KOTA BARU: The public should not jump to any conclusions over the discovery of a female body at the helicopter crash site at Sungai Batang Lupar and investigations into the incident have already started, says Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
The Transport Minister said that the Government would disclose any findings to the victims’ next-of-kin first before making any official statement to the media.
“I have ordered the Air Crash Investigation Bureau to initiate preliminary investigations on the integrity of the helicopter.
“We need to determine its condition and any issues that may arise from it,” he said, adding that this independent of the Department of Civil Aviation’s investigation, which is to determine the cause of the accident.
The MCA president was speaking to reporters after meeting Kelantan MCA leaders here on Friday.
Debris believed to be from the missing AS350 helicopter debris was found near the Batang Lupar river at 9.50am Friday.
The helicopter carrying six people, including Plantation Industries and Commodities Deputy Minister Datuk Noriah Kasnon, her husband Asmuni Abdullah and four others, had left Betong at 4.12pm on Thursday and was headed to Kuching. Noriah is also Sungai Besar MP.
Others reported on board the helicopter were ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Sundaran Annamalai, Kuala Kangsar MP and Malaysian Palm Oil Board chairman Datuk Wan Mohammad Khair-il Anuar Wan Ahmad, Noriah’s bodyguard Ahmad Sobri and Capt Rudolf Rex Ragas.