KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 29 – The Indonesian Embassy here is prepared to channel information on the search for the missing AirAsia Indonesia aircraft to the family of a Malaysian passenger on the flight. Indonesia Ambassador to Malaysia, Herman Prayitno said the embassy would help put them in contact with AirAsia, if family members of the passenger got in touch with the embassy.
“Hopefully, AirAsia has managed to contact the family of the Malaysian passenger,” he told Bernama when contacted today. Bernama today reported that Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Sarawak confirmed that Sii Chung Huei, the only Malaysian on board the missing AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ8501, is the husband of Assoc Prof Annie Wong Muk Ngiik.
Herman said crisis centres were provided at Surabaya airport, Jakarta and in Singapore because the aircraft was on a flight from Surabaya to Singapore. He thanked the Malaysian government which had sent three Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) ships on Sunday to join in the search and rescue (SAR) operation which would be coordinated with the Indonesian SAR.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak contacted Indonesian president Joko Widodo and expressed his concern at the incident. Earlier, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein talked with his Indonesian counterpart, Ryamizard Ryacudu.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said full cooperation would be given to Indonesia in the SAR. Herman said other than Malaysia, Indonesia also received aid from Singapore and Australia. News reports said the United States, Britain, South Korea and India have also offered help ranging from planes and navy ships to experts and investigators.
Flight QZ 8501, with 162 people on board, took off at 5.20 am in Surabaya, Indonesia yesterday, and was scheduled to land at Singapore’s Changi Airport at 8.30 am. It last contacted the Air Traffic Control at 6.12 am Indonesian time (7.12 am Malaysian time). Those on board the missing flight comprised 155 Indonesians, three South Koreans, a Singaporean, a Malaysian, a Briton and a French national.