Chinese relatives turn on Malaysian govt officials
March 22, 2014 00:00 By Agence France-Presse Beijing
Relatives of Chinese passengers who had been on board Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vented their fury on Malaysian government officials yesterday in their first meeting in Beijing, denouncing them for wasting time for almost two weeks after the aircraft va
The event began in angry fashion, with family members yelling at the group of political representatives and senior military officials to stand up when they were being introduced, rather than nodding while sitting down.
“We wanted to see you in the first 24 and 48 hours, so that we wouldn’t have had to bear the suffering of the last 13 days,” shouted one anguished relative, his voice quivering.
“The plane turned around, but you denied this, and because of this you have wasted so much time,” he added, questioning why the military originally dismissed reports the plane had deviated from its original flight path before Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak confirmed it last weekend.
Chinese citizens make up 153 of those on board MH370 – two-thirds of the total – and the meeting took place at a hotel where their loved ones have been waiting for news.
Australia released satellite photos of possible debris in the southern Indian Ocean on Thursday, but officials stressed that the sighting was unconfirmed as relevant to MH370.
Many of the Chinese relatives continue to believe that the plane is intact and their loved ones are still alive, with some clinging to conspiracy theories that Kuala Lumpur has carried out a huge cover-up.
“No matter what the reasons [for the plane going missing], can the Malaysian government leave behind the hatred and their own interests in this, and let our loved ones return home?” one mother asked tearfully, as other relatives applauded.
She accused airline officials of not responding when she told them her son had tried to call his uncle three times from an overseas number two days after the plane went missing.
“This was obviously a call for help,” the highly emotional woman said.