Malaysia Airlines and govt ordered to enter defence in suit filed by MH370 passenger's kin

Family members of passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 comfort a crying woman as they gather to pray at Yonghegong Lama Temple in Beijing on Sept 8, 2014. Malaysian Airlines (MAS) and four other agencies including the Ma
Family members of passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 comfort a crying woman as they gather to pray at Yonghegong Lama Temple in Beijing on Sept 8, 2014. Malaysian Airlines (MAS) and four other agencies including the Malaysia government was ordered on Monday, Dec 1, to file their statement of defence over a lawsuit filed by two children of a passenger of the missing flight. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR (The Star/Asia News Network): Malaysian Airlines (MAS) and four other agencies including the Malaysia government was ordered Monday to file their statement of defence over a lawsuit filed by two children of a passenger of the missing flight MH370.

Flight MH370 disappeared enroute from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8 with 239 people onboard. It has yet to be found despite an ongoing multinational search operation.

Two teenage sons of passenger Jee Jing Hang, a 41-year-old businessman, filed a civil claim suit through their mother Ng Pearl Ming, 38 on Oct 31.

They are suing MAS for breach of contract, and the Malaysia government, civil aviation authorities, immigration department and air force for negligence. It is believed to be the first lawsuit filed over the disaster.

High Court deputy registrar K. Pavani on Monday ordered all defendants to file their defence before Dec 15. He set Jan 12 for the matter to be heard before a trial judge, said the childrens' lead counsel Arunan Selvaraj.

Speaking to reporters after the case was called before Pavani in chambers on Monday, Arunan said they were now in the midst of identifying witnesses.

"We have a lot of witnesses. We got very good leads. We are filtering who will be called as our witnesses," he said. He said that foreign experts have e-mailed to them offering to help in the case.

Arunan said they want answers to various queries over the missing plane. "The plane is said to have ended at the Indian Ocean, so what is the conclusion?

"We are interested to know what transpired when the plane went missing on March 8," he said.

In the statement of claim, the boys said their father had entered into an agreement with MAS for safe passage to Beijing when he paid the airfare.

They claimed that MAS had breached the agreement when the plane failed to land in Beijing at 6.30am on March 8.

The plaintiffs are seeking for damages over the loss of support and mental anguish suffered by them as a result of the incident.