Missing MH370: Hebei native was looking forward to seeing family again

A construction worker who completed his contract here and was on his way home to China to see his wife and year-old son is among those missing on Flight MH370.

Hebei native Zhao Peng, 24, came to Singapore a year ago to work for Chip Eng Seng Corporation. He and two colleagues were booked on the Malaysia Airlines flight to Beijing. The two other men are Mr Wang Yong Qiang, 29, and Mr Yao Li Fei, 30, both also from Hebei.

Their flight went missing in the early hours of Saturday. At least nine workers from Singapore were on board, according to Chinese media reports.

Mr Zhao, a junior high school graduate, was a construction worker in China before coming to Singapore, said his cousin He Zheng Qiang, 31, who has worked in Singapore for five years.

The two are from the same village and met up for meals here occasionally.

Mr He told The Straits Times he last met his cousin two days before he was due to leave. During their meal, Mr Zhao had talked about how much he was looking forward to seeing his family.

"He was planning to return to Singapore and find another job soon," said Mr He, also a construction worker.

Mr He described his cousin as an honest, down-to-earth man who found working in Singapore all right and was here to earn more money for his family.

A spokesman for Chip Eng Seng said the three workers who left had decided not to renew their contracts after working for a year on various sites.

The company had contacted the men's families. "We will definitely be providing support for the families but we need to look at the outcome of the search and rescue operations first before deciding what support we can provide," added the spokesman.

Chinese media reports said Mr Zhao sent an instant message on Friday night to his wife Zhang Jing, saying: "Let's video chat." But not wanting to disturb their son, she replied: "It's 10pm, the child is asleep."

That was the last time they communicated.

A distraught Madam Zhang has been waiting for news in Beijing, while Mr Zhao's father, a farmer, has flown to Kuala Lumpur, said Mr He.

"We are still hoping he is okay," Mr He added.


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