Families sombre and tired

Families sombre and tired
Family members of those onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 cry at a hotel in Putrajaya March 9, 2014.

CYBERJAYA - Families of passengers on board the missing Flight MH370 appeared subdued and fatigued at the end of the sixth day of waiting.


Several of these families checked into a hotel here after flying in from Beijing on Tuesday, and these Chinese nationals were often seated in a restaurant within the hotel, spending long hours looking at their phones or having conversations with volunteers from a religious organisation.

They looked sombre as they kept a healthy distance from the media, aided by auxiliary policemen.

Press photographers and video­graphers were forced to capture images of the families from afar, while reporters­ were kept away from any interview opportunities throughout the day.

The auxiliary policemen guarded entrances to the restaurant at the hotel and at selected pathways leading to the guest rooms.

Even the hotel staff have begun to show signs of exasperation over the overwhelming media presence at the hotel lobby.

"Guests are already asking about all of you (media personnel) being here. We are running a business here," a staff member told The Star as he directed all media personnel to a function room away from the families.

Over at The Everly Putrajaya, Muslim family members gathered for sembahyang hajat (supplication), praying that the fate of their loved ones would be known soon.

Selamat Omar, 60, father to 29-year-old aviation engineer Mohd Khairul Amri Selamat, was seen walking around the lobby before the prayers began at about 7.15pm.

"This is one of the ways for us to remain positive in such a trying time," he said when approached minutes before the prayers began.

Like Selamat, many family members were attempting to keep their emotions in check, but the stress was clearly visible on their faces.

Some appeared tired from lack of sleep, but rushed away when approached by reporters.

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