AirAsia flight QZ8501: Family of sole Malaysian passenger praying for his safety

Passengers queue at the AirAsia check-in counter before their departure at Singapore Changi airport terminal on Dec 28, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Passengers queue at the AirAsia check-in counter before their departure at Singapore Changi airport terminal on Dec 28, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

SIBU -  The only Malaysian on board the missing Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501 had booked his flight to Singapore on Boxing Day.

Borneo Post reported on Sunday that the family of Sii Chung Huei are praying for his safety. It said that Sii works in a timber company in Surabaya, and frequently travels between the Indonesian island and Sarawak. He was in Indonesia for about a week.

The 56-year-old hailed from Bintangor. He moved to Sibu and then Kuching, reported the Borneo Post.

According to media reports on Sunday, Mr Sii was supposed to travel with a colleague, but the latter chose to take a different flight.

He has three children, all of whom are abroad.

His wife, a UiTM Sarawak lecturer, requested that her privacy be respected when contacted.

In her dissertation submitted to the university, which is available online, she wrote: "I would like to dedicate this piece of work to my husband Sii Chung Huei and my children."

The Star newspaper reported that another family member said the family was still harbouring hopes for a miracle and that Mr Sii would return home. The Star did not give further details.

UiTM rector Jamil Hamali said in a statement reported by The Star on Monday: "I am deeply saddened to hear about the missing flight on which the Malaysian on board Sii Chung Huei is the husband of Associate Professor Annie Wong Muk Ngiik. She is our senior lecturer in the Faculty of Business and Management."Datuk Jamil urged members of the media to give the professor's family and friends some privacy, The Star added, quoting him as saying: "We hope the media will not bother Wong's family and give them privacy at this time."Prof Wong has the academic circle's best hope and prayers, he added, according to The Star: "I believe the Indonesian Government is doing their best with assistance from Malaysia and neighbouring countries in executing the search and rescue operations. May the search team brings good news to us. May they all return home safely soon."Prof Wong has authored papers on the state's industralisation and published a study on the social economics of oil palm workers.