Relatives of the missing passengers aboard the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 were forcibly expelled from a press briefing Wednesday evening in Kuala Lumpur. The incident took place when Chinese relatives of the missing passengers unfolded a banner that criticized Malaysia’s “sluggish” efforts as far as the search for the missing flight was concerned.
According to reports, the police had to intervene when two screaming women demanded answers regarding the whereabouts of the Malaysia Airlines plane. Unconfirmed reports also indicate that one of the two shouting women was knocked to the floor during the mayhem. The duo was clearly dissatisfied with the information released by the Malaysian government over the last 12 days concerning Flight MH370.
However, Kuala Lumpur has refuted claims that it is withholding crucial information about the flight. Speaking to the press, acting Transport Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, explained that he has the families’ interest at heart and continues to stand by them during these difficult times.
“The situation is heartbreaking, not only for their families, but for me, too,” Hussein told journalists. “Up to now, we have not yet found any significant information about the passengers.”
Hussein also revealed that the alleged sighting of the missing Malaysian airplane in the Maldives was not true. On Wednesday, Thai authorities announced that their radar had detected a plane almost the same time Flight MH370 went missing, but they did not raise the alarm because Malaysia had not inquired about it. This latest revelation is set to open up a fresh chapter of investigations as authorities try to locate Flight MH370.
Hunger strike threats
Meanwhile, as the 11th day comes to an end, ever since the disappearance of Flight MH370 was announced, some relatives of the passengers, who were mostly identified as Chinese, are now threatening to go on a hunger strike. Approximately 153 passengers on board the missing jet were Chinese nationals. For this reason, the Malaysian government has promised to send a delegation to China to continue briefing friends, families and relatives of the missing passengers about the progress of the search mission.
The declaration of a looming hunger strike comes after chaotic days of attacks on Malaysian officials using water bottles and insults by the relatives of the passengers. Reports also suggest that some relatives have even stopped attending the press briefings as a result of frustrations and lack of significant information. They are now considering a hunger strike as the best option to express their dissatisfaction and frustration. According to the chief executive of Malaysia Airlines, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, the threat of a hunger strike will be taken seriously.
“This threat is something we will have to consider. If something of this kind happens, we will have to take immediate action,” Yahya told the press.
Malaysian authorities are now investigating probable cases of hijacking, terrorism, sabotage or mental health issues as a major cause of the disappearance. The multi-nation search and rescue mission for Flight MH370 enters its 12th day amid increasing international pressure from affected countries such as China.
By Andrew Wandola