MH370 relatives arrive in Malaysia seeking answers

(USA TODAY) More than two dozen Chinese family members of those onboard a missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner arrived in Kuala Lumpur Sunday seeking answers from Malaysia's government as to what happened to their loved ones.

Two-thirds of the 227 passengers on Flight 370 were Chinese, and their relatives have expressed deep frustration with Malaysian authorities since the plane vanished more than three weeks ago.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), which oversees the search, said a warship -- carrying an aircraft black box detector, an unmanned underwater vehicle and other acoustic detection equipment -- was set to depart Australia to join the search. The ship should arrive in the search area in three or four days.

Holding up banners that read "We want evidence, truth, dignity" in Chinese, and "Hand us the murderer. Tell us the truth. Give us our relatives back" in English, the group staged a protest at a hotel near Kuala Lumpur just hours after flying in from Beijing.

The protesters Sunday repeatedly chanted slogans in Chinese: "We want evidence! We want the truth! We want our relatives!"

Jiang Hui, the relatives' designated representative, said they wanted a government apology for what they see as missteps in the initial handling of the disaster as well as Prime Minister Najib Razak's statement that indicated the plane had crashed with no survivors. Jiang said the relatives felt the conclusion was announced without sufficient evidence.

"We also request that Malaysia Airlines and the Malaysian government apologize for making the conclusion on March 24, without direct evidence or a sense of responsibility, that the plane was destroyed and people died," Jiang said.

"We hope that in these days, we can meet with technical teams involved in the search, and hold talks with Malaysia Airlines and the Malaysian government. We hope that these discussions will not be like they had been in Beijing, with wishy-washy answers," Jiang said.

Even popular actress Zhang Ziyi spoke out. "Malaysian government, you have hurt the entire world … You have misjudged the persistence in seeking truth by the world's people, including all the Chinese," she wrote on her microblog.

Jiang said the relatives wanted the government to release information and data related to the investigation in a "prompt and comprehensive way." They also wanted the airline to set up meetings with representatives from Boeing, Rolls Royce and Inmarsat, saying the lack of interaction was troubling.

"It has been 22 days now and none of their people have shown up," he said, referring to the companies. "Could it be that there really are problems with the quality of their products? What are they worried about?"

A man who gave only his surname, Xu, said in brief comments that the relatives want to meet officials "at the very highest levels."

In Beijing before they boarded the flight, one relative said they would demand to meet the prime minister and the defense minister, who is the chief spokesman for the government.

"We have questions that we would like to ask them in person," said Wang Chunjiang, whose younger brother, lawyer Wang Chunyong, was on Flight 370.

"We know what we can do is insignificant, but we will do whatever we can do for our beloved ones," said Wang, who was unable to make the trip because of a family issue. "We want to know what could have happened to them in the six hours the plane kept flying, and if they had to endure any mental and physical pains."

He said some relatives were hoping for a miracle. "It cannot be completely ruled out before we see the wreckage of the plane or the bodies of our loved ones."


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