News

Hope ...for my beloved brother

Amid heartache that is almost unbearable, one man is forcing himself to stay strong and positive.

He is doing so for the two-year-old Singaporean girl and her British father who were on the missing AirAsia flight, QZ8501.

Mr Choi Chi, referring to his brother, Mr Choi Chi Man, and his niece, Zoe, said: "We're trying to get through to AirAsia but it's proving very difficult. It's so frustrating, the uncertainty is unbearable."

Zoe and her father were seated in the first row, in seats 1B and 1C.

The family migrated to Hull, England, from Hong Kong.

Mr Choi Chi Man, who is in his late 40s, moved to Singapore earlier this year after getting a job in Indonesia, reported The Telegraph.

He was a University of Essex graduate and a unit managing director for electronic manufacturing firm Alstom Power in Indonesia.

EARLIER FLIGHT

His wife and son, five, had flown to Singapore on an earlier flight.

Friends told The Telegraph that Mr Choi Chi Man and his daughter could not get seats on that plane, so they took a later flight. He booked the seats on Boxing Day.

His former colleague, Mr Steve Hayler, 62, told The Telegraph: "It is just tragic. I am guessing it was a personal trip rather than business because they were travelling as a family."

Mr Hayler said he met Mr Choi Chi Man when they worked for a company making industrial electrical control equipment in Warwick.

Mr Choi also worked in Paris, France, for a while before securing his latest job earlier this year in Jakarta.

Said Mr Hayler: "He was a genuinely nice bloke. I remember him as an expert networker who was brilliant at making contacts.

"There will be many hundreds of people who will have known (him) as an acquaintance. There will be a lot of people who will be very sad."

This was confirmed by Mr Choi Chi, who told The Sun: "My brother had just started a new job in Indonesia and was travelling back to his wife's family in Singapore."

He added that his sister-in-law, Ms Wee Mei-Yi, is in Singapore with her five-year-old son Luca.

He said she has been updating him and the rest of their family from Changi Airport, where she is anxiously waiting for her husband to return.

"His wife is keeping us informed but there is no news at the moment," he said.

Meanwhile, he has to comfort his elderly parents.

"We know it's not looking great. We are prepared for that.

"We're looking to go to Singapore at some point over the next few days. It's been hard to keep in the loop of what's going on when we're so far away from the action," he said.

"It's a very difficult time for all of the family. We've got to stick together and pull through."