Painful memories of MH370 remains fresh 3 years on

PETALING JAYA: Tomorrow marks the third anniversary of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

For the family members of passengers and crew onboard the ill-fated flight, there is yet to be closure on the tragedy - one of the world's greatest aviation mysteries.

The next-of-kin of those onboard have since launched a campaign to initiate a privately funded search for the plane after the Australian, Malaysian and Chinese governments announced a suspension of the underwater search for the Beijing-bound aircraft earlier this year.

Voice370, the next-of-kin support group, said they would want to kick-start this initiative as soon as possible in an area further north of the previous search zone.

The search area was proposed based on debris findings and drift modelling analysis, with an estimated cost of RM66 million (US$15 million).

Grace Subathirai Nathan, whose mother Anne Daisy was one of the passengers onboard the ill-fated plane, said nothing much has changed since the incident as she still feels the pain of her lost.

"It's just as hard as it was three years ago and I still break down.

"It's still very painful everyday, but I try to do as much as I can in the hope that maybe it will prevent something similar from happening again," she told theSun when contacted recently.

Australian Danica Weeks, whose husband Paul Weeks was heading to Beijing for a transit flight to Mongolia to start a new job, said the search must go on as it could prevent such incidents from happening again.

"The family is coping terribly and it doesn't get easier with time.

"We need peace and we don't have peace right now, and we'll press on until we do," she said during the third MH370 remembrance event held at the Publika shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur recently.

Attended by over 100 family members of MH370 victims, the event themed "Search On 3.0: MH370 Is Not History. It's The Future. Fly Safely", was held to commemorate the fateful flight and to promote the global cause of aviation safety.

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai who lauded the Voice370's proposal has since guaranteed that the government is willing to discuss possible financial assistance on the matter.

Liow had stressed that while funding has never been an issue for the government in recovering the missing aircraft, credible evidence is needed before the search team could be given the green light to conduct its work in a new search area.

Commenting on developments in the search, Liow said two pieces of plane debris were discovered about two weeks ago in South Africa, bringing the total number of debris found to 27 pieces.

From the 27, only three have been confirmed to be from MH370 due to "its unique manufacturing serial numbers confirmed by Boeing", while five are only almost certain to be from MH370 "due to lack of serial numbers, but is confirmed to be part of a Boeing 777".

Liow added the only missing Boeing 777 in the South Indian Ocean is MH370, and the rest of the debris are still being verified and analysed.

Flight MH370 disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014, with 239 passengers and crew on board.

Its journey is believed to have ended in the southern Indian Ocean.