Chinese MH370 relatives renew pressure on Malaysia officials | Inquirer News

Chinese MH370 relatives renew pressure on Malaysia officials

/ 09:41 AM March 27, 2014

A representative of relatives of Chinese passengers onboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, center, makes an announcement to journalists prior to a briefing with Malaysian officials at a hotel in Beijing, China, Wednesday, March 26, 2014. Frustrated relatives of Chinese passengers aboard missing flight MH370 demanded answers from the Malaysian ambassador for a second consecutive day Wednesday, with some mocking him at a Beijing hotel. AP

BEIJING—Frustrated relatives of Chinese passengers aboard missing flight MH370 demanded answers from the Malaysian ambassador for a second consecutive day Wednesday, with some mocking him at a Beijing hotel.

“All the things that were promised, we have received nothing. Was Mr. Yahya talking out of the other end of his body—was he talking out of his arse?” one relative said, referring to Malaysia Airlines Group CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya.


His comments drew applause from other family members, querying why some of the help previously provided by Kuala Lumpur to the families in Beijing had been withdrawn.


Ahmad Jauhari previously said the company had deployed more than 700 “dedicated caregivers” to support the next of kin, as well as financial assistance.

The ambassador, Iskandar Sarudin, explained that Malaysian administrators had been withdrawn from the hotel at the request of Chinese authorities as “emotions had been running high” after Prime Minister Najib Razak said satellite data suggested the flight had gone down in the southern Indian Ocean.

But his words did little to soothe the angry relatives and some accused him of having “unfounded” prejudices against Chinese people.

‘Noble people’

“We have a saying in China,” one of the relatives said to him. “Judging noble people with the mentality of cowards.”

Another asked him sarcastically: “Sir do you have a problem with your vision,” as he offered to show him a picture of a lock on a door of a room in which support staff were supposed to be based.


Two-thirds of the 239 people on board the missing aircraft are Chinese citizens.

The showdown at Beijing’s Lido Hotel came a day after scores of emotional family members descended on the Malaysian embassy, linking arms and denouncing Kuala Lumpur after Najib’s announcement.

Many of the 300 relatives who crowded the briefing room for Wednesday’s meeting—which lasted more than four hours—accused senior Malaysian officials of announcing the plane’s loss without firm evidence.

‘Did plane really crash?’

“There is no sign of the plane, so for what reasons are you so ready to confirm that it has crashed?” one man shouted angrily at the panel, made up of the Malaysian ambassador and military and transport chiefs.

“We demand you retract that the plane has crashed into the sea,” another said furiously.

About 15 uniformed security personnel surrounded the panel, with another 25 standing guard at the rear of the room.

The Malaysian officials said they had relied on evidence from the Britain’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch and British satellite company Inmarsat, and gave a presentation on the findings—to which some family members responded with derision.

“You have paid all this money for a rubbish report, and they are pulling a fast one on you!” one man shouted angrily to applause.

Conspiracy theories

“Have you got no other information other than those bloody slides?” said another.

Many family members gathered at Wednesday’s briefing continued to cling to conspiracy theories as well as the hope that the lack of physical evidence might mean their loved ones are still alive.

At one point, a lieutenant general of the Royal Malaysian Air Force told the crowd he had not ruled out any possibility, including hijacking.

“If you have not ruled out any possibility, that includes the possibility that our loved ones are alive, right?” one relative asked to cheers.

But another relative waved his hand at the panel, shouting: “Our relatives died because they were killed by your country.”


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