|(Flight MH370) Chinese relatives rage at Malaysian incompetence
Relatives of Chinese passengers on board the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 vented their fury on Malaysian government officials today in their first meeting in Beijing, denouncing them for time-wasting almost two weeks after the aircraft vanished.
Anger surfaced from the outset. Family members yelled at the group of political representatives and senior military officials, demanding they stand up when they were being introduced, rather than nodding while seated, AFP reports.
“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.
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 Many of the Chinese relatives continue to believe that the plane is intact and their loved ones still alive. Some cling 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 it went missing.
“This was obviously a call for help,'' the highly-emotional woman said.
Some raised with the Malaysian delegation media reports that flight captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah is distantly related to the daughter-in-law of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, as well as being a member of his political party.
“If the pilot did this to support this party, can Malaysia guarantee that they will put the lives of the passengers over any political interests?'' the mother asked.
One man bellowed: “We demand our relatives won't become victims of Malaysian politics.''
The meeting began with a lengthy review of the search and rescue operation from the delegation – made up of ambassador to China Iskandar Sarudin, a Malaysian Air Force commander, two Malaysian civil aviation officials, a Boeing 777 pilot and a government aviation official – before they invited questions, sparking the angry scenes.
Some relatives interrupted each other as they shouted questions, while others cried as they attempted to get their point across.
The answers were also regularly interrupted as relatives shouted at the delegation.
The Malaysia-based officials arrived in Beijing late Thursday.