MH370: When grief turns into anger

MH370: When grief turns into anger
A relative of a passenger on Flight MH370 shouting at journalists in Beijing last week. The Chinese people's suspicion of government cover-ups may help explain why many believe Malaysia is not coming clean on the incident.

Different people grieve in different ways.

For about 400 grief-stricken relatives of the 153 Chinese passengers on board missing Flight MH370, their behaviour has run the gamut from going on a hunger strike, and gatecrashing an official press briefing in Kuala Lumpur, to protesting in front of the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing and hurling insults at Malaysian government and airline officials at meetings.

They were protesting against the pace and course of investigations and demanding to know why the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) plane never made it to its intended destination, Beijing, and how it could have remained missing since March 8.

Media reports of their behaviour contrasted sharply with that of other families who also have relatives - of 13 nationalities - on the plane.

At a news briefing in Kuala Lumpur last Wednesday, one day after about 200 Chinese demanding answers marched to the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing, Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said: "But the Chinese families must also understand that Malaysia also lost loved ones and many other nations also lost loved ones.

"I have seen images (of relatives) from Australia: very rational, understanding this is a global effort, not blaming Malaysia, because it is coordinating something unprecedented."

Given the negative light that may have been cast on the Chinese family members' actions, it is not just fair but also necessary to examine the factors behind their behaviour and whether most people, if in the same plight and living in the Chinese society, would have responded the same way.

A key reason has to do with the unique psyche of the Chinese people.



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