Skip to main content

MH370 flight attendant's husband wants to give children answers but has none

By Pamela Boykoff and Paula Hancocks, CNN
March 31, 2014 -- Updated 1849 GMT (0249 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Lee Khim Fatt promised his two children he'd bring their mother home
  • His wife, a Malaysia Airlines flight attendant, has been missing for three weeks
  • With little information from authorities, he turns to media for updates
  • He wants to give his children answers, but has none

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (CNN) -- The children keep asking when their mother is coming home.

Lee Khim Fatt doesn't know what to tell them.

It's been more than three weeks since his wife, a flight attendant on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, disappeared along with 238 others when the jet vanished mid-flight.

"I told them mummy's going to take a bit longer to come home this time, and I even promised them I'm going to bring her home," Lee says.

His eyes fill with tears as he explains his plight. It's a promise he's not sure he can keep.

"I really don't know where she is now," he says, "and now I am not sure whether I could bring her home."

Malaysian officials under fire
Flight 370 families feel trapped
Wife grieves for husband missing on MH370

Lee and his wife, Foong Wai Yueng, shared a happy life together, raising their 10-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son.

They met 20 years ago when she was just 19. He was her first boyfriend. Without her, Lee says he's lost his direction.

An 18-year Malaysia Airlines veteran, she loved to fly around the world.

The destinations were different, he says, but her returns home were always the same.

"Every time she came back, definitely she got something for the kids," he says. "This is what she loved to do."

Quest for answers

Dozens of anguished relatives Sunday demanded that Malaysian authorities provide them with evidence of the fate of their loved ones aboard the missing Boeing 777.

"We want evidence, we want truth and we want our family," they chanted at a news conference outside a Kuala Lumpur hotel.

While many of the passengers' families are staying together in hotels, Lee remains at his home waiting for information about the missing flight.

On Sunday, the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 turned up fresh potential clues as an Australian aircraft spotted four orange objects in the water. But investigators haven't yet confirmed whether the objects were from the airliner, which officials believe went down in the southern Indian Ocean.

Lee said he hears from Malaysia Airlines just once or twice a day, by phone or text message.

He's angry at how the airline has handled the ordeal. Even though his wife was part of the cabin crew, he says he gets more information from the media than the airline. He watches the near-daily press conferences on television.

"The airline management only call us or have some briefing with us, you know, and then they tell us the same thing again as what the press conference told," he complained.

His frustration has led in part to his decision to hire a Chicago-based law firm. They've filed a petition on his behalf, seeking records from Boeing and Malaysia Airlines.

Amid the confusion, Malaysia said it has done its best with what it has.

"History will judge us as a country that has been very responsible," Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysia's acting transportation minister, said.

The waiting for the families has not been easy. Lee wants the truth about what happened to MH370. He wants something to tell his daughter, when she asks what happened to her mother. Most of all he wants his wife to come home.

"Of course I'm still hoping for god's miracles," he says.

Families turn grief into action

CNN's Steve Almasy and Catherine E. Shoichet contributed to this report.

Part of complete coverage on
May 28, 2014 -- Updated 2229 GMT (0629 HKT)
What was believed to be the best hope of finding the missing plane is now being called a false hope.
September 8, 2014 -- Updated 1127 GMT (1927 HKT)
The story began as a puzzling news bulletin. A Malaysia Airlines passenger jet with 239 people on board had vanished from radar screens as it was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
September 5, 2014 -- Updated 1130 GMT (1930 HKT)
The mapping of the main search area for Flight 370 has found parts of the ocean floor that are unusually hard.
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 0800 GMT (1600 HKT)
Brianna Keilar reports on the new developments that will shape the coming renewed search of MH370.
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 0529 GMT (1329 HKT)
Flight MH370 may have turned south earlier than originally thought.
June 25, 2014 -- Updated 0033 GMT (0833 HKT)
Erin Burnett speaks to Miles O'Brien about the latest in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
June 18, 2014 -- Updated 1653 GMT (0053 HKT)
Ten experts say that the search for MH370 should move hundreds of miles away from the previous search area.
June 17, 2014 -- Updated 1322 GMT (2122 HKT)
His wife never came home from her flight on MH370, and now K.S. Narendran is left to imagine the worst of possible truths without knowing.
June 9, 2014 -- Updated 1455 GMT (2255 HKT)
Relatives of passengers are launching an effort to raise $5 million for investigations and a "whistle blower" reward.
June 9, 2014 -- Updated 0731 GMT (1531 HKT)
Making sure another plane is never "lost" again is the immediate priority for the airline industry.
May 30, 2014 -- Updated 1536 GMT (2336 HKT)
This handout photo taken on April 7, 2014 and released on April 9, 2014 by Australian Defence shows Maritime Warfare Officer, Sub Lieutenant Ryan Penrose watching HMAS Success as HMAS Perth approaches for a replenishment at sea while searching for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean. Two fresh signals have been picked up Australian ship Ocean Shield in the search for missing Malaysian flight MH370, raising hopes that wreckage will be found within days even as black box batteries start to expire.
Was the sound of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 striking the water captured by ocean devices used to listen for signs of nuclear blasts?
ADVERTISEMENT