Malaysia’s government pledged Monday it “will not rest” until missing flight MH370 is found, but families of passengers and crew members on board the flight said on the 100th day since the plane’s disappearance that they wanted answers, not more promises.
“One hundred days after MH370 went missing, its loss remains a painful void in the hearts of all Malaysians and those around the world,” Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said in a statement.
“We cannot and will not rest until MH370 is found.”
The Malaysia Airlines flight disappeared on March 8 with 239 passengers and crew, shocking the world and shattering families of those aboard, who still have no idea what happened to their loved ones.
While governments and international experts generally believe the plane, which disappeared from radar en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, went down in the Southern Indian Ocean, not a single piece of physical evidence has been found.
That lingering uncertainty has made the last 100 days even more of an ordeal for the loved ones of those on board the flight.
On Sunday, family members of some of the people aboard the flight gathered in Beijing and Kuala Lumpur at small ceremonies to mark 100 days since the flight disappeared.
“We hope people don’t forget about this, because it’s just like getting quieter and quieter. So we need to make people realize there are still people missing out there, and they need to be found,” said Jacquita Gonzales, the wife of a crew member on board MH370, at an event in Kuala Lumpur.
“I don’t think it’s only me. I think the whole world wants to know what happened to the plane. But of course we all want them back, whatever form they come back. As long as they are found and they come back,” said Nicolette Gomes, the daughter of a crew member on board MH37, according to an AP report.
In Beijing, “We are here to pray (for our relatives) on the 100th day (of the plane’s disappearance),” said Dai Sugin, 61, a sister of one of the passengers on the flight.
“It has been 100 days since March 8, but we still have not seen our family members, we are not sure about the information and have no idea what to do. So we have to pray to Buddha, pray to the Goddess of Mercy for blessings. We have to place our hopes on this and pray for the heavens to help us,” Dai said, according to Reuters.
Theories on what happened abound, including a hijacking, rogue pilot action or mechanical failure.
Hishammuddin, the Malaysian official, said Malaysia “cannot and will not abandon” MH370 families, and thanked Australia, China, the United States and fellow Southeast Asian countries for their assistance in the still-futile search, the French news agency AFP reported.
“This search effort is unprecedented in sheer scale and complexity,” Hishammuddin said in a statement. “We will, with the grace of God, find this missing plane and so with it begins the process of healing.”
Malaysia’s 57-year-old ruling regime denies withholding information, but it has remained tight-lipped over investigations it launched into the mystery, and has given no timetable for when any findings will be released.
Skeptical MH370 families launched a drive earlier this month to raise $5 million to reward any insider willing to come forward with information.
Hishammuddin said history would judge Malaysia favorably for having done all it could under near impossible circumstances.
Last week, families of seven passengers on the missing flight had received $50,000 per claimant as advanced compensation from the Malaysia Airlines, Malaysian deputy Foreign Minister Hamzah Zainuddin said in Putrajaya, according to the AP.
Under International Civil Aviation Organization rules, families of those on board the flight are entitled to about $175,000 each. Payments will occur once the plane is officially listed as lost.
Earlier this month, Malaysia said it had spent $8.6 million so far on the search for the missing plane, authorities said.
Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AFP and AP.