KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 17 – The High Court here today suggested that the lawsuit filed by two young sons of a passenger on board the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, Flight MH370, be resolved amicably. This was revealed by lawyer Datuk Dr S. Arunan, who represented the two brothers, when met by reporters after the case was mentioned in chambers before judge Datuk Rosnaini Saub.
He said the court had weighed the matter by taking into consideration the government’s official announcement on Jan 29that the plane was lost and declared it as an accident under the international aviation law. In that announcement, the government declared that all the 239 passengers and crew members on board the ill-fated aircraft had perished.
Meanwhile, senior federal counsel Kamal Azira Hassan who represented the government, said if there was no solution to the case, the government would file an application to strike out the lawsuit filed by the two brothers, aged 14 and 12, through their mother, Ng Pearl Ming, 39.
He said the court had fixed March 18 for case management to know the developments on resolving the case. On Oct 31 last year, the two brothers filed the lawsuit naming Malaysia Airline System Berhad (MAS), the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) director-general, Immigration director-general, Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) chief and the Malaysian government as the defendants.
In their statement of claims, they claim that their father Jee Jing Hang, 41, a passenger on board MH370, had entered into a flight contract agreement by flying on its aircraft from Kuala Lumpur at 12.41am on March 8, 2014 and was expected to arrive in Beijing at 6.30am the same day.
The plaintiffs claim that through that agreement, MAS as the first defendant should have taken all necessary measures to ensure the flight was safe, but had breached that agreement when it failed to land in Beijing and there have been no further details on the flight’s ending until today.
The plaintiffs also claim that the DCA director-general as the second defendant and responsible for providing air traffic control services to ensure the flight was safe, had failed and was negligent by not taking adequate measures to communicate with and detect the flight through the radar system. The brothers claim that the Immigration Department had failed to conduct thorough checks on the MH370 passengers which enabled a number of passengers to board the flight using false identification documents.
They also claim that the RMAF had failed and was negligent by not sending out its aircraft immediately to identify the unscheduled flight which appeared on the RMAF radar screen, and which could have been MH370. The plaintiffs are claiming for general damages from the defendants over the loss of their father and sole breadwinner, a businessman earning a monthly income of RM16,865, and supplementary damages due to their sufferings.
Flight MH370, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, disappeared from the radar screens about an hour after departing from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on March 8, 2014. The search for the aircraft in the southern Indian Ocean is still on.