Wed, December 01, 2021

international

MH370 kin still searching for answers, seven years on


PETALING JAYA: Seven years may have passed since the fateful day Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished, yet loved ones of those onboard are still struggling to cope with the loss.

This was the sentiment shared by Grace Nathan, 31, whose mother Anne Daisy, was among the 239 people on board the aircraft that vanished while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in 2014.

Grace said many of them were still waiting for closure.

“Some continue to wait and some have not accepted that their loved ones may not be coming home, ” she said while hosting the 7th Annual Remembrance Event for Missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 by ‘Voice370’ yesterday.

While some could have accepted the reality of not seeing their loved ones again, Grace said, they all had a longing for answers.

“There is still this undying need or desire to know what happened to them so that we can understand why they are not coming home ever, ” she added.

Her mother Anne, 56, an executive with a learning and development firm, was on her way to to visit her husband, Department of Civil Aviation official VPR Nathan, 58, who had been posted to the Chinese capital.

There were also families of passengers from China, who were likewise struggling to cope, she said.

“A group of elderly next-of-kin are still looking for answers. They have been going to the MAS office every day for the last seven years to ask for updates, ” Grace said.

She said counselling should be provided to these families in China, to help them cope with their emotional anguish.

Grace also reiterated the request of families of those missing for the Malaysian government to release military radar data of Flight MH370 on March 7 and 8,2014.

“The data could be released on a non-disclosure basis to independent experts, ” she said, adding that individuals or governments with information should also come forward to help solve the mystery.

On a separate matter, independent expert Mike Exner yesterday said debris that likely came from MH370 was found washed along the beach in Jeffreys Bay, South Africa, sometime between August and September last year.

He said the debris – part of an aircraft’s wing – had been handed over to the South African authorities.

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said Malaysia would take any reasonable effort to continue the search for MH370, in cooperation with China and Australia.

“We aspire towards closure as much as the families and friends.

“In the search for MH370, the governments of Malaysia, Australia and China have spared no expenses and resources in the collective effort to locate MH370.

“Our shared aim was always to find the aircraft and get the answers, ” he said in a special message to the next-of-kin during the virtual event.

Dr Wee said that the MH370 tragedy could never be forgotten and yesterday’s event was held in solemn remembrance and with prayers for those who were on board the plane.

“For many, the passage of time these seven years has not softened the painful memory of this tragedy, ” he added.

MH370 was on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board when it disappeared from radar.

Investigators deduced that the aircraft had veered thousands of kilometers off course before crashing into the Indian Ocean.

Published : March 08, 2021

By : MARTIN CARVALHO The Star/ANN