Emotions boiled over in China on Saturday as families of missing passengers shouted angrily at Malaysian officials and accused them of “delaying, concealing and cheating” over the investigation into Flight 370.
“We want to know what happened, what the reality is!” a relative yelled in English at the delegation, which included Malaysia’s ambassador to China, Datuk Iskandar Sarudin.
Impatience turned to anger when the officials ended their daily briefing in the ballroom of Beijing’s Lido Hotel without taking any questions.
“You can’t go! You can’t leave here!” shouted the family member. “We are here waiting for you 14 days! We are not here only to listen to you!”
Others shouted in Mandarin as the officials tried to leave the room.
"The family members are extremely indignant," read a statement issued by the relatives afterwards, according to The Associated Press. "We believe we have been strung along, kept in the dark and lied to by the Malaysian government. All of the families agree that the Malaysian government has been delaying, concealing and cheating on us."
The statement said the Malaysians had “disregarded the life of the passengers,” adding: “They have been fooling the families and the people of the whole world.”
More than two-thirds of those on board the missing Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 are Chinese.
A handful of their relatives have traveled to Kuala Lumpur, but the majority remains in Beijing where they have repeatedly accused Malaysia of withholding information.
“I still believe they are continuing to hide crucial information," a man in his 40s who gave his family name as Yang told NBC News on Friday.
Nan Jinyan, sister-in-law of 29-year-old missing passenger Yan Ling, told The Associated Press she was deeply unhappy with what she called the vague and often contradictory information coming from Malaysia Airlines. "If they can't offer something firm, they ought to just shut up," she said.
Volunteer psychologist Paul Yin, who has worked with some of the relatives, said not knowing the fate of their loved ones was preventing them from confronting their grief. "When there is uncertainty for several days, people go from hope to despair, and back again, making it impossible to bring final healing," Yin told the AP.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
First published March 22 2014, 8:58 AM