03/19/2014, 00.00
INDONESIA - MALAYSIA
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Pain and distress for families of passengers on missing flight MH370

by Mathias Hariyadi
Every day a father searches for news of his son; three young children - high school and elementary school – ask about their parents, both on the Malaysia Airlines flight. Search operations by sea, by air and by land still fail to find any trace. The families of the victims in China threaten a hunger strike if Beijing does not inform them accurately.

Jakarta (AsiaNews ) - In the ongoing story of the Malaysian aircraft that went missing March 8 with 239 passengers on board, every day more developments come to the surface that reveal the guilty silence of the authorities and their fatal distractions. Only after several days did the Government of Malaysia admit that the plane might have been hijacked, and now they are studying the possibility that the crew members - or anyone else on the plane - may have contributed to the hijacking. The Thai Air Force stated yesterday that reviewing radar data of 8 March, they realized that there were tentative signs of a plane that was to the west, the Strait of Malacca, shortly after the MH370 flight lost (or interrupted) communication with control towers. Thai authorities admit that at first that did not give much importance to these signals.

In Malaysia, the pilot and co-pilot are under suspicion: the former, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, has family ties with Anwar Ibrahim, leader of the Islamic opposition, who in recent days was convicted for sodomy, in order to exclude him from any political struggle. Anwar first denied having any links with the pilot, then admitted to being relative.

Meanwhile, search operations have widened to an area almost as large as Australia, approximately 8 million square meters. Several countries, including Korea and Japan. Emirates, Australia , USA, New Zealand, China are taking part with aircraft and ships. Beijing has also sent nine ships to the waters of the Bay of Bengal to the west of Indonesia and reaffirms that none of the 153 Chinese passengers on the flight could have links to terrorism. Chinese authorities are also being criticized by the population: Yesterday hundreds of victims' relatives, distressed from not having received any news and from being left helpless by their government, have threatened to go on hunger strike.

Hearts and the minds sink into an endless sadness; emotions run high as relatives search for their child, friend, loved one 'victims' of the MH370 Malaysian Airlines that disappeared about 10 days ago.

AsiaNews contacted CH Siregar, father for Chansdra Firman Sirega, one of the unfortunate passengers from Medan, North Sumatra.

With a message heavy with emotion, Siregard's father confesses to being "in a very difficult situation. All my questions about where my son can now be remain unanswered. It is sad to know that there are still no explanations to help us understand what really happened to the plane and my son". At a certain point he stops: " Do not make me talk anymore: It all depresses me too much". Every day the Siregar family ask the Malaysian authorities for an update on search operations.

Firman Siregar Chandra is one of only seven Indonesians who were aboard flight MH370. The others include a couple, Sugianto Lo and his wife Vinny Chynthya Tio, also from Medan. Their three children - high school and elementary school age - continue to anxiously inquire about the "unknown" fate of their parents.

AsiaNews also met a person - who wishes to remain anonymous for security reasons - who is a friend of the co-pilot of flight MH370, Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27, who sent the last message from the plane, before disappearing from the radar, saying: "All right. Good night". The authorities suspect that this greeting, not in the usual in air traffic communications was some sort of secret signal for someone.

The person being interviewed by AsiaNews, a friend of his for over three years excludes any suspicion in his regard and says: "He was a very sweet and welcoming person".

 

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