Rest in peace: A wreath in memory of the victims of flight MH370 outside the Royal Australian Air Force Pearce air base in Perth, Australia. — EPA
BEIJING: The families of the Chinese nationals who were onboard MH370 took an aggressive stance during a meeting with a high-level Malaysian delegation here.
The delegation, which met the families yesterday, comprised Malaysian Ambassador to China Datuk Iskandar Sarudin, RMAF air operations commander Lt-Jeneral Datuk Seri Ackbal Abdul Samad, Department of Civil Aviation air traffic services director Ahmad Nizar Zolfakar and representatives from Malaysia Airlines.
“We have a Chinese commander here with us and every action we take is based on his advice. Our team will begin their work again after this meeting,” a MAS representative explained.
However, his reply was perceived by Chinese family members as an attempt by the Malaysian team to redirect blame to the Chinese government.
The meeting yesterday was originally opened to Chinese and Malaysian media according to a previous agreement, but the family members demanded the presence of the foreign media as well.
One family member made it clear to reporters that they must agree not to expose certain issues discussed, or risk facing legal action.
One family member even questioned the credentials of the delegation.
“Apart from pushing the responsibility to the English, 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 posing queries to the team.
They questioned the accuracy of the AAIB analysis, commenting that it was based on assumption.
“How could you reach the conclusion that there are no survivors when no aircraft debris and bodies were found?” one asked.
Another was interested to know how much 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.