IPOH - Families of passengers and crew members aboard the Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane have expressed relief following Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's announcement that the aircraft could have flown for hours after it went missing.
A niece of passenger Tan Ah Meng, 46, said there was still hope after the press conference.
Tan's parents, she said, were feeling a little better after hearing the news, adding that they could better sleep and eat now.
"They feel a little relieved and can now only hope and pray for the best," said the woman who declined to be named.
Tan was onboard the flight together with his Taiwanese wife Chuang Hsiu Leng, 48, and their eldest son Tan Wei Chen, 19. The couple have two other boys who are staying with relatives.
"We can't do anything else but just wait for more news," she said, adding that her parents had been in Kuala Lumpur ever since the incident.
Thong Say Moi, 73, whose daughter-in-law Goh Sock Lay is the chief stewardess for the flight, said she had been told by her son to only listen to verified news.
"Right now, our hopes are high, and I pray that all goes well," she said at her shop in Kampung Tawas.
In Putrajaya, families of passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane remain hopeful as they gathered at the hotel ballroom to watch the Prime Minister's live telecast.
Selamat Omar, 60, whose son Mohd Khairul Amri Selamat is onboard the flight, said immediately after the telecast that he was relieved to get some information.
"I am relieved that the Prime Minister has spoken at last and given us some new developments. I am hopeful that the passengers may still be safe and will return soon," he said.
At one point, Selamat, who watched the telecast with the reporters in the lobby, seemed excited when Najib mentioned that the plane's satellite signal might have been detected and that the aircraft was heading towards the west of Peninsula Malaysia.