Malaysia

Government promises more financial aid for families of MH370 passengers and crew

Families of Chinese passengers on board MAS flight MH370 arriving at the Royale Chulan Hotel in Kuala Lumpur today for a briefing by the Malaysian government. - AFP pic, April 20, 2014.Families of Chinese passengers on board MAS flight MH370 arriving at the Royale Chulan Hotel in Kuala Lumpur today for a briefing by the Malaysian government. - AFP pic, April 20, 2014.A second round of financial aid will soon be dispersed to the families of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 passengers and crew, Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin said today.

Hamzah, who led the next-of kin-committee, also told about 60 next of kin from Malaysia as well as China at a meeting today that they could suggest an amount they thought would ease their financial burden.

Selamat Omar, father of jet engineer Mohd Khairul Amri who was among 227 passengers on board flight MH370, said the meeting which lasted about two hours was basically a government briefing on financial aid.

"Among the things raised at the briefing was the issue of death certificate. The officials said they will help us in our dealings with banks in matters such as mortgage and car loans in the passenger’s name," said Selamat, who travelled from Pahang to attend the meeting held at Royale Chulan Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

The latest financial aid to be announced soon, would be the second to be given out to the families.

The first was US$5,000 (RM15,000) given out by Malaysia Airlines in the early stage of the search for the Boeing 777 aircraft that vanished on March 8.

Selamat said that the families was asked to suggest an amount they wanted to ease their financial burden.

"He gave us an email address to say how much we want. They will come up with a figure after looking at all the suggestions," he said.

Selamat said the officials gave the families until next week so that the aid could be dispersed soon.

Besides the disSelamat Omar said the government wants the families of passengers to suggest an amount that would help ease their financial burden. - The Malaysian Insider pic, April 20, 2014.Selamat Omar said the government wants the families of passengers to suggest an amount that would help ease their financial burden. - The Malaysian Insider pic, April 20, 2014.cussion on the aid, Hamzah also advised the families on the importance of moving forward.

When asked how many among the next of kin have “accepted the reality” (that the plane ended in the southern Indian Ocean and there are no survivors), Hamzah said he wished that all have accepted but that was not the case.

When asked when the Federal government would make an announcement on death certificates, Hamzah said: "We have to confirm several issues and evidence before we can make such an announcement.”

He said Putrajaya also has to make sure the next of kin understand the purpose of such an announcement being made.

"I understand their anguish, we have their interests close to our heart," he said.

Hamzah will leave for China next week to meet with the next of kin there to discuss the financial aid. – April 20, 2014.

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