Saturday, 29 March 2014

Late Night Thoughts: Fuelling Anger

It has been 21 days since MH370, the Malaysian Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing had been lost. Undoubtedly, the world has its eyes set on Malaysia in the entire search and rescue mission to find the missing flight. For many days, the mission was focused on the South China Sea off Vietnam, then, the search area expanded to the Straits of Malacca and Andaman Sea and finally the search area expanded to a massively huge Northern and Southern corridor. The unfruitful search thus far had taken toll on the families of those on board who are clinging on every hope possibly left and everyone is praying for the safe return of the 239 lives on board.

“the aviation authorities of Malaysia and their international counterparts 
have determined that the plane’s last communication with the satellite was
in one of two possible corridors: a northern corridor stretching approximately
from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand, or
a southern corridor stretching approximately from Indonesia to the
southern Indian ocean.”
– Dato’ Seri Najib Razak, 15 March 2014

“flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean”
– Dato Seri Najib Razak, 24 March 2014

After the announcement that MH370 had ended in the Southern Indian Ocean, families especially those in Beijing were enraged and accusations of hidden truth behind the missing flight were made against every single Malaysian authority. Embroiled with emotions and losing their loved ones, it is understandable for the families to be angry, upset and in despair for the truth. Without the wreckage of the flight and bodies, the verdict that the plane had crashed into the ocean and beyond reasonable doubt there are survivors is a truth too difficult too swallow for many.

Such update was not anything anyone would have hoped for and the world grieves along with the families who had lost their loved ones on the flight. It is one thing to be empathetic for the families over the loss of their loved ones; but another to fuel anger towards Malaysia and Malaysians. Chinese celebrities like Zhang Ziyi, Chen Kun and many others had called for a boycott of Malaysia; a boycott of our goods and visiting the country. Others had lashed out against Malaysian figures in China with some even cursing innocent lives like cursing Fish Leong and her unborn child. To have well known figure fuelling anger, I find it utterly despicable.

Theories after theories of conspiracy surrounded the issue of the missing flight. It is unavoidable that many would turn to believe such theories in the desperation for the truth. Those in anger had called for the Malaysian government to show evidence; to tell the truth; to stop hiding facts from them. To begin, what evidence that the truth had been deliberately hidden from them does those demanding for the truth have? In times of emotional turmoil, it is fair for the next of kin to be irrational, in denial of losing their families in this tragedy. But, does this mean Malaysia as a whole should suffer a boycott from China in an unprecedented tragedy that had caused Malaysians to lose their loved ones as well? Should these celebrities even be fuelling anger against Malaysians?

As a Malaysian, I find it unfair for these public figures to be passing off such remarks against Malaysia and the mass public to be critical of Malaysians abroad. Surely, we do not have the best and the most efficient government, a fact many Malaysians would agree. For years, our country have been tainted with high levels of corruption and oppression in the eyes of the world. It is difficult to say that the entire mission to recover the plan had been well executed with facts and data changing within days and search area moving from one to another. Yet, I believe with the international level of cooperation, other countries would not have continuous throw their support behind our backs if all these missions were just a cloak to hide the truth. With data being provided from IMMARSAT and AAIB, could it still be possible for the Malaysian government to tamper with them and hide the truth? Facts and figures provided not by Malaysia but countries of the West, those that the world had looked up to for the advancement of technology.

The lost of MH370 had for once in a very long time put the works of our government in international scrutiny. We might not have done things the best that could have been but effort had been poured into find the missing jetliner. For there to be calls that the Malaysian government were murderers; that the quest for truth was not respected; that Malaysians should be ashamed to be in China, it is totally uncalled for. If the government had murdered the 153 Chinese on board, then it has also killed the 50 Malaysians and many others on board. If 153 Chinese families had been through grief, so did the 50 Malaysian families and other families. If Chinese are in despair over the tragedy, Malaysia is in even greater despair with the government in international scrutiny, a deficit national airline facing yet another huge blow to its expenses with the tragedy.
For years, the diplomatic ties between China and Malaysia had been strongly established and the economic cooperation had been extensive as well. Our ties had not only been one that is diplomatic, it is also in the kinship which runs in the blood of many Malaysians. Finally, to equate the government as equivalent to its people, yet another foolish view towards Malaysians. A democratic country is ruled by the choice of the majority but that is not equivalent that the government represents all.

Sadly, to call for an public embargo on Malaysia, that is something I could never find justifiable. Perhaps to flow with the sentiment of your countrymen who are in rage is the way to boost their celebrity status. But, on a personal note, I could never see them with respect like before.

Just my two cents.

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