KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Relatives of the 239 passengers of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 complained about receiving mixed messages as a Malaysian official on Saturday told reporters he still had hope that survivors may exist among the passengers aboard Boeing 777-200 ER that went missing on March 8.
Earlier this week, Malaysia announced that all lives aboard the ill-fated flight have been lost. However, Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysia’s acting transportation minister met the relatives on Saturday then later told the press that, “Even hoping against hope, no matter how remote, of course, we are praying and we will continue our search for the possible survivors.”
“More than that, I told the families I cannot give them false hope. The best we can do is pray and that we must be sensitive to them that, as long as there is even a remote chance of a survivor, we will pray and do whatever it takes,” he added.
CNN reported that the Chinese relatives presently in Kuala Lumpur said that Malaysian authorities are restricting their movement and access to information.
After a briefing didn’t happened for them on Saturday, the Chinese relatives said they were deterred from attending a briefing for Malaysian relatives. This incident led them on talking to a Malaysia Airlines official after the briefing. Also on Saturday, relatives of the passengers on Beijing vented their anguish in the streets.
“They’re all still alive, my son and everyone on board!” Wen Wancheng, 63, yelled on the streets. “The plane is still there, too! They’re hiding it,” the father showed his frustrations as his only son was among the passengers
The father hold a banner that read: “Son, mom and dad’s hearts are torn to pieces. Come home soon!”
Despite the earlier announcement, many relatives remember the speculation from early in the search that the plane may have landed somewhere, and implored Hishammuddin to redouble the efforts. The transportation minister replied and said that the authorities would do so.
“What they want is a commitment on our part to continue the search, and that I have given,” Hishammuddin said.
“For me, as the minister responsible, this is the hardest part of my life, at the moment,” he told reporters.
“Miracles do happen, remote or otherwise, and that is the hope that the families want me to convey — not only to the Malaysian government, MAS (Malaysia Airlines), but also to the world at large,” he said.
He said the effort to find survivors is still a priority.