Malaysia Malacca Strait Flight 370 Missing
Military officer Ngo Ngoc Dong looks at a map showing the path of the Vietnam Air Force search and rescue aircraft during a mission to find Malaysia Airlines flight MH370Reuters

Malaysia's air force has rejected claims that the military had tracked the missing Malaysia Airlines plane to the Strait of Malacca before it disappeared.

Media reports suggested that the aircraft was last seen above the Strait of Malacca over an hour after it disappeared from air traffic control screens, with an unnamed military official allegedly telling Reuters that the plane "changed course after Kota Bharu and took a lower altitude. It made into the Malacca Strait".

However, the Malaysian air force chief Rodzali Daud has moved to distance himself and the air force from these reports.

"I wish to state that I did not make any such statements," said Rodzali Daud in a statement.

A local newspaper, Berita Harian, quoted Daud as claiming that a military radar had detected the plane near the northern approach to the strait, but Reuters now reports that Daud denies any such assertion.

The Strait of Malacca is one of the busiest shipping channels in the world and runs along Malaysia's west coast.

Vietnam has partially suspended its search and rescue measures to find the missing Malaysia Airlines jet MH370, frustrated over an alleged lack of response from Malaysian authorities.

Scaling back the operations, Vietnam has said it will call back ships which are deployed for search activities.

"We've decided to temporarily suspend some search and rescue activities, pending information from Malaysia," Vietnam's deputy transport minister Pham Quy Tieu, who is leading the search operations, told reporters.

The Kuala Lumpur-Beijing flight, with 239 people aboard, remains elusive more than 90 hours after losing contact and no clues have so far been found to trace the jetliner or its debris.