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MOFA did little to help MH370 family: Chao

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has offered little assistance to the family of a Taiwanese national who was aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane, an opposition lawmaker said yesterday.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟) made the accusation on behalf of his assistant Chuang Ching-chiang (莊敬強).

Chuang's elder sister Chuang Shiu-ling (莊秀玲) was the only R.O.C. citizen on board missing flight MH370.

According to Chao, MOFA and Taiwan's representative office in Malaysia have offered little help to Chuang's family since the incident took place on March 8.

Unlike the Chinese government that lodged severe protests with their Malaysian counterparts, demanding that they find the missing plane as soon as possible, the Taiwanese government has remained relatively silent so far even though the incident involves the life of one of its nationals, Chao said.

Instead of pressuring the Malaysian airline as Chinese authorities did, Chao said Taiwan's MOFA has recently given Chuang's family a declaration form on behalf of the airline.

The declaration form asked Chuang's family to waive their rights to sue both Taiwan and the Malaysian government over the incident, Chao said.

Chuang's family alleged that the state-owned Malaysian carrier is trying to dodge its legal responsibility over the missing flight with the waiver, the DPP lawmaker said.

The Malaysian airline even sent a letter written by Chinese president Xi Jinping (習近平) to Chuang's family, a degrading move that implies that Taiwan is part of China, he said.

The lawmaker urged MOFA to take a stronger stance toward Malaysia to protect the rights of Chuang's family and Taiwan's national dignity.

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