MH370 search: MAS to provide financial assistance to families

Malaysia's Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin

KUALA LUMPUR - The families of the passengers and crew of flight MH370 will receive financial assistance from Malaysia Airlines to ease their burdens, said Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin.

Hamzah, who heads the sub-committee focusing on the next-of-kin, said that the process to identify those who would receive the assistance started two weeks ago.

The assistance would come solely from MAS, with the Government only stepping in to bear some of the costs if there is a need for it.

During a briefing with the families at the Royale Chulan Hotel on Sunday, Hamzah said the families have been requested to submit their own amounts for financial assistance.

"Some of the families have lost their breadwinners and may be facing financial difficulties.

"Those affected will all receive some form of financial assistance from MAS.

"However, when the assistance will be given will be determined at a later date as we have recipients from 15 different countries, " he told reporters.

He added that two Malaysian representatives were in talks with the families in China regarding financial assistance, with MCA vice-president Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun expected to fly to Beijing to speak to the next-of-kin as well.

Selamat Omar, 60, the father of aviation engineer Mohd Khairul Amri Selamat, said he was grateful for the Government's offer.

Malaysia Airlines hunts for missing plane