On 8 March 2014, flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing disappeared. The days, weeks and months that followed have been a period of torment for the families of those on board.
The plane’s disappearance was without precedent. At every stage, we followed the tiny amount of evidence that existed. But, despite the efforts of 26 nations and the largest search in aviation history, from the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean, the plane could not be located.
Neither could investigations by the world’s leading aviation experts answer why MH370 veered off course and went dark. While the plane’s disappearance remained a mystery, we have shared the anguish of those who could find no comfort.
Last week, on 29th July, we were informed by the French authorities that part of an aircraft wing had been found on Reunion, the French island in the Indian Ocean.
Today, 515 days since the plane disappeared, it is with a heavy heart that I must tell you that an international team of experts have conclusively confirmed that the aircraft debris found on Reunion Island is indeed from MH370.
We now have physical evidence that, as I announced on 24th March last year, flight MH370 tragically ended in the southern Indian Ocean.
This is a remote, inhospitable and dangerous area, and on behalf of Malaysia I would like to thank the many nations, organisations and individuals who have participated in the search.
The burden and uncertainty faced by the families during this time has been unspeakable. It is my hope that this confirmation, however tragic and painful, will at least bring certainty to the families and loved ones of the 239 people onboard MH370. They have our deepest sympathy and prayers.
I would like to assure all those affected by this tragedy that the government of Malaysia is committed to do everything within our means to find out the truth of what happened. MH370’s disappearance marked us as a nation. We mourn with you, as a nation.
And I promise you this: Malaysia will always remember and honour those who were lost onboard MH370.