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Lawmaker blasts Malaysia Airlines for treatment of Taiwanese
Central News Agency
2014-05-06 12:10 AM
Taipei, May 5 (CNA) A Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker blasted Malaysia Airlines on Monday for treating family members of the only Taiwanese national on board a missing MAS flight as "second-rate citizens." The airline asked Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) to forward a message to family members of Chuang Hsiu-ling asking them to give up their right to hold those responsible accountable and sue the the two governments (Malaysia and Taiwan), said lawmaker Chao Tien-lin. Chuang was the sister of Chao's aide, Chuang Ching-chiang. Apart from the statement, the airline also transferred a letter to Chuang's family from Chinese President Xi Jinping that was written to family members of the Chinese nationals who were on board the ill-fate flight MH370, Chao said. "Being a Republic of China (Taiwan) national, I feel embarrassed and sad," the lawmaker said. He also said the assistance the Malaysian government and the carrier gave Chuang's family after the plane's disappearance, including transportation, accommodation and updates on the situation, did not measure up to that given to citizens of other countries. "They regard Taiwanese people as second-rate citizens," Chao charged. The lawmaker criticized the MOFA for acting as a "ministry of telex affairs," saying it had done nothing but send telexes to its office in Malaysia to ask it to deliver messages to the Malaysian government and the airline. Chao demanded that the ministry file a serious protest or ask the Civil Aeronautics Administration, which he said has influence over Malaysian Airlines, to "take further measures." "Otherwise, how can they not look down on us?" Chao asked. Meanwhile, Chuang Ching-chiang said the carrier's request for his family to give up their legal rights was not acceptable. Asked about the issue, MOFA spokeswoman Anna Kao said the ministry will make every effort to help the family and safeguard its rights and interests. Flight MH370 went missing on a scheduled flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beiijng on March 8, with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board. Among the passengers, 152 were Chinese citizens. Despite exhaustive searches, there has been no sign of any debris from the plane and no crash site has been found. Malaysia has released a preliminary report on the final moments of MH370, detailing the route the plane probably took as it veered off course and the confusion that followed. (By Tai Ya-chen, Claudia Liu and Elizabeth Hsu)
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