CYBERJAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The next of kin of the passengers on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 who were flown to Kuala Lumpur from Beijing have likened their stay in Malaysia to being locked up.
They checked into a five-star facility here on March 11 but the families complained that they had little freedom as they were put under close observation by Malaysia Airlines (MAS) officials.
At least 20 Chinese nationals are believed to have taken up the offer by MAS to travel to Kuala Lumpur as they await news on the missing flight which disappeared on March 8 with 239, including 153 Chinese nationals, on board.
"We are under observation round the clock. We feel like we are being locked up. There is no freedom," said a Mr Xu, whose wife was among the passengers, in an interview with Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV.
MAS has been accommodating the Chinese families with their transportation and lodging needs from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur even though the information received in both countries is the same, as Firefly chief executive Ignatius Ong, who heads the command centre at Lido Hotel in Beijing, had pointed out.
The Department of Civil Aviation has been keeping the families updated on the latest news on the search and rescue mission in three briefings a day at the Beijing hotel.
However, Mr Xu appeared determined to wait on in Malaysia.
"I want to be in Kuala Lumpur because it is nearer to where the incident happened compared to Beijing.
"We received a notice on Sunday afternoon asking if anyone of us wants to voluntarily leave Malaysia by Tuesday.
"We have all refused the offer and insisted on staying on, so the authorities said they will try to accommodate our request," Mr Xu said.