MH370 : Still Missing

by Hafsah A

I am reminded back to the flight I took from Lombok (IDN) to KL (MAS). It was turbulent, and we were entering a dead space of air that was left by a plane ahead of us. I am not a seasoned traveller and am afraid of classic stuff like speed and height so naturally I was chilled to the bones, kept a strong grip to my seat and prayed in my heart. Air travel particularly in Asia has improved so much through the years that less than 1 crashes in 2 million flights happened each year. Coming from a country with high fatal road accidents, deaths on the road has become sadly, normal. Very common. I would see accidents in everyday commute to and from work. Still I have a sick stomach everytime I’m boarding a plane.

Today is the 2nd day of search and rescue (SAR) for the missing aircraft MH370 from MAS Airlines, our pioneer aircraft carrier that was formed closely after formation of Malaysia. Historical company, very much forming one of our small country identity at the global front. Being a Malaysian it’s so hard to dissociate yourself from some of the innate ‘Malaysian thing’. As such, some kind of strength is needed to declare this incident as the biggest, most tragic in country’s aviation history if not making it into world charts of deadliest airplane disasters. 239 lives, 14 nationalities on board of the world’s ‘safest passenger aircraft’ Boeing 777. I find it hard, in my search for the truth to compensate the lack of facts that we actually knew about this incident considering the time it was first reported missing ; just 40 mins into departure from KLIA 8th March 2014 @ 1.30am. More than 24 hours after, status still the same ; Missing. Not delayed anymore. Not crashed. Not submerged. Just missing, into the clear night.

Too many conflicting updates especially local vs international sources. Extremely frustrating when seemingly background info on the fateful plane was very hard to milk from authorities. The ‘Malaysian thing’ to do is to provide cushion-effect to every heavy issues that has landed our country. It is very understandable and foreseeable that the authorities’ greatest interest is the families of the passengers. But it is also very natural to concern and feel the need to know, what has fallen to the lives on board on a good weather and without known technical errors? You don’t have to have relatives on that plane to care and feel half the terror from the families of passengers over the whole chronology of event. The sensitivity meter in Malaysia is a very fragile thing. You will get the picture if you gain some time digesting the Malaysian bowl of mixups made from everything – religion, race, politics, cultures, languages etc afraid I missed points there because there are just too many. You can crossed each others’ lines easily whether you’re with intentions or not. So the way authorities are handling the situation – ambidextrous, ambiguous, indirect are what we always get. Malaysians are a soft lot, afraid and very careful in treading the waters of others. I’d like to believe in hopes and hopes and yeah…hopes. At some points in my life I was always at the side, an observer, refusing to bring myself higher than the supposedly ‘allowed’ level of involvement, like the dubious shadow that follows you but never foil your path? I’m not that person to ask for prayers and prayers only. I find it more offending than searching for the truth no matter how hard it may be and counter productive in the event of a catastrophy. The extent of the situation so far is slowly leading us to a place we don’t want to go given the chance – Truth. A flight doomed to end lives, and begins questions, touching the already frail walls we put upon ourselves as fellow countrymen and to the world.

Whilst the people who needs to live on hopes, let live. You may shut your mind but it will come by at last. I, in the other hand is not going to sit through and let my mouth dry of prayers in sadness but to understand. May this understanding gives strength. As long as it is done in a duly manner there should be no obstruction from getting correct information and stop speculations, as the latter arose because of the void left by insufficient/indecisive conveying of insights. These differences make us need each other in this time of need.

I do pray, you know. It don’t need hashtags if I may point out…

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