Madagascar trip boosts morale of MH370 kin

China national Bai Shuan Fu (left) and other next of kin hand out brochures to fishermen near Antsirake in Madagascar. ― Picture courtesy of Grace Nathan
China national Bai Shuan Fu (left) and other next of kin hand out brochures to fishermen near Antsirake in Madagascar. ― Picture courtesy of Grace Nathan

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PETALING JAYA, Dec 11 — There is increased awareness and greater cooperation shown by locals to the next of kin of those aboard Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 since they arrived seven days ago, according to lawyer Grace Nathan.

In an update on her Facebook account, Grace, who is part of the group on Nosy Be island, said the locals they had met on Friday were already aware of their trip to Madagascar.

“While speaking to the fishermen some said they had heard of our cause on the radio,” said Grace, whose mother, Anne Daisy, was aboard the ill-fated plane.

“Two minutes ago, a French couple approached us at our dinner table to tell us they had received an email from the French Foreign Affairs Department, alerting them about possible MH370 debris.”

Grace also noted the group had got the cooperation of locals in the handing out of reward money to those who had found suspected debris.

“Tomorrow (today) we will meet someone whom we hope will keep some reward money to be paid out here in Nosy Be if any debris is turned in,” she said.

Besides locals and fishermen, the team had managed to secure the cooperation of the Apostolate del Mar, who is helping spread word of the search through its extensive outreach work including schools and other affiliates.

The next of kin had previously engaged the Madagascar tourism board on Nosy Be to help produce an educational video and to translate brochures into Malagasy, the local dialect.

Grace said the warm reception of the people, officials and others on Madagascar had boosted their morale greatly.

“Thank you everyone for the love and support, especially the people in Madagascar who have received us with arms wide open,” she said

“Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Please also pray that our efforts will come to fruition in the days, weeks and months to come.

Thank you, thank you, and thank you.”

The next of kin, who are currently operating in three groups on Nosy Be, Riake Beach and Tamatave will regroup today in preparation for the next leg of the trip to Mauritius.

The seven next of kin, who hail from Malaysia, China and France, will be in Mauritius from tomorrow until Friday before heading back to their respective countries.

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