Last updated Sunday, November 23, 2014 02:58pm

A relative of victims from the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 plane awaiting updates at  at Everly Hotel, Putrajaya, March 10, 2014. — Picture by Saw Siow FengA relative of victims from the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 plane awaiting updates at at Everly Hotel, Putrajaya, March 10, 2014. — Picture by Saw Siow FengKUALA LUMPUR, March 11 — Twelve colleagues, a family of three, a couple on honeymoon and a woman who had just celebrated her retirement over lunch earlier that day. These are some of the 38 Malaysians on board the missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370.

Four days after their flight took off at midnight for Beijing, it feels like the whole world is looking for them. Well, to be more exact, 10 countries, 35 aircraft and 47 ships at the last count.

Among the 12 Malaysian Freescale Semiconductor employees who boarded MH370 on March 8 is 31-year-old Tong Soon Lee. He is supposed to get married later this year.

“Even the date has been set,” his uncle told The Malay Mail Online at the Everly Hotel in Putrajaya where the passengers’ next-of-kin are being housed.

The engineer, he said, is a very ambitious young man and a jovial person.

Then there is Datin Biby Nazli Mohd Hassim, 62, whom a family friend describes as being very down to earth.

“I call her Kak Biby. She loves to cook and will call us to her house in Penang during those days to cook for us footballers.

“They are very pleasant people even though her husband is a big shot,” he said.

Biby, the wife of former Celcom chief executive officer Datuk Mohamed Ramli Abbas, was travelling with her two daughters, Dina, 30 and Maria, 32 as well as her younger sister Noorida.

Just hours before boarding the late night flight, 57-year-old Noorida’s colleagues threw her a retirement party. According to the KL City Hall website, she was the Administrative Assistant Secretary at the Health and Environment Department. She was supposed to retire on April 1.

In the Gallery


  • International school students light candles to pray for passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, in Zhuji, Zhejiang province, March 10, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A relative of a passenger of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 puts his palms together as he prays for his family member at the Lido Hotel in Beijing, March 10, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A sign filled with well wishes to the passengers of the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 reads ‘Have Hope’ at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport March 11, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Deputy commander of Vietnam Air Force Do Minh Tuan looks at a map on a TV screen during a news conference about their mission to find missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at Phu Quoc Airport on Phu Quoc Island March 11, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A US Navy SH-60R Seahawk helicopter takes off from the destroyer USS Pinckney in the Gulf of Thailand, to assist in the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, in this March 9, 2014 handout picture. — Reuters pic

  • Family members of passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 are seen in a car outside the hotel they are staying at, in Putrajaya March 11, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A family member of passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 cry inside a hotel they are staying at in Putrajaya March 11, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A relative of passengers on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 questions an aid worker (centre left) from Malaysia at restaurant in a hotel in Beijing March 11, 2014. — AFP pic

  • Family members of passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 from Beijing arrive at Cyberview Lodge Hotel, the hotel they are staying at, in Putrajaya March 11, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Family members of passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 from Beijing arrive at Cyberview Lodge Hotel, the hotel they are staying at, in Putrajaya March 11, 2014. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

  • Family members of passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 from Beijing arrive at Cyberview Lodge Hotel, the hotel they are staying at, in Putrajaya March 11, 2014. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

  • A reflection of military officer Duong Van Lanh is seen from instrument panels as he works onboard a Vietnamese air force AN-26 during a mission to find the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 off Tho Chu islands March 11, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Malaysians write and hang their wishes for the passengers of missing MH370 on a card before hanging it on the ‘Wall of Hope’ located at the entrance of Pavilion shopping centre in Kuala Lumpur March 11, 2014. — Picture by Mohd Yusof Mat Isa

  • Malaysians write and hang their wishes for the passengers of missing MH370 on a card before hanging it on the ‘Wall of Hope’ located at the entrance of Pavilion shopping centre in Kuala Lumpur March 11, 2014. — Picture by Mohd Yusof Mat Isa

  • Malaysians write and hang their wishes for the passengers of missing MH370 on a card before hanging it on the ‘Wall of Hope’ located at the entrance of Pavilion shopping centre in Kuala Lumpur March 11, 2014. — Picture by Mohd Yusof Mat Isa

  • Malaysians write and hang their wishes for the passengers of missing MH370 on a card before hanging it on the ‘Wall of Hope’ located at the entrance of Pavilion shopping centre in Kuala Lumpur March 11, 2014. — Picture by Mohd Yusof Mat Isa

  • Malaysians write and hang their wishes for the passengers of missing MH370 on a card before hanging it on the ‘Wall of Hope’ located at the entrace of Pavilion shopping centre in Kuala Lumpur March 11, 2014. — Picture by Mohd Yusof Mat Isa

  • Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar (centre) addresses a news conference on the two passengers who had travelled onboard the missing MH370 plane on stolen passports in KLIA, on March 11, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A policewoman holds up a photo of one of the two men whom they believe were travelling on board the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 on stolen passports after a news conference in Kuala Lumpur International Airport March 11, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A combination photo shows two men whom police said were travelling on stolen passports onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane, taken before their departure at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in this March 11, 2014 handout courtesy of the Malaysian Police. — Reuters pic

  • Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble (second right) speaks during a news conference at the Interpol headquarters in Lyon, March 11, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A Vietnamese officer stands next to a TV screen showing a flight route during a news conference about their mission to find missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at Phu Quoc Airport in Phu Quoc Island, March 11, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Deputy commander of Vietnam Air Force Do Minh Tuan (centre) gives a press conference at the search and rescue centre at Phu Quoc airport in Vietnam, on March 11, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May

  • Deputy commander of Vietnam Air Force Do Minh Tuan points to a map of the search area at the search and rescue centre at Phu Quoc airport in Vietnam, on March 11, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May

  • The search and rescue centre is based at Phu Quoc airport in Vietnam. Photo taken on March 11, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May

  • A Vietnamese helicopter taxies at Phu Quoc Airport before being utilised in the mission to find the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in Phu Quoc Island, March 11, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A helicopter lands after coming back from a search for the missing MH370 aircraft at Phu Quoc airport, on March 11, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May

  • Reporters doing an interview next to one of the planes that has just returned from a search for the missing MH370 aircraft, at Phu Quoc airport, on March 11, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May

  • A helicopter takes off from Jinggangshan warship to search the waters suspected to be the site of the missing Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in this March 11, 2014 photo courtesy of China News Service. — Reuters pic

  • A search boat carrying rescue workers is set down from Mianyang warship on the waters suspected to be the site of the missing Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in this March 10, 2014 photo provided by China News Service. — Reuters pic

  • Family members of passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vote to set a deadline for the company to answer their requests, including providing solatium without additional conditions, at a hotel in Beijing, March 11, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A journalist kisses Wan Tom Wan Chik, the mother of 33-year-old Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 passenger Mohd Sofuan Razak, after an interview at the hotel where relatives of the passengers are staying in Putrajaya March 10, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A woman holds a sign of support and hope for the passengers of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 she made and brought to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport March 11, 2014. — Reuters pic

Having married for a year, young couple Muhammad Razahan Zamani, 24 and his wife Norliakmar Hamid, 33, finally decided to go for their honeymoon in Beijing, and boarded MH370 last Saturday morning.

For another family, the trip to Beijing was a chance to have a family vacation before their son went off to college.

Tan Ah Meng, 46, and his Taiwanese wife Chuang Hsiu Leng, 48, was taking their eldest son, who according to Singapore’s Straits Times (ST) had just graduated from St Andrew’s Junior College in Singapore, on vacation in Beijing while he waited to enrol in a US college.

Nineteen-year-old Tan Wei Chew, who attended the junior college at 15 on scholarship, has two younger brothers aged 14, and 12, according to the Singapore daily.

Another couple — Chen Weihoing, 42 and Tan Sioh Peng, 41 — were on vacation without their children. Their son Eric Chen, 15, told the New Straits Times (NST) his parents had skipped their routine of praying at a temple near their house in Klang before going on vacation. Chen has an 11-year-old brother.

Another passenger Chng Mei Ling, 33, who is an engineer for Flexsys America LP in Pennsylvania, had just bought a house in South Park township back in October 2013. Her neighbours told Post Gazette, however, that she was hardly around for them to get to know her.

Kuala Langat Umno division deputy chief Zurihan Yusop’s elder brother, 50-year-old Muzi, was also among the group of Freescale Semiconductor employees sent to Beijing for a one-month training. He is the production manager at the Kelana Jaya-based office.

Another employee, 32-year-old Ramlan Safuan checked in on his Facebook page at KLIA before boarding the flight.

The Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK) and the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) alumni’s post was followed by a friend’s joke about itik pancung and having dog soup in China.

Ramlan responded in disgust. He also told another friend, Din Tambang, that they would hang out when he returns.

About 12 hours later, the same check-in post was flooded with messages from friends who were concerned about his whereabouts and pleaded for him to respond.

Tan Ku Leng said her husband, Stanley Wong Sai Sang, was not supposed to be on Flight MH370. — Picture by The Malay MailTan Ku Leng said her husband, Stanley Wong Sai Sang, was not supposed to be on Flight MH370. — Picture by The Malay Mail

Meanwhile, mother of three Nor Fadzillah Mat Rahim, 37, was described as the “the best daughter-in-law”, a crying Hajah Puteh told The Malay Mail Online when approached.

Then there is Senior Marketing Manager at Malaysia Land Properties Sdn Bhd Stanley Wong Sai Sang who was not supposed to be on MH370, his wife said.

She said he had missed an earlier flight and was forced to take the later one. It was his birthday, but there wasn’t time to celebrate as he was rushing from work to the airport to catch the flight to Beijing.

Tan Ku Leng said her husband was with two other colleagues.

He was also Selangor executive councillor Ronnie Liu’s schoolmate at Sekolah Menengah Raub in Pahang.

Petronas Marketing Manager Puspanathan Subramaniam, 34, who was described as kind, helpful and very funny by a relative, was supposed to be on a work trip to Beijing for two weeks.

The Singapore daily also reported that he was looking forward to be back to celebrate her sister’s belated birthday.

Authorities, experts, family members and friends are still searching for answers four days on, as the Boeing 777-200 plane carrying 239 passengers and crew from 13 different countries, fell off the radar at 1.30am, March 8, some 120 nautical miles east of Kota Baru.

Malaysian authorities also announced that it would expand the search area for the Malaysia Airline jet missing since Saturday, doubling it to 100 nautical miles starting this morning.

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