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MH370: Frustration and tears as families of victims mark 100 days

Publication Date : 16-06-2014


Malaysia reiterates commitment to keep searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner


The disappearance of Flight MH370 crossed the 100-day milestone yesterday with little to encourage frustrated family members of the 239 people who were on board the plane, except for a fresh promise by the Malaysian government that it will keep searching.

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak and Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein both reiterated the government's commitment to keep searching for the Malaysia Airlines jetliner that vanished on March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Datuk Seri Najib said via Twitter: "On the hundredth day since MH370 went missing, remembering those on board and their families. Malaysia remains committed to the search effort."

Hishammuddin, who is also Acting Transport Minister, said in a statement that as the search becomes harder, Malaysia will renew its efforts. "We cannot and will not rest until MH370 is found. We cannot and will not abandon the families of the crew and passengers of MH370."

In a separate statement, Malaysia Airlines pledged to continue supporting the next of kin of the 239 people on board.

"We feel the families' pain; we miss our colleagues and friends on board MH370," it said yesterday.

The plane vanished less than an hour after it took off from Kuala Lumpur, after its communications instruments were switched off. It turned back over peninsular Malaysia before apparently heading south towards the Indian Ocean. Its last communications with a satellite indicated it could have crashed into the southern Indian Ocean but nothing has been found despite an extensive search. Malaysia has since sought the assistance of private firms with deep-sea search capabilities while experts are relooking the data to determine the next search area.

The Malaysian media yesterday highlighted the frustration of some of the relatives of the passengers and crew over the lack of news. Some accused the Malaysian government of incompetence.

Syafinaz Hasnan, in a letter to her brother Mohd Hazrin Hasnan who was a crew member on the flight, said things would never be the same again for their parents, his wife, daughter and siblings. "Losing you felt so unreal but I know it is all fated," she wrote in the letter published by the Malaysian Insider website.

Another sister, Zahida, was quoted as criticising Malaysia for its "self-serving" approach to the tragedy, saying that there was no transparency, accountability and compassion in the way the families were treated.

The family of pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah still hopes he is alive, his schoolmate Mohd Ghouse Noor told The Star.

In Beijing, about 50 relatives of Chinese passengers gathered at the Yonghe temple yesterday to offer prayers. Wearing their white MH370 T-shirts, many sobbed as they burned incense.

"Today is the 100th day that MH370 is missing. There is no peace in our hearts, no one to entrust our yearning to and no one to speak up for us," said a statement posted on the families' official microblog site. "Come back safe and sound! We will never give up, that is how we will find our loved ones."

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