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Leading entertainment industry figures have added their voices to broader criticism within China over Malaysia’s handling of the disappearance of flight MH370, attacking the government in Kuala Lumpur and demanding a more proactive response to the disaster.
Of the 239 people on board, 155 were Chinese, and Malaysia’s response to the Boeing 777’s disappearance is viewed as incompetent by China. The southeast Asian nation’s handling of the search may damage relations between Malaysia and China long-term.
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All the passengers were presumed dead, airline officials said, after the flight vanished while flying to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. Officials are now convinced that the plane crashed thousands of miles away in the southern Indian Ocean, but many of the relatives were told by text message, causing outrage. The fact that the announcement of the passengers’ fates was made without the presentation of any physical evidence prompted hundreds of Chinese relatives to march on the Malaysian embassy in downtown Beijing.
Actress Zhang Ziyi, Memoirs of a Geisha and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, said on her Sina Weibo microblog: “Malaysian government, you have hurt the whole world. We are looking for the plane but you are looking for a time/opportunity. Malaysian government, you are wrong today. You have misjudged the international community, you do not show respect for life, and you misjudged the persistent quest for truth from the whole world.”
Director Wong Kar Wai, whose martial arts director Ju Kun was on the flight, said he thought the announcement was too sudden.
VIDEO: Malaysia Airlines Says Plane Lost, None on Board Survived
“Very sad news but before Malaysia Airlines and the government found any evidence, we should keep our hopes. I hope the family of Ju Kun can stay strong and I hope the miracle will happen,” said the Grandmaster director. At the Asia Film Awards in Macau Thursday night, the director dedicated his win in the best director category to Kun.
Chen Kun, a popular singer and actor who has 72 million followers on Sina Weibo, described the Malaysian authorities as “clownish.”
“Boycott all Malaysian goods and tourism,” he said, adding that the boycott should be for an indefinite period. His post was retweeted more than 70,000 times in one day.
Yang Lan, the well-known Chinese TV personality said on her Weibo: “Sadness and fury linger in my heart. What were the Malaysia Airlines and the government hiding? What happened on the plane before the hijackers drove the plane to the southern Indian Ocean? The whole world wouldn’t tolerate the Malaysian government if it held back the truth.”
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