PUTRAJAYA: Former Transport Minister Anthony Loke pledges to highlight the plight of MH370 passengers' family members to his successor, and will push for the new government to approve a Cabinet paper to provide settlements for the next of kin.
"I promise that once the (new) Cabinet is formed and we know who is the Transport Minister, I will personally see him and appeal for him to bring that paper to Cabinet.
"My biggest regret was my failure to settle the legal cases with the family members of MH370," he said at the MH370 annual remembrance event near here Saturday (March 7)
Loke said that before the political upheaval that took place two weeks ago, he was supposed to present a paper to the Cabinet on Feb 26 on the settlement for MH370 families.
He added that the sum not only includes those who brought court cases against the Malaysian government, but will also top up the amount to those who have already received compensation from Malaysian Airlines.
"That paper was the result of more than a year of discussion and negotiations with the lawyers of the next of kin, and all lawyers representing the families have agreed to a global sum of settlement, to settle the cases out of court," he said.
He added that the Cabinet paper would have given an out-of-court settlement to the family members of all MH370 passengers and crew.
"I have met former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who has agreed, so I thought that when I went to Cabinet, it was just a matter of endorsement and I could make an announcement a few days later.
"At least there would have been some comfort or relief to the family members in terms of financial support.
"I know what the family members want is for the search to go on until the answer is found and until the aircraft is found - and till then, there is no closure.
"But I also think that in terms of those struggling with cost of living and in terms of support system, I thought it would be a little thing we could do that could relieve any pressure," he said.