|(Flight MH370) Tired of Malaysian false leads and incompetence, families seek Beijing’s own inquiry
Relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 have demanded China begin its own inquiry, a letter shows, AFP reports.
The document, sent to Beijing's special envoy in Kuala Lumpur, denounced Malaysia's handling of the search and asked Beijing to set up its own “investigation office.’’
News of the letter comes as a committee set up by relatives of the 153 Chinese passengers has begun discussions with lawyers about a potential lawsuit against the state-owned, loss-making Malaysia Airlines, AFP reports.
“We question Malaysia's motivations in misleading and delaying so as to miss the best moment to find MH370,'' the relatives wrote in the letter to special envoy Zhang Yesui Thursday, blasting Kuala Lumpur's behavior as “irresponsible'' and “inhumane.’’
“We earnestly request that China establish an investigation office into MH370,'' the letter states, also urging “an effective communication system between the relatives and the government.’’
Beijing has urged Kuala Lumpur to include Chinese experts in its own investigation, but has not so far spoken of setting up its own inquiry.
The letter came days after frustrated family members of the 153 Chinese passengers staged a protest at the site of the Malaysian embassy in Beijing.
Relatives have also clashed with senior Malaysian officials in briefings at the Lido Hotel in Beijing, with some openly insulting them.
The family members' requests to the Malaysian government listed in the letter include an official apology, along with return airfares to Malaysia and the provision of food and accommodation until the resolution of the search, now in its 20th day.
The family members hailed Beijing's efforts but also called for greater support, including legal assistance and the full participation of Chinese authorities in the search.
“Uphold the rights and interests of the people. Do not simply give up,'' the letter reads. “Exhibit the demeanor of a great nation!''
According to Xinhua, Zhang met family members of the passengers on Thursday in Kuala Lumpur.
As anger over Malaysia's actions simmers, some relatives posting in a group on WeChat debated the issue of whether to seek legal assistance.
A committee formed by the families has been in contact with the Ribbeck Law Firm in Chicago about a potential lawsuit against Malaysia Airlines, the state-run China Daily newspaper reported Friday.
But several family members posting to the WeChat group today urged that it was too early to discuss the idea of a lawsuit or compensation.
“We still don't know the truth; don't waver,'' wrote one relative. “Sooner or later, we will get compensation, with our country behind us, so what's the rush?''
Another wrote: “Anyone who is talking with lawyers about compensation right now doesn't even count as human.''