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Wednesday, 26 March 2014 | MYT 9:25 PM

MH370 crash: Chinese families maintain hostile attitude toward Malaysian delegation

The Malaysian delegation briefing families in Beijing. - AFP

The Malaysian delegation briefing families in Beijing. - AFP

BEIJING: The aggressive attitude by the families of Chinese passengers aboard MH370 towards the high-level Malaysian delegation continued during a four-hour meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

The family members were aggrieved over the absence of caregivers from Lido Hotel here over the past two days, which was a decision made based on the advice of Chinese government officials, who advised the team from showing up following the tense situation on the night Najib announced MH370's flight path had ended in the southern Indian Ocean.

"We have a Chinese commander here with us and every action we take is based on his advice.

"It was on the Chinese authority's advice that we did not report to Lido Hotel. But we felt that the situation is much calmer today and our team will begin their work again after this meeting," the MAS representative explained.

However, his reply was perceived by Chinese family members as an attempt by the Malaysian team to redirect blame towards the Chinese government.

Wednesday's meeting was originally opened to Chinese and Malaysian media according to a previous agreement, but the family members demanded the presence of foreign press as well.

The family representative made clear to the reporters that they were to agree not to air certain contents of the briefing whenever requested by the families, or else the family members "reserve the rights to take legal actions."

One such incident happened later when a family member made a comment on the delegation's appearance as he criticised their "technical and academic levels".

"Apart from pushing the responsibility to the English gentlemen, what else can you tell us other than showing us these bloody slides?" he added, referring to the presentation on the analysis by Inmarsat and UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).

During the meeting, most of the family members were hostile and sarcastic when posting their queries to the team.

They questioned the accuracy of the AAIB analysis, commenting that it was done based on assumption.

"How could you reach the conclusion that there are no survivals when no aircraft debris and passengers have been found?" one asked.

Another was interested to know how much has Malaysia paid for the AAIB report. "I think you didn't pay enough. If not they won't give you such a report. You have been cheated." His comments drew laughter and applause from the crowd.

Some family members vented their anger at the photographers and video cameramen by shoving forcefully and lashing out at those who were pointing their equipment at the grief-stricken next-of-kin.

China Daily also reported that several men "threw chairs at the screen" and "at least 10 family members fought with the police" after watching Najib's announcement.

The high-level delegation that met the families Wednesday comprised Malaysian ambassador to China Datuk Iskandar Sarudin, RMAF air operations commander Lt-Jeneral Datuk Seri Ackbal Abdul Samad and Department of Civil Aviation air traffic services director Ahmad Nizar Zolfakar and representatives from Malaysia Airlines.

Tags / Keywords: MH370 , Malaysia Airlines , Missing flight , Beijing , families


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