Khamis, 13 Mac 2014

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The Star Online: Nation

Missing MH370: Life raft-like object unlikely from missing aircraft

Posted: 12 Mar 2014 09:00 AM PDT

PORT DICKSON: A life raft-like object found by fishermen in the Malacca Straits on Tuesday afternoon is not from the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft, preliminary investigations have showed.

A source said the object was normally found in sea vessels.

"Based on preliminary investigations, we feel that the object is used by sea vessels and not in aircraft. But we can't conclude anything until we see it," he told The Star.

Earlier yesterday, a group of fishermen out at sea claimed that they had found what looked like a life raft some 10 nautical miles off the resort town here.

They claimed that they saw the life raft-like object with the words "Boarding" printed on it.

Fisherman Azman Mohamad, 40, said they immediately notified the authorities.

The fishermen managed to secure the object to their boat while waiting for the MMEA team but it sank because it was too heavy.

Missing MH370: Family members get some answers from Malaysian reps

Posted: 12 Mar 2014 09:00 AM PDT

BEIJING: Families of the Chinese passengers on board MH370 came for an important meeting with officials from the Malaysian Government looking for answers.

The Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) provided some information when questioned by the family members on whether any military had detected the aircraft on its radar when it went missing.

"The last thing the pilot spoke to the Subang Air Control was 'Okay, goodnight' when we passed the aircraft over to our counterpart in Ho Chi Minh," a DCA representative said at the meeting here yesterday.

The frustrated family members also wanted to know why the news was not announced as soon as the aircraft lost contact with air controllers, as they feared the delay could have hampered the search and rescue mission.

They remained mostly calm and reminded themselves not to create havoc to avoid outbursts.

With regard to their visas, Malaysian ambassador to China Datuk Iskandar Sarudin assured them that their applications would be sorted out in a timely manner.

"In a meeting with the ambassadors from Asean countries, all of them agreed to facilitate the visa issuance should the aircraft be identified in their countries," said Iskandar.

Firefly CEO Ignatius Ong, who represents Malaysia Airlines here, said that at the request of the family members, MAS had added a term in the acceptance form distributed to them concerning the financial sum of 31,000 yuan (RM16,592) that MAS promised to pay to them.

He said if the family members accepted the offer, the sum would not be deducted from the compensation that might be given later.

Prime Minister's Special Envoy to China Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting yesterday visited the Malaysia Airlines team stationed at Lido Hotel here to provide support.

He conveyed the Prime Minister's concern to the team which has been working since Saturday to take care of the needs of the families.

Ong added that he had also informed the Chinese Foreign Ministry of the airline's difficulty in its caregiving mission here, and the situation had improved.

Missing MH370: Public show their support in various forms

Posted: 12 Mar 2014 09:00 AM PDT

PETALING JAYA: As nation and world continue to reel in shock over the missing MH370 flight, there has been plenty of public support for families and friends of the 239 onboard.

There have been outpourings of sympathy and empathy in the form of public message walls; poems and good wishes over the radio; as well as tributes made over Twitter and via Facebook and Instagram to show support.

Malaysians for Malaysia, a civil society movement, has been mobilising shopping malls in the Klang Valley to help people show their support.

Several malls have set up message walls on their premises.

"These let people express their support and compassion," said Azrul Mohd Khalib, a convenor for the movement.

"The messages also offer some comfort to the families and friends of those aboard MH370."

At MATTA Fair 2014, taking place at the Putra World Trade Centre this weekend, the anticipated 100,000 visitors are expected to show support for MH370 by leaving messages of hope on a specially set up wall.

The Star Radio Group, through its CapitalFM radio station, interviewed Singaporean Susan Chee yesterday, who gave pointers on coping with anxiety. She lost her husband in the 1997 Silkair tragedy.

Chee is also the general manager of Wicare, a Singapore organisation which counsels and supports families who are less fortunate.

Another radio station 988FM, will be holding a vigil tomorrow from 8pm to 9.30pm in front of Tropicana City Office Towers.

Listeners can express their hopes and prayers by writing it on balloons and boards, and there will be a performance by local Chinese artistes, who are coming together to show their support for MH370.

On SuriaFM's Ceria Pagi show, words of encouragement in the form of poems and stories from the public were read out at intervals from 5am to 9am yesterday.

Social media was also flooded with prayers and hope wishes.

Malaysian food-art star Samantha Lee posted this on her Facebook page: "MH370 … I know you're somewhere out there n I pray for your safe return", garnering 3,430 likes.

She also created a "dish of hope" with bread representing clouds and the aeroplane, buildings of cream cheese, an orange as the sun and the flight number in chocolate.

Instagram user Che Yusaidi Che Yusoff (@Chedd) created a batik-inspired piece on his smartphone containing the names of the cabin crew aboard the missing flight.

"My wife works for MAS so she knows half of the crew members on the plane," said the creative head at a production company.

Related story:

Malls offer platforms for shoppers to pen messages for those affected by MH370


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