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MH17: Malaysia Airlines contacts next-of-kin over advance compensation

Payment of advance compensation to the families of those on board the downed Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH17 will not affect their right to claim compensation at a later stage, according to the law.

KUALA LUMPUR: Payment of advance compensation to the families of those on board the downed Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH17 will not affect their right to claim compensation at a later stage, according to the law. In a statement on Saturday (Aug 9), MAS, however, said it would be calculated as part of the final compensation.

MAS said through representatives from its Family Support Centre, it had contacted the next-of-kin of those on board the ill-fated aircraft to initiate the advance compensation payment process.

On Monday, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim said immediate family members of the victims of the July 17 crash were expected to receive advance compensation of US$50,000 (S$62,600) at the soonest possible date. 

"We've also taken steps to arrange for contractual benefits to which our crew are entitled, to be explained and paid to their next-of-kin, together with a further goodwill payment to help meet the current needs of their families," said the carrier.

MAS noted it was also offering financial assistance of US$5,000 to the families of each passenger and crew member involved. "To date, the majority of the families have already received such financial assistance, which will not be part of any compensation that may be payable," said the airline.

Flight MH17, which was carrying 283 passengers and 15 crew members, was headed to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam when it was believed to have been shot down over Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.

MAS said its primary focus was to care for the family members affected by the MH17 tragedy. "The airline is currently supporting the families during this difficult time and has assigned caregivers - trained MAS staff - to provide emotional support and assistance," it added.

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