Putrajaya callous in making ‘death’ announcement, say MH370 next-of-kin

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 31): A day after Malaysia declared that flight MH370 was lost in an accident and that all its 239 passengers and crew members on board were dead, angry next-of-kin of MH370 passengers and crew members lashed out at Putrajaya for being uncaring and callous in their handling of the situation.

Kelly Wen, the wife of Chinese passenger Li, expressed disappointment at the manner in which Putrajaya had conducted itself over the announcement.

Last Thursday, the Department of Civil Aviation held a live telecast in which director-general of DCA Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman declared that Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 had been lost in an accident.

"I will not accept the announcement of loss without any evidence being found of the plane's actual fate," Wen said at a press conference held by next-of-kin of MH370 passengers and crew at the Subang Villa in Subang Jaya tonight.

"I have been in Malaysia for more than a week on personal matters when I heard there was going to be an announcement made about MH370," Wen said.

"I checked with the Chinese embassy and the office of Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, both said there were no imminent announcements."

Evidently livid at how the DCA held its live telecast last Thursday to declare MH370 an accident, Wen said the family and next-of-kin should have been informed first.

Furthermore, she said, considering the majority of the victims were Chinese, Putrajaya was callous in making this declaration with Chinese New Year just around the corner.

Grace Subathirai Nathan, daughter of Anne Daisy, hit out at the next-of-kin committee which was one of three formed during the early disappearance of MH370.

"What has the committee, headed by Deputy Foreign (Affairs) Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin, been doing? Are they not supposed to liaise with the families?

"We have not heard a single word from the committee despite their express purpose being to correspond and keep the next-of-kin updated.

"Where is Hamzah? What has the committee been doing? Putrajaya has shown absolutely no respect at all to the families and next-of-kin," Grace said.

Sarah Bajc, partner of Phillip Wood, said the Malaysian government's actions have gone against the rules and common decency.

"The entire incident has been handled in a callous manner since March 8 when the flight first went missing," she said.

The wife of in-flight supervisor Patrick Gomes, Jacquita Gonzales, said defiantly that she refused to accept the news without a shred of evidence.

"They can declare my husband dead but I can’t. I can’t give up on him," said a teary Gonzales.

"We have stated it before and we reiterate again, we are prepared for any eventuality, including the fact that our loved ones may never come back.

"But all the families are unanimous in our stand that we do not want to declare our loved ones dead without a shred of evidence," Jacquita said.