Malaysia is considering renewing the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which disappeared a decade ago, with a US company proposing a new search in the southern Indian Ocean. Transport Minister Anthony Loke announced at a memorial event that Ocean Infinity, a marine robotics firm, has offered to look for the plane on a "no find, no fee" basis. The government, which has been hesitant to approve another search without new leads, may proceed if the evidence presented is credible.

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9M-MLH | Malaysia Airlines | Boeing 737-8FZ(WL) | Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport [CAN]

Malaysia May Renew Search for Missing Flight MH370

The Boeing 777 vanished on March 8, 2014, with 239 people aboard, mostly from China. It was en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it lost contact and is believed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean. Despite a massive international search effort, only debris has been found, with no trace of the plane itself. Ocean Infinity's previous search in 2018 ended without success, but the company believes improvements in technology might now make a difference.

The announcement brought hope to the families of those missing, with some expressing joy at the possibility of finally getting closure. The Malaysian government has stated it remains committed to finding the plane, indicating that costs will not deter the search. This decision marks a potential new phase in the effort to solve one of aviation's greatest mysteries.

"We now feel in a position to be able to return to the search for MH370," said Oliver Plunkett, CEO of Ocean Infinity. "We've been working with many experts, some outside of Ocean Infinity, to continue analyzing the data in the hopes of narrowing the search area down to one in which success becomes potentially achievable," he added, as quoted by Euronews.

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Malaysia Becomes Top Tourist Destination in Southeast Asia

Malaysia has risen to the top spot as the most visited country in Southeast Asia, with close to 29 million visitors from around the world last year. This achievement marks a significant milestone, as Thailand held the title before the COVID-19 pandemic affected global travel.

According to VNExpress International, Singaporeans made up the largest group of tourists to Malaysia, numbering 8.3 million. They were followed by visitors from Indonesia, Thailand, China, and Brunei, according to reports from Focus Malaysia. This influx of tourists highlights Malaysia's appeal as a diverse and attractive destination.

Thailand now ranks second with 28 million tourists, while Singapore attracted 13.6 million visitors, securing the third position. Vietnam and Indonesia also showed strong numbers, with 12.6 million and 11.7 million visitors, respectively. Countries like the Philippines and Cambodia each welcomed around 5.4 million international tourists last year.

To stay competitive and attract more tourists, Southeast Asian countries have been adjusting their immigration policies. For example, on Dec. 1, Malaysia introduced a 30-day visa-free entry for Chinese and Indian nationals, mirroring a similar initiative by Thailand. Conversely, Vietnam started offering three-month tourist visas to all nationalities in mid-August and extended the stay duration to 45 days for citizens from 13 countries exempted from visa requirements.

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