Malaysian Embassy in Beijing was reported to state that the incident where 15 Malaysia Airlines staff were held against their will for more than nine hours in the Lido Hotel Ballroom by the next of-kin (NOK) of the 153 China nationals in the perished Malaysia Airlines B777-200ER flight from KUL to PEK MH370 on the morning of 8 March 2014, as not true.
Published: Monday April 28, 2014 MYT 4:01:00 PM
Updated: Monday April 28, 2014 MYT 4:07:30 PM
MH370: No incident of MAS staff held by relatives, says Malaysian embassy in Beijing
BEIJING: The Malaysian Embassy here refuted reports claiming that Malaysia Airlines (MAS) staff were detained by Chinese next of kin of passengers onboard MH370.
“The embassy wishes to clarify that the incident as reported by the media did not take place,” it said in a statement.
It was referring to the incident reported by some media that about 10 MAS staff were held by more than 200 relatives at Lido Hotel during the daily briefing session with the family members on April 24.
It was claimed that this was due to their dissatisfaction in obtaining details on the missing aircraft.
The report said the incident occurred at around 3pm at the hotel’s ballroom and that the group finally released the MAS staff at 1.44am the next day.
MAS Flight MH370, with 239 people onboard left the KL International Airport at 12.41am on March 8 and disappeared from radar screens about an hour later while over the South China Sea. It was to have arrived in Beijing at 6.30am the same day.
A multinational search was mounted for the Boeing 777-200ER aircraft, first in the South China Sea and then, after it was learnt the plane had veered off course in the southern Indian Ocean.
After an analysis of satellite data indicated the plane’s last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth, Australia, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced on March 24 that Flight MH370 “ended in the southern Indian Ocean”. – Bernama
This incident on 24 April 2014 drew a lot of alarming remarks by Malaysians. This include Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad who even pen his thoughts down about it in his blog the next day, with an article titled “MH 370”.
Malaysia Airlines confirmed the incident.
South China Morning Post story:
Chinese families take Malaysia Airlines staff captive at hotel
Tempers flare as Malaysia vows to make public report it gave to the UN
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 26 April, 2014, 5:30am
UPDATED : Saturday, 26 April, 2014, 5:30am
Agence France-Presse in Kuala Lumpur, Wu Nan in Beijing and Kristine Kwok
A relative of a MH370 passenger outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing, where he and other relatives have gathered. Photo: AP
Ten Malaysia Airlines staff were held at a Beijing hotel against their will for hours by Chinese relatives of flight MH370 passengers, the airline said yesterday.
The airline employees were “barred from leaving” a ballroom for more than 10 hours on Thursday, and another staff member was kicked in the leg in a confrontation two days earlier, the airline said.
Tempers have repeatedly flared at the Lido Hotel, where Chinese relatives have been put up by the airline since the plane vanished, increasingly lashing out in briefings as Malaysian officials and the flag carrier have been unable to explain the plane’s disappearance.
“Malaysia Airlines confirms that its staff were held at the Lido Hotel ballroom in Beijing by the family members of MH370 as the families expressed dissatisfaction in obtaining details of the missing aircraft,” the airline said.
The more than 200 family members were incensed when a Malaysian government official did not come to brief them on Thursday, and the meeting descended into chaos as relatives angrily confronted airline staff.
An airline spokesman said “the main MAS officials were barred from leaving the ballroom” as about 60 family members left for the Malaysian embassy to demand information from government officials.
The relatives who went to the embassy remained there in an overnight protest, two participants said yesterday.
“We are so tired, as this is the 49th day. We didn’t sleep the whole night, but we are still angry. No update has been made and our loved ones are still missing,” a family representative said.
The carrier also said a Malaysia Airlines security supervisor was “kicked in the left knee” by an “aggressive” Chinese family member at the hotel on Tuesday.
About two-thirds of the 239 passengers aboard the missing plane came from China. Relatives have for weeks complained about the handling of the search for the plane, which vanished on March 8.
It disappeared from radar on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and is believed to have crashed far out in the Indian Ocean.
A multi-national search, however, has failed to find any debris despite weeks of looking.
A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said yesterday his country has asked Malaysia to “take seriously” the families’ grievances, while urging families to behave in a “rational way”.
In an effort to be transparent, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak promised that a preliminary report submitted to the United Nations’ aviation body would be released publicly.
“In the name of transparency, we will release the report next week,” he told CNN in an interview late on Thursday.
Anthony Brickhouse, a member of the International Society of Air Safety Investigators, said the report was unlikely to contain anything startling.
“This preliminary report is really just a run-down of what you know so far,” he said.
A difficult underwater search of the suspected crash site, using a mini-submarine equipped with a sonar device, is nearing completion with no trace of the plane found.
This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as Families detain airline staff at hotel
This is so far the most serious reaction by the NOKs, who have been living pro bono courtesy of Malaysia Airlines since 9 March 2014, when the Operation Centre to help them was established at the Lido Hotel with the arrival of the first 97 Malaysia Airlines specially trained employees to handle such crisis the night before.
In the past, they have been place under a lot of duress in their work the past 51 days trying to help the NOKs, which include facilitate what ever information that have been passed to them via the official channels.
This The Star story, which originated from Bernama is totally on the opposite information on what Malaysians already knew what happened to the 15 Malaysia Airlines employee at Lido Hotel last Thursday. It was not at all a pleasant experience. At least to the families of these Malaysia Airlines employees, who were anxious for their release as the night progressed.
Wisma Putra should clarify this matter soon. A lot at stake here.