KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has refuted claims by family members of flight MH370's cabin crew that the airline had abandoned them.
Instead, the airline clarified that it was foreign lawyers hired by the families who had directed that MAS cease any direct communication with their clients.
"Certain crew members' families have retained foreign lawyers to represent their interests. It is these lawyers who have directed that MAS cease any further direct communication with their clients.
"These lawyers wanted us to direct all further communication regarding these crew members' families to them," the airline responded in a statement, which was issued yesterday.
On Sunday, several family members of the missing MAS crew expressed disappointment that the airline had stopped the services of the caregivers who had been assigned to them.
They accused the airline of "punishing" them for engaging lawyers to represent their interests.
Jaquita Gonzales, wife of cabin crew Patrick Francis Gomes, told the media that they did not know that the caregivers would be withdrawn if they engaged a lawyer to seek legal advice.
Family members who were present at a press conference on Sunday at Holiday Villa included Melanie Antonio, wife of Andrew Nari, and his daughter, Maira Elizabeth Nari, Elaine Chew Oai Poh, wife of crew member Tan Size Hiang, as well as Calvin, who is the husband of Christine Tan Set Kuin and Lee Khim Fatt, husband of Foong Wai Yueng.
They said they were very upset and had felt as though the airline had taken away their "lifeline" and asked MAS to restore the services of the caregivers.
However, in yesterday's statement, MAS also made clear that the airline had been in contact with family members without any legal representation directly via the Family Support Centre (FSC).
It went on to note that MAS had also been providing family members without legal representation with updates from the Joint Agency Coordination Centre and the Malaysian Government.