Monday, March 31, 2014

MH370: A Tragicomedy

As a Malaysian, I would have liked my country to be looked upon positively by the world at large. Instead, thanks to a bumbling government, we have turned the MH370 tragedy into a tragicomedy. The world now knows Malaysia but it is for all the wrong reasons. 

Anyway, kin of the Chinese nationals on board MH370 are persisting with their protests against the Malaysian authorities. I don’t blame them because they have been given the run around from Day One. And their anger was further fueled by Prime Minister Najib Razak’s March 24, 2014 announcement that MH370 had ended in the southern Indian Ocean. Supposedly based on some mathematical calculations.

The statement itself was intentionally ambiguous. What did “ended” really mean? That there were no survivors? We know (almost) everybody took it to mean so and as a result, we saw a gushing deluge of condolences. I am saying that he too wasn't sure and that was why he picked the word that suggested something definite but at the same time, it wasn't. I did not believe him and as far as I am concerned, he was lying.

Malaysia Airlines is an accomplice to this lie. Didn't the company send out a text message stating the same thing except that the language was clear and precise, i.e. “...we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those on board survived”? 

Now the British satellite telecom company Inmarsat has distanced itself from Najib’s conclusion. Inmarsat spokesperson Jonathan Sinnatt clarified that his company only played a contributing role in the MH370 investigation, despite the Malaysian government's announcement that a final decision was drawn from Inmarsat data. He added that the Malaysian government may have drawn its own postulation based not just on Inmarsat data but also on other information – “which we wouldn't know about”. 

I had used the phrase “indecent haste” to describe Malaysia’s speedy decision to want to move on. And the public at large who have been hoping and praying and even clinging on to the belief that miracles can happen seemed to have gotten tired of it all! 

Mind you, Najib had good reason to do what he did. The more the world is focused on MH370, the more the world will know that his government is incompetent and inept. 

Yesterday, MAS group chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya made the lie even bigger when he announced that family members of passengers aboard MH370 will only be flown to Perth by Malaysia Airlines once it has been confirmed the aircraft did indeed crash there (meaning, the southern Indian Ocean). Won’t you get furious and upset with this flip flopping? 

And moreover, Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein disclosed on Sunday that he was not giving up hope of finding some of the 239 passengers and crew alive – meaning, the "conclusive evidence" wasn't conclusive enough and so he changed his story. In doing so, he is disputing his prime minister’s verdict! The end hasn't really ended!

I say, the Prime Minister must take the rap. Instead of being open and honest about MH370, he chose to lie to us. 

But it's our fault too for being gullible. We should have seen it coming. After all, it is not as if it was Najib's first time at lying. He lied about Altantuya. He lied about the Scorpene subs. He lied about the “Allah” 10-point plan. I am seeing a pattern of pathological lying here. I suppose he has learned well enough to be a survivor. Like the cockroach.

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