The timing of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's announcement that MH370 fell into the Indian Ocean last night became a point of contention at the press briefing by Malaysian authorities today.
A reporter from China had questioned why Malaysia had made such a conclusion only last night although satellite data cited was available since March 12.
To this, the investigation team said there was no intended delay and that time was needed for further corroboration and analysis.
Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said that satellite data alone is not conclusive as shown when the search was concentrated in the South China Sea.
"We received satellite data from China sighting (debris) in the South China Sea (and) redirected our search in areas we had already searched, and it was negative," he said, to illustrate his point.
Department of Civil Aviation director-general Azharuddin Abdul Rahman added the satellite data received on March 12 needed to be analysed as on its own, it was only a series of "handshakes" between the plane equipment and the satellite.
"As a result of the analysis by the United States team, together with Federal Aviation Administration, (the team) came up with the two corridors and this was announced in Mar 15.
"It took that long because it needed a lot of work to analyse the sixth handshake. Yesterday, there was refinement of the information on the sixth handshake and this is to be refined again," he said.
Remote chance of survival
The satellite in question is owned by Inmarsat, a British satellite telecommunications company. The satellite is geostationary and sits above the Indian Ocean.
To another question, MAS CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said that given the available evidence, it is highly unlikely to find any survivors.
"The plane would have very little fuel by then and there are no land mass nearby. I suppose we can conclude it must have went down in the water.
"That is a very remote area. We are talking about (spending) 18 days (in the water)... For anyone to survive that long is extremely, extremely remote," he said.
However, Hishammuddin assured that search and rescue efforts are still underway.
"God willing, we will save (them) if they still can be saved," he said.