KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) – Compensation will be paid to next-of-kins of MH370 victims about three weeks after the documentation process and paper work have been completed, said MH370/MH17 crisis director Fuad Sharuji.
“We are ready to pay compensation but the next-of-kins (NOK) must show proof of their relationship, such as birth and marriage certificates, and these must be verified by a commissioner of oath.
“After the documents have been verified, payment can be made direct into their accounts in less than three weeks. Our lawyers will call and help the NOK with the documentation,” he said.
He was speaking in the programme ‘Landskap’ shown on RTM1. Also on the programme were MAS Group Chief Executive Officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya and MAS Senior Vice-President and Corporate Communication head, Datuk Najmuddin Abdullah.
Fuad said the compensation to be paid was more than what has been set by the Montreal Convention 1999 but he did not disclose the amount.
“Our compensation is more than the minimum scheme (Montreal Convention). We are giving a certain amount (compensation). There may be some adjustment if the NOK can prove that the passenger should get more.
“For instance, if the victim was earning a high income, still young and should get more. We will consider.”
Fuad was asked if the Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM) had settled almost all theclaims worth RM16.875 million by the NOK.
He said that was the life insurance which the passengers themselves had taken out and thus did not need a declaration for claims and payment.
This was different from MAS which was paying compensation for passengers who used its airline service.
Clarifying the need for a declaration of death for MH370 passengers, Fuad said the government had decided on the declaration to facilitate compensation payment to the NOK.
He said without the declaration, the NOK would have to wait for seven years (for a person who was lost to be declared dead) in order to proceed with the claim for compensation.
“You can give the compensation without a declaration but it is important for the next-of-kins to get certification.
“Under the law, you must wait for seven years. But do we want to wait? So the government decided to make a declaration and we can take advantage of this to continue with the compensation claim,” he said.
On Jan 29, Malaysian government declared that MH370 was an accident under international aviation regulations and all 239 passengers were presumed dead.
However, the Malaysia government stressed that the mission to search for the Boeing 777 was still a priority.
Flight MH370, with 227 passengers and 12 crew members, departed KL International Airport at 12.41am on March 8 last year and was missing from the radar screen one hour later as it was over the South China Sea.
It was scheduled to arrive in Beijing at 6.30am on the same day.