Five years on, MH370 families still seek closure

Messages written on paper planes are displayed during the remembrance ceremony to mark the 5th anniversary of MH370’s disappearance in Kuala Lumpur March 3, 2019. — Picture by FIrdaus Latif
Messages written on paper planes are displayed during the remembrance ceremony to mark the 5th anniversary of MH370’s disappearance in Kuala Lumpur March 3, 2019. — Picture by FIrdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, March 3 — To date, it has been 1,822 days since flight MH370 disappeared with 239 people on board, yet for the families of those on board, they have yet to find an answer as to what had happened to the doomed flight.

Even after five years of unending pain, the next-of-kin of those on board MH370 remain steadfast to look for answers.

Chennai-based management consultant KS Narendran whose wife, Chandrika Sharma, was on board the plane said there are still many unanswered questions regarding the incident. 

“It is tiring and frustrating, sometimes you feel like letting things go and move on with your life but that doesn’t seem possible because there is a larger question that remains unanswered so it is not easy to just give up.

“So we keep coming back as a group to keep pressing the authorities to not give up the search, to pursue any and every lead that can help us get closure, to know what had happened.

“So I believe whether its five years, 15 or 50 years, this curiosity, this need to know will not go away,” he said when met at the fifth annual commemorative event for MH370 held at Publika Shopping Gallery here this evening.

The disappearance of the flight, however, has prompted a slew of conspiracies as to what had happened to the flight, however, Narendran opined that such theories are merely distractions.

“Sometimes when I read something new, or when someone says something crazy about MH370, it creates a distraction, it creates a disturbance.

“So I keep navigating this space of wanting to move on or to engage with such news but it does create a ripple effect,” he said.

Another next-of-kin, Intan Maizura Othman, 39, said even after she had accepted the passing of her husband, Mohd Hazrin Hasnan, who was a steward on board the flight, she still wants answers.

“Of course I have come to terms with his passing, but I definitely want to know exactly happened to the flight,” she said.

A mother of two, Intan said it has always been difficult to explain the incident and the passing of their father to her children.

“It is tough for me to explain to my children at times, but I accept it,” she said, citing further that her husband is now with God.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke plants a tree with family members of passengers of the missing MH370 during the remembrance ceremony to mark the 5th anniversary of the plane’s disappearance in Kuala Lumpur March 3, 2019. — Picture by FIrdaus Latif
Transport Minister Anthony Loke plants a tree with family members of passengers of the missing MH370 during the remembrance ceremony to mark the 5th anniversary of the plane’s disappearance in Kuala Lumpur March 3, 2019. — Picture by FIrdaus Latif

Also present at the commemorative event was Transport Minister Anthony Loke, who pledged that the government will continue to look for answers in the doomed incident

Loke explained that the government is waiting for credible proposal any interested parties to continue the search for MH370

“If there is a proposal or any credible leads, then we will look into it. It is not as if we are sitting here and doing nothing,’ he said

Last year, Malaysia accepted a “no-cure, no-fee” offer from US exploration firm Ocean Infinity for a three-month search, meaning the company would only get paid if it finds the plane.

That search covered 112,000 sq km (43,243 square miles) north of the original target area and also proved fruitless, ending in May 2018.

Loke also explains that the government have provided all information to the incident in a 495-page report published in July last year

“Whatever information we have was shared in the final report. There is no such withholding of information,” he said.

At this year’s commemorative event, families urged authorities to consider offering a reward, launch a new search, or accept other offers from private companies to find MH370. 

DAP’s Lim Kit Siang writes a condolence message during the remembrance ceremony to mark the 5th anniversary of MH370’s disappearance in Kuala Lumpur March 3, 2019. — Picture by FIrdaus Latif
DAP’s Lim Kit Siang writes a condolence message during the remembrance ceremony to mark the 5th anniversary of MH370’s disappearance in Kuala Lumpur March 3, 2019. — Picture by FIrdaus Latif