Anx­ious loved ones re­main in seclu­sion

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA -

In a leafy four-star re­sort in a Kuala Lumpur sub­urb, more than 50 jour­nal­ists waited to tell a com­pelling story. Tele­photo lenses bris­tled from palm leaves, point­ing at mem­bers of Chi­nese fam­i­lies who were hav­ing break­fast on a ter­race at the re­sort.

Al­though the ho­tel had kept in­for­ma­tion about the Chi­nese fam­ily away from the me­dia, dozens of re­porters still man­aged to sniff out the lo­ca­tion.

Be­side the ter­race gur­gled an ar­ti­fi­cial wa­ter­fall. Ham­mocks slumped be­tween palm trees where squir­rels jumped and squeaked.

But the beau­ti­ful view doesn’t ease the anx­i­ety of los­ing con­tact with loved ones. Most of the people are quiet. Fruit­less search­ing has left them only one thing to do: wait.

“There is so lit­tle in­for­ma­tion,” a woman wear­ing yel­low T-shirt said.

News con­fer­ences are ir­reg­u­lar and fre­quently post­poned. In the past three days since I ar­rived in Kuala Lumpur, none of the three daily brief­ings started on time.

News­pa­pers, the only source be­sides the Malaysian au­thor­i­ties, pile up on the ta­bles on the ter­race. Flip­ping through the sto­ries of the miss­ing flight, they dis­cuss the is­sue, mostly ab­struse tech­ni­cal avi­a­tion de­tails.

“A news re­port said the plane kept fly­ing for some time af­ter con­tact was lost, ac­cord­ing to the en­gine data,” a woman wear­ing a black skirt said. “If it was true, they prob­a­bly landed some­where.”

The en­gine data story was later de­nied by the Malaysian min­is­ter of de­fense at a news con­fer­ence. Fam­ily mem­bers keep chang­ing their

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