Kuala Lumpur -
Malaysian newspapers ran striking black front pages on Tuesday in tribute to the victims of Flight MH370, which crashed in the southern Indian Ocean with 239 people aboard, according to Malaysian officials.
Malaysia's biggest English-language daily, The Star, ran a stark wrap-around cover emblazoned with the words “MH370 R.I.P.” The names of the victims, rendered in small print, made up the letters of the headline.
The New Straits Times' darkened front page showed an aircraft above the words “Goodnight, MH370” - a reference to the last message from the cockpit -”Alright, good night” - before the Malaysia Airlines jet lost contact on March 8.
Malay- and Chinese-language papers also ran front pages with black backgrounds, while The Sun, an English-language daily, changed its masthead to black.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced on Monday that latest analysis of satellite data showed that the flight, which went missing en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, had ended in the southern Indian Ocean.
Bad weather hampered the search for debris off the coast of Australia on Tuesday, and it remains a mystery why the plane diverted from its original route.
The Star said in an editorial that the relatives' “long wait for some form of closure has finally arrived”.
But it called for unsparing efforts to establish the reasons for the crash.
On social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, many Malaysians turned their profile backgrounds black or displayed a plane icon in tribute to the victims.
Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein used his Twitter page to call for all citizens of the multi-ethnic country to pray for the victims and their families.
“Our search for #MH370 continues,” he said.
Veteran opposition politician Lim Kit Siang wrote on his Twitter page: “Saddest 4 families relatives friends of 239 on board MH370 - that they have perished in South Indian Ocean. Not just them but a crying world.” - Sapa-AFP