MH370: NGOs meet kin of Chinese passengers

MH370: NGOs meet kin of Chinese passengers

BANGI - Ten Malaysian Chinese NGOs visited relatives of Flight MH370's Chinese passengers in hopes of informing them about Malaysia and hearing out their grievances and needs.

The organisations, which included the Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce (MCCC) and the Malaysia-China Friendship Association (MCFA), met some 40 Chinese nationals for about 90 minutes yesterday afternoon at the event facilitated by the Chinese Embassy.

Speaking to reporters later, MCCC first vice-president Tan Yew Sing said they had a fruitful meeting at the Equatorial Bangi-Putrajaya Hotel, where the group was putting up.

"We wanted them to talk about their feelings and we wanted to extend the hand of friendship. It's easier to speak to non-officials than to officials. One man told us that he couldn't sleep for days and was just walking around the hotel at night.

"They said they don't know anyone in Malaysia, but thanks to this goodwill mission, now they have friends."

Yew Sing said emotions were still running high, with many family members experiencing anxiety over the loss of their loved ones.

"They want information and are angry when they don't get it. But they are rational," he added.

This was echoed by MCCC president Datuk Bong Hon Liong, who said the families were "largely calm" and that the NGOs were willing to help them in any way possible.

MCFA secretary-general Tan Kai Hee said the families had maintained their requests for more information from the Government, an apology for conflicting information from the start, delayed search and rescue action, an apology for saying all 239 on board were dead, and a meeting with Boeing.

Meanwhile, the mood at the hotel was tense, with the media filming and questioning family members who emerged to smoke or leave the area.

Arguments also arose between the media and the security staff, who barred some of them from entering the hotel.

Members of several foreign media outlets have instead rented rooms at the hotel in order to have an easier access at the premises.

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