|(Flight MH370) Malaysia’s envoy in Beijing gets a roasting, accused of prejudice
Frustrated relatives of Chinese passengers aboard missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 demanded answers from the Malaysian ambassador Iskandar Sarudin in Beijing for a second consecutive day. Some openly insulted him at a Beijing hotel.
“All the things that were promised, we have received nothing. Was the ambassador talking out of the other end of his body – was he talking out of his arse?'' one relative said, AFP reports.
His comments drew applause from other family members, querying why some of the help previously provided by Kuala Lumpur to the families in Beijing had been withdrawn.
Iskandar explained that Malaysian administrators had been withdrawn from the hotel at the request of Chinese authorities as “emotions had been running high'' after Prime Minister Najib Razak said satellite data suggested the flight had “ended’’ in the southern Indian Ocean.
But his words did little to soothe the angry relatives and some accused him of having “unfounded'' prejudices against Chinese people.
The showdown at Beijing's Lido Hotel came a day after scores of emotional family members descended on the Malaysian embassy, linking arms and denouncing Kuala Lumpur after Najib's announcement.
Many of the 300 relatives who crowded the briefing room for today's meeting – which lasted more than four hours – accused senior Malaysian officials of announcing the plane's loss without solid evidence.
“There is no sign of the plane, so for what reasons are you so ready to confirm that it has crashed?'' one man shouted angrily at the panel, made up of the Malaysian ambassador and military and transport chiefs.
“We demand you retract that the plane has crashed into the sea,'' another said furiously.
About 15 uniformed security personnel surrounded the panel, with another 25 standing guard at the rear of the room.
The Malaysian officials said they had relied on evidence from the Britain's Air Accidents Investigation Branch and British satellite company Inmarsat, and gave a presentation on the findings – to which some family members responded with derision.
“You have paid all this money for a rubbish report, and they are pulling a fast one on you!'' one man shouted angrily to applause.
“Have you got no other information other than those bloody slides?'' said another.
At one point, a lieutenant general of the Royal Malaysian Air Force told the crowd he had not ruled out any possibility, including hijacking.
“If you have not ruled out any possibility, that includes the possibility that our loved ones are alive, right?'' one relative asked to cheers.