Embassy: Tun Dr Mahathir was wrong on Lido Hotel 24 April?

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.

*Updated 2230hrs

Published in: on April 28, 2014 at 17:30  Comments (10)  

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10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Malaysian Airlines confirmed about the incident ,

    Now whose words to take ?, why Malaysian Embassy are denying this ?.

    • Yes, why the Malaysian Embassy is denying this. The language of the statement as quoted in one line by Bernama, makes it suspect.

      Yes, Wisma Putra must clarify.

  2. Even if it not reported to embassy dont mean didnt happen. Mas can tell true story if they want. 10 MAS staff held by passengers’ kin in Beijing https://my.news.yahoo.com/10-mas-staff-held-passengers-kin-beijing-160000984.html

  3. What the bloody hell – this is the integrity of a country at stake, as the Embassy is the representative of the country. Why is Bernama reporting so skimpy? Is that all the Embassy statement said –

    “The embassy wishes to clarify that the incident as reported by the media did not take place,” ?

    No other words in that statement? If so, why Bernama didn’t quote them. As this is a denial of that which has been confirmed by MAS, our “national” airline that also represents Malaysia, why the hell Bernama didn’t quote the statement verbatim if necessary? Just quoting one line and not saying anything else that the Embassy might have said smacks of utter lack of professionalism on the part of Bernama.

    I’ve had a lot of misgivings with Bernama, the so-called national news agency – they sometimes can’t even write good English and their reports often open-ended or lack background information that keep readers askance.

    If that “Embassy” statement was genuine, why did it begin by saying, “The embassy wishes to clarify”? If referring to the report of MAS staff being “detained”, why “clarify”? Why not state that “The Embassy wishes to deny ..”? It was in fact a clear case of denial, not clarification by giving more facts etc. Saying “the incident .. did not take place” is a huge thing. Yet no mention of whether the Embassy has called in the MAS staff – which they certainly are entitled to do – and got the facts from them and state such in their statement. Bernama has not asked the Embassy?

    Bernama has not given a reliable report, leaving many questions unanswered, as stated above. It doesn’t even mention whether they picked up the statement from the Embassy, no reporter’s name stated like done by many news agencies or newspaper reports.

    As a result of Bernama’s “report”, we now have to write lengthily in here. Come on, Bernama. Pull up your socks. Get good fellows on your payroll. Including the editorial staff.

    • Probably the Chinese government is waving the “big stick”, and in an Orwellian atmosphere, ” news” can become “not news”.

      Ok, enough with the jokes.

      I agree with you (surprise, surprise) that Bernama, as the national news agency, should do better. Much better, in fact.

      Instead of just regurgitating official press releases and statements, how about giving us in-depth analyses and commentaries that are accurate, relevant and timely?

      That would presuppose that it has professional and well-qualified journalists on it’s staff. Not just fresh wet-behind-the-ears graduates who happen to luck into these jobs.

      Otherwise, Bernama might just as well be subsumed into an overarching Jabatan Informasi & Penerangan.

      • Olov, “Orwellian atmosphere”? George Orwell? You know such but you dunno diplomatic intricacies. People don’t use the big stick any more, except maybe to shoo disloyal and unpatriotic citizens out of the country.

        And you joke about the national integrity of this country. We know you are DAP kind, ungrateful ingrates, took citizenship but don’t know – let alone express – feelings of loyalty and patriotism to this country.

        Ooooo, forgot, you are a Malaysian reject, absconded to Singapore or UK, been pining for this country but have burnt or torn your passport together with the hundreds of so-called British Overseas Citizens who got stranded in UK a few years ago.

      • Heh, heh, Haba – struck a nerve, have we?

        Poor baby – with “sensitivities” so easily ruffled, he is reduced to name-calling. Sad, but par for the course for those devoid of ideas or those who are not cognisant of “realities”.

        What “diplomatic intricacies” are you talking about? The fact that China has made claims over much of the South China Sea that Malaysia is relying on “diplomacy” to ameliorate? Or the fact that the Chinese authorities can “turn on” or “turn off” demonstrations and protests willy nilly?

        If the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing didn’t read the riot act to those “uncouth” family members of the Chinese passengers on MH 370, whose fault is it?

  4. I’m cock-sure Wisma Putra through the embassy in Beijing has been armed-twisted by Chinese authorities to not recognize the frightening experience for the 10 MAS staff at Lido Hotel last week.

    That would be the usual ‘business as usual’ affair pertaining to the NOKs for the 153 families of MH370.

    After all, it is evidently clear that Chinese govt sanction all these NOKs’ drama and outrageous demands. The Chinese govt themselves staged several dramas pertaining to the search for the missing B777-200.

    Remember the bit about Chinese satellites found pics they believed to be wreckage of the down jetliner, in South China Sea?

    How about telling Wisma Putra to not allow Taiwanese Navy to be part of the multinational SAR operation?

    Last Thursday happened just a day buffer before POTUS Barack Hussein Obama arrives in SBZ and some ‘improved military co-operation’ between Malaysia and US would be established formerly between the two HOG.

    True enough, right after PM Najib and POTUS Obama had their discussion, they announced the upgrading of bilateral relationship to “Comprehensive Partnership”.

    In not so many words, Malaysia is America’s Neo Pseudo ally in the region.

    In the whirlwind tour where POTUS affirmed the American resolution in East Asia, China cannot afford to be illustrated as the ‘aggressive bully’ in the neighbourhood.

    Hence, China MFA must hv arm-twisted Malaysian diplomats in Beijing, by not confirming what should be seen as nothing less than a hostage taking situation.

    In the frame of mind of PM Najib and his most influential aides wanting to be popular, going head on against China for these 10 MAS staffs is simply ‘collateral damage’.

    After all, PM Najib would still want to go Beijing in May and be hailed as the continuator of his father’s grand legacy as a regional leader of upholding diplomacy.

    All these are simple math, really. Calculated, to the point of accuracy.

    • I am sure that POTUS Obama is more sympathetic towards Malaysia than the Democrats and Republicans in the US Congress!

      Let’s not even mention the “neocons” and “Tea Parties” in the US for whom Malaysia is peripheral to US interests and strategies.

      Why would the US need to “court” Malaysia, when the former has much of Asia on it’s side (except China and North Korea)?

      So, for Malaysia, it’s just “realpolitik” that it has to make nice with the US.

      While remaining reasonably “buddy buddy” with the Great Panda up north!

      It’d be enough to give any Prime Minister the mother of all headaches!

    • Which, incidentally, is why the likes of Mahathir, Kadir Jasin etc can continue to fulminate against the US.

      Because it’s cost-free to do so, and because Uncle Sam is unlikely to take umbrage unless they step way out of line.

      Free speech. Wonderful, isn’t it?

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