Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Thursday moved a parliamentary motion commemorating the one-year anniversary of the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER jet was carrying 239 passengers and crew on its flight from Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, to China’s capital, Beijing, but was pronounced missing in the early hours of March 8, 2014.
Addressing the families of the missing passengers, who were present at the House of Representatives chamber, Abbott said he extended his deep condolences to them, and assured them that Australia would continue searching for the missing plane, Xinhua news agency reported. “Every family has a story of loss… you remain in our thoughts and prayers… we are taking every reasonable step to bring your painful search to an end,” he said.
“We remain hopeful that we will solve this baffling mystery and bring the peace of knowing to the family and friends of all aboard MH370. “This is not the first major aircraft to go missing and, tragically, it may not be the last. In this day and age it seems inexplicable that the technology and systems were not in place to provide us with the exact position of this plane at all times,” Abbott said.
Federal Opposition leader Bill Shorten also spoke on the motion, saying, “The search has united so many countries. Today it unites us all. We stand united with the loved ones you lost.” In his address, Shorten also quoted the English poet Shelley, who wrote in ‘Adonais: An Elegy on the Death of John Keats’: “Winter is come and gone but grief returns with the revolving year.”
Shorten also echoed the words of Abbott to those family members present, saying, “Our hearts go out to you, the people they loved. None of us will know your sorrow.” There was a minute’s silence at the end of the motion when everyone present at the chamber stood up and bowed their heads.
Traces of the aircraft are yet to be found, with search efforts still under way in the southern Indian Ocean, off the coast of Western Australia. In January, the Malaysian government declared the disappearance of MH370 as officially an accident, with all passengers and crew presumed dead. This allowed families to receive compensation payments from the airline. (IANS)