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Hours after Australian authorities confirmed that they had abandoned searching the area that had been scoured for eight days in the hunt for Flight 370, Malaysia’s acting transport minister defended the search effort.

Asked whether authorities could have done anything differently, Hishamuddin Hussein said: “History will judge us as a country that has been very responsible."

He added: “We have corroborated any evidence that we have received and we have made sure that there has not been any speculation. Malaysia has been very consistent in not speculating unless we have evidence that has been corroborated and verified."

On Wednesday, Hishamuddin brushed off international criticism of his country's investigation and insisted "we have done an admirable job."

His comments follow criticism of communication failures and missteps made by officials during the investigation.

Families in China who have also accused Malaysia of not telling the truth about the missing jet.

-- Henry Austin