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Malaysian families demand to see Prime Minister

Published on Mar 25, 2014 10:53 PM
 
More than 50 family members showed up for a two-hour meeting with Malaysia Airlines (MAS) chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya at the Everly Putrajaya hotel in Kuala Lumpur. -- PHOTO: JOYCE LIM

KUALA LUMPUR - Many Malaysian families who have borne their plight stoically while awaiting news of the missing Flight MH370 have turned more aggressive on Tuesday, as they demanded to see Prime Minister Najib Razak and asked for more solid evidence.

About 50 family members of the passengers and crew on board the fateful flight showed up for a two-hour meeting with Malaysia Airlines (MAS) chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya and its chairman Mohammed Nor Mohammed Yusof, at The Everly Putrajaya hotel in Malaysia.

They fired some tough questions at the MAS chief, and made him promise to try to arrange a meeting with the Prime Minister.

Ms Jen Chng, the cousin of passenger Chng Meiling, told The Straits Times that the families had also asked for more evidence to support Datuk Seri Najib's conclusion that the plane had crashed in the southern Indian Ocean with no survivors.

"He could have said that the last signal from the plane was at the southern Indian Ocean. How could he draw such a conclusion when no debris has been found? Did he know what he said was very hard for the families to accept?" asked Ms Chng.

Many family members said they were upset that the Premier had arrived at such a conclusion without giving more solid evidence. The disclosure of technical details concerning the calculations of MH370's possible flight paths by the Malaysian authorities earlier has not helped bring any closure to their pain.

Ms Chng and her two relatives were the first to exit the meeting even before it has ended.

Said Mr Chng, 37: "What's the point of having a meeting when they can't answer any of our questions?!"

Some families were clamouring to travel to Perth to be nearer the search and were disappointed when the MAS chief said such travel arrangements will only be made when debris is found.

One angry relative who declined to be named told The Straits Times: "Didn't the Prime Minister already said the plane crashed there? So why do we have to wait for debris to be found before they would take us to Australia? If the plane has crashed there, I need to go and bring my brother home.

"Why do they keep making us wait and declare to the world that they are doing their best to accommodate our requests. What has Malaysia Airlines done for us but made us wait?"

joycel@sph.com.sg

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