MH370: Tony Abbott Underfire For 'Fruitless Search' on Top of $90M Budget

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By Athena Yenko | May 22, 2014 5:15 PM EST

Grieving family members of passengers aboard the ill-fated flight have penned an emotional letter to both Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Najib Razak. The letter was 18-page long containing analysis of the preliminary report released to the public.

The families claimed the report was all but "skimpy" accounts of what truly transpired the night the aircraft went missing. They wanted the truth beyond erroneous and omitted information.

"The purpose of this analysis is to highlight discrepancies of facts or details in the report itself and to consolidate the outstanding questions many people expected would have been addressed but were not," the letter said.

"We request that a comprehensive interim report be issued as soon as possible detailing all the known facts, to include, but not be limited to, the many areas that we have enumerated in our analysis. We believe that eliminating wrong information and assumptions is as important as confirming correct information and assumptions."

The families maintained a strong stance against missing information on FBI's analysis of the flight simulator hard drive gotten from the chief pilot's home.

"There is no mention on why they are so sure the Inmarsat data is highly accurate and reliable to the extent that they have thrown all resources there. There are no statements from the independent sources who supposedly looked at the edata as to what data they analysed or how they analysed it."

Although Malaysia promised that raw data will be released soon, it did not specify a time frame for this. Abbott, is also facing criticism on his recently announced budget cuts for 2014 on top of the fruitless MH370 search.

Liberal Sen. Cory Bernardi called for Abbott to stop spending millions of taxpayer's money to search for the missing aircraft. He said Australia's $90 million budget for the search was incomprehensible.

"This has been called the toughest budget in decades, but it also seems to be one of the dumbest," Sen. George Brandis said.

Retired Air Chief Marshal Houston, heading the Joint Agency Coordination for MH370, defended Abbott saying the southeast Indian Ocean was Australia's responsibility.

"In terms of the cost I would expect that eventually there will be some sharing of the burden associated with those costs. Let's not worry about that at the moment. I think these circumstances are quite extraordinary and I think it's absolutely imperative that we be involved to the maximum extent possible to try and find the aircraft in the first instance, and then assist the Malaysians with determining what happened to the aircraft. I have no difficulty with that. The focus must be on continuing the search and doing the oceanographic survey, the bathymetric (seabed) survey, to enable the deepwater search along the defined search area. And that should be our focus at this stage," Houston told ABC TV.

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