Never could anyone ever imagine that a second disaster would befall the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines (MAS) after MH370. The downing of MH17 close on the heels of the first, barely four months, must surely be a bizarre and an uncanny coincidence in modern avionic history.
While MAS is still reeling from the impact of the first tragedy, the calamity on MH17 is anticipated to permanently impair the confidence of many, for a long time to travel on MAS. That is about the worst and of toughest perception problem to turn-around.
Doubtless, the blame-game and finger-pointing has started. But this time around though, it shall no longer be about partisan parties outwitting the other and upping the ante to discredit political foes. No heroism is required here. Insisting on political posturing would incur the wrath of the nation already in an unending grief.
That said, all Malaysians would want the political leaders, on a bi-partisan basis, to get to the bottom of the problem (i.e. identifying the perpetrators and criminalising their act of terror). The blame-game, if ever it needed pursuing, shall be shifted to the warring power players in a proxy-battle for global domination.
Granted that a special parliamentary session is convened for the MH17, there couldn’t be any better platform to exude total commitment of political leaders, across the divide, to defending our national interest and our citizenry.
Bluntly put, the federal opposition parliamentarians are expected to exhibit solidarity with the federal government and not run them down at the slightest opportunity.
While many, like the Sydney Morning Herald, have been critical of how the Malaysian’s prime minister managed to broker a deal with the pro-Russians separatists, to get possession of bodies and the black box, political leaders must always remain unflinching and focus on solving national tragedy and not be frivolous. If anything the prime minister must be commended for achieving what more powerful nations arguably couldn’t.
Admittedly both MAS and the Malaysian Federal Government came under heavy criticism for their management or more of the lack of finesse, in handling the mysterious disappearance of MH 370. MH17 shall not be a repeat of this mishap.
Similarly Malaysians are also lethargic at the MAS-bashing antics of some of the social media. Doing more of the same wouldn’t help the nation to regain its lost confidence and dignity. Hence, like the partisan players, the social media must be equally more empathic and positive to carry the nation through this very harrowing time.
To this end, let us get one thing addressed right away. Questions were raised about the “irresponsible” MH17’s choice of flying over a hostile territory, after it emerged that some other carriers had avoided the area for months – though many companies were flying in the same area, rerouting only after Thursday’s disaster. Is this accusation true?
Amidst claims and counterclaims on this issue, a quick check reveals the following information.
Online flight-tracking service Flightradar24 observed 66 other airlines had crossed Ukraine’s skies last week, along the same corridor that saw MH17 being downed by a surface-to- air missile.
According to its data, MAS flew there 48 times, fewer than Germany’s Lufthansa which criss-crossed the Crimean air space 56 times, Ukraine International Airline (62 times), Singapore Airlines (75 times) and Russian’s Aeroflot over 86 times.
*This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.