Orang FELDA Sembrong Kita' in Felda Ulu Penggeli here.

Also present were his wife Datin Seri Tengku Marsilla Tengku Abdullah and Felda chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad.

Hishammuddin said this when asked about his experience coordinating the search for MH370 after it went missing.

MH370, a Boeing 777 aircraft, was carrying 239 passengers and crew members on its way to Beijing on March 8, 2014, after departing from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport un Subang about midnight before it went missing.

Last January, private exploration company Ocean Infinity began its mission to search for MH370 and aimed to find the wreckage by June or July this year.

The new search mission is equipped with oceanography analysis equipment and high technology vessel and the search began in a remote area in the Indian Ocean with the hope of solving one of the biggest mysteries in the history of the aviation industry.

Previously, a search mission led by Australia covered an area of 120,000 square kilometres in the western edge of the continent for 28 months without any sign of the doomed aircraft and the search was called off in January last year.

Hishammuddin, who is Sembrong member of Parliament, said the MH370 tragedy was an incident he would never be able to forget.

"Just imagine looking for an answer for something that might not have an answer.

"However, we also have to thank the foreign government which was willing to cooperate with Malaysia in the search for the wreckage.

"This was possible because we have a lot of friends who have the relevant technology and are willing to help.

"In a way, this is a sign that they recognise us," he added.

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