PUTRAJAYA - A group of angry relatives turned up unannounced at the venue of a press conference on MH370, claiming that they were kept in the dark about the move to officially declare the aircraft's disappearance an accident with all 239 passengers and crew presumed dead.
The announcement which Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman made on behalf of the Malaysian Government, was set for 3.30pm yesterday and to be broadcast live on television.
Journalists who had arrived at the DCA headquarters where the event was held noticed several groups of at least five people turning up some 10 minutes before the start of the press conference.
The relatives then proceeded to speak to reporters who approached them, delaying the press conference which the organisers subsequently cancelled due to their presence.
A woman claiming to be a Chinese national and a wife of an MH370 passenger demanded that the authorities bring back her husband.
The woman who only identified herself as Kelly declined to reveal her husband's name, saying she would land in trouble with Chinese authorities.
She carried a photo of a man, who she claimed was her husband, standing between two Malaysian VIPs. A caption written on the photo read: "Please Bring Back My Husband."
Kelly said she would not accept any declaration that the MH370 passengers and crew had died, alleging that there was a conspiracy to hide the truth.
Mohamad Sahril Shaari, the cousin of passenger Mohd Razahan Zamani, accused the DCA of hiding information.
"They want to announce something bad, which is why they called it off. They were scared we (the family members) would get angry," he said.
At 4.06pm - more than half an hour after the scheduled start of the press conference - Information Department officer Jagjit Singh announced that the event had been called off.
The DCA then issued a written statement, saying that the briefing was by invitation for the media only and separate arrangements had been made to communicate with the next of kin.
"Due to the presence of next of kin at the briefing, it was not appropriate to continue, and the briefing was cancelled," it said.
A pre-recorded statement read out by Azharuddin was aired on RTM1 at 6pm.