By Natalie Thomas and Adam Rose
BEIJING, March 13 Furious relatives of
passengers on a missing Malaysia aircraft are ramping up
pressure on the Malaysian and Chinese governments to give them
answers about what has happened, threatening lawsuits and
demanding to see Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Surrounded by reporters who have flocked to the nondescript
Beijing hotel where they have been told by the airline to
gather, relatives are lashing out at the media, the airline and
their own government for ignoring their plight.
"I really want to see President Xi - I don't know right now
what could possibly be more important than the lives of these
200 people," said a young woman who gave her family name as Wen,
fighting back tears.
"I also want to ask Mrs Xi, if your husband, President Xi,
was on the plane, just imagine, if it was you, how would your
"My husband was on the plane, every day my children are
asking me about their dad, what am I supposed to do? ... We're
helpless, we need our government to support us."
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 took off from Kuala
Lumpur early on Saturday and dropped off civilian radar screens
less than an hour into its flight to Beijing, a mystery that has
yet to be solved.
Another person, who declined to give his name, said a
lawsuit was the only way forward.
"We are definitely going sue them. This is really bad. (We
are not suing) Malaysia Airlines, but the Malaysian government,"
he told reporters.
One man from Beijing, speaking to reporters after a meeting
between the families and Malaysian diplomats, said it was
ridiculous the Malaysians seemed to have no information about
even the most basic facts.
"The exact demands were the exact position the plane
disappeared at, the time it disappeared, and what happened in
the time between the time when the plane was first reported
missing and 2.40," he said, recounting the meeting on Thursday
with the diplomats, who left without speaking to reporters.
Malaysia Airlines, the Malaysian and Chinese governments say
they are doing all they can for the relatives, though Beijing
has demanded Kuala Lumpur drastically step up its efforts.
Hugh Dunleavy, Malaysia Airlines' commercial director, told
Reuters on Wednesday they were having a problem with some people
who were turning up at the hotel and claiming free meals and
rooms when they had nothing to do with the flight.
"I'm trying to get that organised with the family members,
to say, let's take a real look at this, because they're
complaining that they don't want them in there," he said.
The loss of a relative threatens to cause real difficulty
for some of the families left behind.
Feng Zhishan, 50, said his son Feng Dong, 22, was flying
back to China via Kuala Lumpur from Singapore, where he had been
working on building a new subway line.
"Our family has no money," Feng told Reuters. "They all
said, you can make more money in Singapore."
Another man, who refused to give his name, said his cousin
was on the flight, having transited in Kuala Lumpur on his way
home from a business trip in Australia.
"He's a really outgoing guy, loves travelling and sports. He
was just 27 this year, and with a six month old son," he said,
"It's been more than 70 hours. By now their officials should
have given us some kind of explanation."
Paul Yin, a U.S.-trained psychologist, said he was at the
hotel to offer counselling services.
"They go through ups and downs every day. Some are even
suicidal," he said.
"Chinese society is based on the family unit. Especially
with the one-child policy, if your kids are gone... for many
people their purpose in life is circled around the next
generation, and if they're gone some people don't see a purpose
in being around any more."