KUALA LUMPUR – The wife and two children of a passenger in the ill-fated MH370 today filed a suit against Malaysia Airlines System Berhad (MAS) for breach of aviation agreement which resulted in the loss of their family member in a flight to Beijing on March 8, 2014.
The suit was filed by the wife and two children — daughter, aged 7, and son, aged five — of businessman Koh Tiong Meng, 40, through the legal firm of Messrs. Rusmah Arunan & Associates at the High Court registry.
Reporters obtained a copy of the statement of claim from their lawyer, Datuk Dr. S. Arunan, who requested the media not to name the plaintiffs.
In the statement of claim, Koh’s wife, aged 37, and their children, stated that Koh, as a passenger in MH370, had entered an agreement with MAS in the flight that departed Kuala Lumpur at 12.41 am and was scheduled to land in Beijing at 6.30 am on March 8, 2014.
Through the agreement, they said MAS should have provided an airworthy aircraft and taken measures to ensure a safe flight.
However, they claimed that MAS had breached the agreement when the aircraft failed to land in Beijing and there was no valid proof on where the flight ended and until today, it was not known where the passengers and crew of MH370 were.
The plaintiffs stated that on March 24, 2014, MAS sent a short message to the victim’s wife to inform that MH370 had disappeared and the passengers and crew on board could not be saved.
On the same day, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak issued a statement saying that MH370 ended in the Indian Ocean and on Jan 29 this year, Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) director-general Datuk Seri Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, on behalf of the Malaysian government, declared the disappearance of MH370 as an accident under the international aviation regulations and all 239 of the passengers and crew on board were presumed to have lost their lives.
The plaintiffs claimed that they had lost the family breadwinner, stating that Koh, who earned RM6,00 a month as a company manager and about RM16,000 a month from his business, was the sole breadwinner of the family.
They are seeking damages for loss of support and also for their suffering, as well as exemplary damages, cost, interests and other relief deemed fit by the court.
Meanwhile, Arunan told reporters that the suit was filed in compliance with the Montreal Convention 1999 on the two-year limitation period for the next-of-kin of the MH370 victims to do so.
He also said that family members of the victims of MH370 would gather at the Publika shopping centre here this Sunday in memory of the tragedy. – BERNAMA