For eighteen days, family members have been anxiously awaiting news about their loved ones, who were on board the Malaysia Airline's flight MH370 when it crashed into the ocean.
They have pleaded for any information they could get, and had remained hopeful that their family members would be found and returned home safely. Sadly, this was not the case, as Malaysian Prime Minster Najib Razak held a breaking news press conference on March 24 to inform the world that it had been determined that the plane had crashed into the Indian Ocean, and that there were no survivors.
Many of the families had come to expect this outcome, but were not prepared for the way that they were told. Only a few short minutes before the conference was held, the families received a TEXT message, telling them that their loved ones were dead.
“Malaysia Airlines deeply regrets that we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those on board survived," the text read. "As you will hear in the next hour from Malaysia’s Prime Minister, we must now accept all evidence suggests the plane went down in the Southern Indian Ocean.”
As to be expected, the families were outraged at the lack of common courtesy from the Malaysian government and airlines. After receiving the text, the family members, who were representing the Chinese nationals on the flight, issued a statement.
18 days have passed, during which the Malasyian government and military constantly tried to delay and deceive the passengers’ families and cheat the whole world. This shameless behaviour not only fooled and hurt the families of the 154 passengers but also misguided and delayed rescue actions, wasting a large quantity of human resources and materials and losing valuable time for the rescue effort.
If the passengers did lose their lives, Malaysia Airlines, the Malaysian government and military are the real executioners who killed them.
We, the families of those on board, submit our strongest protest against them. We will take every possible means to pursue the unforgivable crimes and responsibility of all three.
Malaysia Airlines explained that most of the families were told prior to the press conference via in person or by telephone, and that the text messages were used as an additional method. Bridget Welsh, a Malaysian politics expert from the Singapore Management University said that the intentions of the text messages were good, but they went about it the wrong way. “The use of SMS messages even for additional communication could have been rethought. I imagine every time a person looks at their phone they will be reminded of their loss,'' she said.
Image via Wikimedia Commons