KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here today fixed March 4 for hearing of the Malaysian government and three other parties’ application to strike out the lawsuit filed by five family members of a couple and their son who were aboard MH370 that went missing on March 8, 2014.
Judicial commissioner Datuk Mohd Zaki Abdul Wahab set the date in chambers, during which federal counsel Shaiful Nizam Shahrin who is representing the Malaysian government and counsel Sangeet Kaur Deo who is representing the couple’s two other children, were present.
The government, Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB), Civil Aviation Department (DCA) director-general and Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) chief filed the application on Dec 23, 2015 on grounds that the plaintiffs’ claims were frivolous, vexatious, and an abuse of the court process.
The plaintiffs filed the lawsuit on Aug 28, 2015, seeking compensation and other damages from five defendants including Malaysia Airlines System Berhad(MAS) for the loss of their kin, Tan Ah Meng, 46; his wife Chuang Hsiu Ling@ Cindy Chuang, 45; and the couple’s eldest child, Tan Wei Chew, 19.
The couple were directors of an engineering and construction company.
The plaintiffs comprise the couple’s two other children, Tan Wei Hong, 16, and Tan Wei Jie, 14, Ah Meng’s parents, Tan Hun Khong, 85, and Lai Chew Lai, 83, and Hsiu Ling’s mother, Chuang Hung Chien, 76, a Taiwanese.
In their statement of claim, they accused MAS of breaching the contract by failing to ensure that the aircraft was in perfect condition thus leading to the disappearance of Flight MH370 and its passengers.
They claimed that due to negligence by the defendants, the couple’s remaining two children had been left orphaned and lost their elder brother, causing them distress and loss including financial support and affection.
They also alleged that when the flight lost contact, DCA failed to take appropriate action within reasonable time to re-establish a connection or launch a search for the plane.
The plaintiffs also claimed that the disappearance of the aircraft could have been avoided if the RMAF commander had monitored the radar in real time and taken the relevant action when the incident occurred.
They are seeking a public apology from the defendants, general damages, compensation for loss of support, aggravated and exemplary damages, costs, interest and other relief deemed fit by the court.
On Jan 29, DCA director-general Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, representing the Malaysian government, announced that MH370’s disappearance was due to an accident as declared under international aviation regulations, and that all 239 passengers and crew on board were presumed dead.
The Boeing 777 aircraft left Kuala Lumpur International Airport for Beijing at 12.40 am on March 8, 2014. An hour later, the plane disappeared from radar and believed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.