Chinese students' alumni backs govt's SAR efforts

Chinese students' alumni backs govt's SAR efforts
The president of the Malaysia Association of Chinese Students Alumni, Adam Huang

The Malaysia Association of Chinese Students Alumni here supports Malaysia in its handling of the MH370 issue and urges Chinese citizens not to boycott the nation over the matter.

Its president, Adam Huang, said Malaysian authorities had been doing a good job in its response to the tragedy, and denied the country had "no compassion" when it came to dealing with families of the Chinese passengers on board the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight.

The Beijing-bound flight with 239 passengers and crew members, went missing since March 8 and spurred a search-and-rescue effort involving 26 countries. Of the total passengers, 153 were Chinese nationals.

"Malaysians have been praying for the safe return of the plane, and it is unfair to say they have no compassion.

"As there were also Malaysians on board the commercial flight, the country is suffering just as much as the Chinese," he said at a press conference at Wisma MCA here yesterday.

Huang, who has been living in Malaysia for the past 10 years, said China was in debt to Malaysia as it had extended help to the Chinese during disasters that occurred in the past.

"Malaysia is always the first to extend help to China whenever the latter faced a disaster.

"During the Sichuan earthquake in 2008 and another earthquake in 2012, Malaysia helped.

"In my opinion, the Malaysian government has done what they can in locating flight MH370."

He said the criticism against Malaysia was not its fault as there were not many big disasters here, and this made it seem like Malaysia lacked experience in such situations.

However, he criticised Chinese celebrities and netizens for attacking the Malaysian government through social media. He urged them to stop their actions as such things did not help in the search for the plane.

"They (Chinese celebrities and netizens) have the right to know the truth, but they should not provoke hatred among the Chinese towards Malaysia.

"Such posts and conspiracy theories do not help in the search-and-rescue efforts. It has affected emotions of families of the passengers and crew," said Huang, adding that he hoped such outrage would not affect diplomatic ties between Malaysia and China.

Huang urged the foreign and China-based press corps to be responsible in their reporting as they had to consider the feelings of the affected families.

Asked about a plan by families of Chinese passengers to stage a demonstration outside the Chinese embassy in Malaysia, Huang said: "We will try to put a stop to it by engaging with them and share our experience in Malaysia with them (the Chinese families). We also hope the Malaysian government understands their situation as they have lost loved ones."

He said the association would do its part to explain to Chinese nationals about the actual situation in the search effort.

Meanwhile, Chinese-based associations in Malaysia urged Malaysians to help the government by explaining the situation to Chinese nationals in order for the latter to get a clearer picture of the matter.

Guang Xi Malaysia president Chong Kuang Bak said Malaysians should not react negatively towards negative comments coming from Chinese nationals.

"The Chinese people, especially the family members of those on board the flight, are highly emotionally because of the incident."

"We should encourage them (family members) to think properly and accept the fact that our government did not hide any information," he said, adding that the government had been doing its best to find the plane since it went missing.

Selangor and Federal Territories Tong Ann Association executive secretary, Teo Ho Hin, said the incident was not anyone's fault as it was unprecedented.

"The Chinese government should advise their people not to over-react as citizens from many countries, including Malaysia are grieving."

Teo said Malaysians should unite and provide support to the government which is dealing with the incident.

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