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Government seeks to strike out suit over MH370

Syndicated News
Written by Syndicated News

KUALA LUMPUR — December 28, 2015: The Malaysia government and three others have filed an application to strike out a suit brought by five members of a family seeking compensation over the deaths of three kin who were passengers of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 that disappeared on March 8 last year.

This was stated by lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo to reporters after case management today before Judicial Commissioner Datuk Mohd. Zaki Abdul Wahab in chambers. She represented two children of a couple who were killed in the incident.

The court set January 28 for case management.

Federal counsel Shaiful Nizam Shahrin also attended the proceedings.

The four defendants — the government of Malaysia, Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB), Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) director-general and
commander of the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) – had filed the application on December 23 to strike out the suit.

They applied to have the suit struck out on the grounds that the plaintiffs’ claim was frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of the court process.

MAB, as the second defendant, said it was only corporatised on November 7, 2014, eight months after the MH370 incident, and was not a successor
company to Malaysia Airlines System Berhad (MAS), named as the first defendant.

“The MAS (Administration) Act 2015 does not ‘ipso facto’ place or transfer the liability of the first defendant to the second defendant
(MAB),” it said in the application.

On August 28, five members of a family failed the suit against the five defendants seeking compensation over the disappearance of Tan Ah Meng, 46, and his wife Chuang Hsiu Ling alias Cindy Chuang, 45, as well as their eldest son, Tan Wei Chew, 19.

The suit was filed by the couple’s two other children – Tan Wei Hong, 15, and Tan Wei Jie, 13 – Ah Meng’s parents Tan Hun Khong and Lai Chew Lai and Hsiu Ling’s mother Chuang Hung Chien, a Taiwanese.

In the statement of claim, the plaintiffs alleged that MAS had breached a contract by failing to make sure the plane was in good condition, thus causing Flight MH370 and its passengers to go missing.

They claimed that due to negligence, the remaining two children of the couple were orphaned and had lost their elder brother, besides
causing them hurt and loss, including financial support and affection.

They also claimed 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 contended that the loss of the aircraft could have been avoided if the RMAF commander had monitored the radar in real time and taken relevant action when the incident occurred.

They sought the defendants to file a public apology to the plaintiffs, as well as general damages, compensation for loss of support, aggravated and
exemplary damages, costs, interest and other relief deemed fit by the court.

Last January 29, DCA director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, representing the government announced that MH370 was declared an accident under international aviation regulations, and all 239 passengers and crew on board presumed dead.

The Boeing 777 took off from the KL International Airport on March 8, 2014, and headed towards Beijing. An hour later, the plane disappeared from the radar and was believed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.

On July 29, the plane’s flaperon was found on the island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean. The search continues for the aircraft in the southern Indian Ocean. — Bernama

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