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Published: Monday April 21, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Monday April 21, 2014 MYT 11:26:33 AM

Assistance to help families 'move forward', says deputy minister

Deputy Foreign Minister, Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin and Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun at press conference on missing flight MH370 arrived at Royale Chulan Hotel.

Deputy Foreign Minister, Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin and Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun at press conference on missing flight MH370 arrived at Royale Chulan Hotel.

KUALA LUMPUR: Financial help will be given to the families of the crew and passengers on board the MH370 airliner that has been missing since early last month.

“The date of giving out this financial assistance will be announced soon. It will be all from Malaysia Airlines but the Government will bear some of the cost, if necessary,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin.

The assistance is to help the next-of-kin “move forward”, he said after a meeting with the families at the Royal Chulan Hotel here yesterday.

Present was MAS chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahaya, Transport Ministry secretary-general Datuk Wong See Wool and MCA vice-president Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, who will be leaving for Beijing to meet affected families in China.

Hamzah, who heads the MH370 next-of-kin sub-committee, said the families, including those who lost breadwinners and were facing financial difficulties, had been requested to state their amount of financial assistance sought.

He added that he would also be travelling to Beijing to ensure that bilateral relations with China continued to be strong and unaffected by the MH370 crisis.

On the issuance of death certificates, Hamzah said evidence was being studied before any announcement could be made.

“I wish that 100% of them would accept reality.

“But they are finding it hard, and I don’t blame them because what has happened has never happened before,” he said.

Selamat Omar, 60, the father of aviation engineer Mohd Khairul Amri Selamat, said he was grateful for the Government’s offer of financial aid.

Choosing to believe that his son is alive, he said: “Crash in the sea ... crash on land ... there’s still no proof. So he is alive. That’s logical.”

Chinese national Liu Guiqi, the mother who was stopped from gatecrashing a press conference at the Sama-Sama Hotel on March 19, was in tears as she entered the meeting hall yesterday.

Mohd Sahril Shaari, the cousin of passenger Razahan Zamani, said he would not accept the financial aid until there was evidence that Flight MH370 crashed without any survivors.

A relative, who declined to be named, said it was the first briefing to the families in over two weeks.

Tags / Keywords: Nation, Transport & Safety, Family & Community, MH370, financial aid, home minister, transport

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