Family members get some answers from Malaysian reps

BEIJING - Families of the Chinese passengers on board MH370 came for an important meeting with officials from the Malaysian Government looking for answers.

The Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) provided some information when questioned by the family members on whether any military had detected the aircraft on its radar when it went missing.

"The last thing the pilot spoke to the Subang Air Control was 'Okay, goodnight' when we passed the aircraft over to our counterpart in Ho Chi Minh," a DCA representative said at the meeting here yesterday.

The frustrated family members also wanted to know why the news was not announced as soon as the aircraft lost contact with air controllers, as they feared the delay could have hampered the search and rescue mission.

They remained mostly calm and reminded themselves not to have any outburstsĀ to avoid creating havoc.

With regard to their visas, Malaysian ambassador to China Datuk Iskandar Sarudin assured them that their applications would be sorted out in a timely manner.

"In a meeting with the ambassadors from ASEAN countries, all of them agreed to facilitate the visa issuance should the aircraft be identified in their countries," said Iskandar.

Firefly CEO Ignatius Ong, who represents Malaysia Airlines here, said that at the request of the family members, MAS had added a term in the acceptance form distributed to them concerning the financial sum of 31,000 yuan (S$6,400) that MAS promised to pay to them.

He said if the family members accepted the offer, the sum would not be deducted from the compensation that might be given later.

Prime Minister's Special Envoy to China Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting yesterday visited the Malaysia Airlines team stationed at Lido Hotel here to provide support.

He conveyed the Prime Minister's concern to the team which has been working since Saturday to take care of the needs of the families.

Ong added that he had also informed the Chinese Foreign Ministry of the airline's difficulty in its caregiving mission here, and the situation had improved.