REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, KUALA LUMPUR - Two Malaysian teenage boys on Friday sued Malaysia Airlines and the government over the loss of their father on Flight 370, the first lawsuit filed by the family of a passenger of the jetliner that mysteriously disappeared eight months ago.
Jee Kinson, 13, and Jee Kinland, 11, said in the suit that when the plane dropped from the radar while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8 with 239 people on board, the civil aviation department did not try to establish contact within reasonable time. The immigration department also allowed passengers with fake identities to board the plane, they said.
"We have waited for eight months. After speaking to various experts, we believe we have sufficient evidence for a strong case. A big plane missing in this age of technology is really unacceptable," their lawyer Arunan Selvaraj said.
The suit said the flag carrier was negligent and failed to take all due measures to ensure a safe flight. It also named the director-generals of civil aviation and immigration, the country's navy chief and the government as respondents and alleged they committed gross neglect and breach of duty.
The boys are seeking damages for mental distress, emotional pain and the loss of support following the disappearance of their father, Jee Jing Hang. They said their father operated an Internet business earning monthly income of nearly 17,000 ringgit (5,178 USD).
"The question is, could we have salvaged the situation if action was taken earlier?" Arunan said. "We want accountability."
The plane is believed to have gone down in a remote patch of the Indian Ocean, where a search is ongoing. Not a single piece of debris from the plane has been found so far. Australian officials, who are coordinating the search, have said the hunt for the plane could take another year. Malaysian police determined that two men traveling with stolen passports on Flight 370 were Iranians seeking to migrate illegally to Europe and were not terrorists.