The Malaysian Prime Minister has called his Australian and Chinese counterparts in the past 24 hours to coordinate the ongoing search for a Malaysia Airlines plane that went missing with 239 passengers and crew members on March 8, acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has revealed.

Speaking at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur on March 17, Hussein, who is also Defence Minister, said that Malaysia had sent diplomatic notes to all countries involved in the search and rescue operation. These countries include two groups, those in the search corridor and those from which Malaysia is seeking assistance and expertise.

For countries in the first group, Malaysia requests radar and satellite information as well as specific assets to be used for the search, while it wants those in the second group to share their land, sea and aerial search experience with the rescue coordination centre in Malaysia so that the country can manage the monumental effort, he said.

The country is also asking for regular updates, including daily reports of search activities and details of any further information required.

The search and rescue operation, which has to date involved 26 countries, has begun in both north and south corridors, he added.

In addition, the Malaysian police started investigations into all crew members aboard the lost jet, including pilot and co-pilot, as well as ground staff involved in Flight MH370./.