Malaysian families in denial over fate of MH370
Published on Mar 24, 2014 10:06 PM
KUALA LUMPUR - Many Malaysian families remain in denial following Prime Minister Najib Razak's confirmation that the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 had ended its journey in the Indian Ocean.
Many told The Straits Times that nothing was confirmed.
"Did PM say the plane crashed into the sea?" one relative asked.
Another heartbroken family member was Mr Selamat Umar, 60, whose son was abroad the plane. He had remained positive throughout the 17-day search, telling the media periodically that he believed the plane was hijacked and remained hopeful that his son would eventually return.
But following Mr Najib's announcement, he said he needed time to come to terms with the latest news and could only speak to reporters later tonight.
The 60-year-old then asked to watch a repeat of the telecast, in which Mr Najib said flight MH370 had ended in the southern Indian Ocea, a remote location, "far from any possible landing sites", according to new satellite analysis from Britain.
Mr Chng, 37, whose sister Chng Meiling was on the ill-fated flight, broke down upon hearing the news.
"It's impossible the plane would have ended there. There's no logic! Why would it go there?" He told The Straits Times over the phone from his home in Sungai Petani. He had left the hotel last Saturday.
"My sister shouldn't have been on that plane!"
He added that he would drive to Kuala Lumpur and head to Australia soonest possible.
The sister of another passenger Mr Teoh Kim Lun cried when speaking to The Straits Times over the phone.
"We have all been hoping that the plane was not in the southern Indian Ocean."
Her brother leaves behind a wife and a child who is turning two this year.
Mr Ismail Nasaruddin, President of the National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia, told The Straits Times that he is assembling a legal team to dispense advice to the families of the victims.
This is on top of counselling services that the union is already providing the families.