MH370 families win bid to have Perth memorial plans shelved

MH370 families win bid to have Perth memorial plans shelved
MH370 families win bid to have Perth memorial plans shelved

Wang Yulian's daughter was among the passengers onboard MH370.Reuters: Damir Sagolj

A planned national memorial to honour the 239 passengers and crew on board missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has been put on hold in the wake of opposition.

In 2014, state and federal governments committed to install a memorial at Perth's Elizabeth Quay, but many families of the victims — two thirds of whom were Chinese nationals — united to appeal to the Prime Minister and WA Government to shelve the idea.

They claim the proposal for the memorial site came too soon, was in the wrong location, and more importantly did not involved their consultation.

Earlier this year, Jiang Hui, who lost his mother aboard MH370 and acted as a spokesman for the families of Chinese victims, said monuments carried huge symbolic meaning in China.

"The establishment of such monuments usually takes place only after the matter has come to an end. But so far we don't know where our relatives are and where the plane is," he said.

Photo Not all relatives agreed with Perth's Elizabeth Quay as a location for the memorial.

ABC News: Robert Koenig-Luck 'A complex and highly sensitive matter'

The WA Government said the decision to put the memorial on hold was made after Premier Mark McGowan and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack agreed it was inappropriate to go ahead with it at this time.

"This is a complex and highly sensitive matter, and the wellbeing of the relatives of those missing has always been our number one priority," Mr McGowan said.

"While some relatives support the memorial, others had concerns.

"It was decided in the best interests of all concerned not to proceed with the memorial at this point in time."

Mr McGowan said he was very confident after consulting with the Australian relatives that we have made the right decision.

"I cannot imagine the grief experienced by the relatives of the 239 people on board, including the seven people who called Australia home, and I hold out hope that the plane will, one day, be found," he said.

While the tender process for the artwork would not proceed, the State and Federal Governments said they acknowledged the artists who made submissions.

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