The West

Perth reaches out to MH370 families
Relatives of Chinese passengers aboard the Malaysia Airlines, MH370. Picture: AP

Members of Perth’s Chinese community have offered spare rooms in their homes to accommodate relatives of passengers and crew on the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Sammy Yap, president of the Chung-Wah Association, said he assumed Malaysian authorities or the airline would help with such arrangements for the families.

“But if there is a need, we do have volunteers who have put up their hands and said ‘look, we have got a few beds and we can house these people if necessary’,” Mr Yap told ABC TV.

He said the association had access to practising counsellors who wanted to help the relatives cope with their grief.

And many people of all professions and racial backgrounds, not just Chinese, were calling to volunteer to help in other ways, Mr Yap said.

“It’s very encouraging and heartwarming.”

Mr Yap said the association was relying on the state government for information about the expected arrivals and was also in contact with Perth Airport, which had “been bombarded as well with questions that they’re not able to answer”.

“So we’re helping each other out, keeping each other informed of developments.”

Premier Colin Barnett said he expected hundreds of victims’ families would travel to the West Australian capital, the closest city to what is believed to be their loved ones’ final resting place.

It’s also understood residents of The Vines in Perth’s northeastern suburbs, home to the family of MH370 passenger Paul Weeks, have banded together to show them support.


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