A man lights candles during the fourth annual remembrance event for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. (Reuters: Lai Seng Sin)
Families of those onboard missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 are disappointed at the lack of new information in the final report released today.
Loved ones wept after leaving the briefing at the Malaysian Ministry of Transport.
Children write well-wishes on a banner for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. (Reuters: Edgar Su)
Questions remain over why it took hours for authorities to raise the alarm, and why they spent eight days looking in the wrong spot after the Boeing 777 disappeared on its way to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur on March 8, 2014.
The families have also complained that no representatives from the search team nor the Ministry of Transport were on hand at the briefing to answer questions.
The report comes two months after Malaysia called off a privately funded underwater search for the aircraft carrying 239 people.
The report highlighted mistakes and protocols and guidelines that were not followed, the families told reporters after a briefing on the report.
“We hope that these mistakes will not be repeated and that measures are put in place to prevent them in the future,” said Grace Nathan, a lawyer whose mother, Anne Daisy, was on the plane.
“The one point they stressed was that this report was not to assign blame, it was only a safety investigation,” she said, adding that the investigators were limited in their effort, as it was based on information supplied to them.
On May 29, Malaysia called off a three-month search by US firm Ocean Infinity that spanned 112,000 square kilometres in the southern Indian Ocean and ended with no significant findings.
It was the second major search after Australia, China and Malaysia ended a fruitless $200 million-search across an area of 120,000 square kilometres last year.
Voice 370, a group representing the relatives, has previously urged the Malaysian Government for a review of the flight, including “any possible falsification or elimination of records related to MH370 and its maintenance”.
The families said the report pointed to mistakes by the Malaysian air traffic control (ATC) centre. It showed there were only two attempted phone calls made to the aircraft from the ground, four to five hours apart.
Investigators looking into why the Boeing 777 veered thousands of miles off its scheduled route before eventually plunging into the Indian Ocean believe someone may have deliberately switched off MH370’s transponder before diverting it over the Indian Ocean.
Newly elected Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia will consider resuming the search for MH370 only if new clues came to light.