Aviation-wise, 2014 has been a terrible year for Malaysia - in 1992 a foreign queen in a distant land once termed such a horrendous period as annus horribilis (horrible year).
Malaysia suffered two major and catastrophic aviation disasters, first with Flight MH370 and now with Flight MH017. Coincidentally, both flights had used the Boeing 777-200ER.
In the second and current case, MH017, it has unfortunately elicited quite unfair criticism from angry relatives of the first disaster. As reported by The Malay Mail Online, they said rather preposterously that the downing of a Malaysia Airlines jet in Ukraine was no mere coincidence, adding today that it lends weight to their harsh criticism of the carrier.
One commented that “it was only a matter of time that a new tragedy hit the struggling flag carrier because when symptoms of a disease are ignored, the disease festers”.
While I can understand and even accept such severe criticisms and condemnations from angry relatives, especially about the poor post-accident management of the MH370 disaster, I find the current allegations about the tragedy of MH017 rather nonsensical and unfair.
MH017 did not disappear into thin air but was shot down by an anti-aircraft missile over Ukraine. I suppose we could say, without disrespect to the victims' families, it was unfortunately in the wrong place at the wrong time when it could have been an aircraft of another airline.
The route had been cleared by ICAO and flown by numerous airlines, such as Lufthansa, Thai Airways, SIA and Air India.
Malaysiakini reported that according to the flight tracking website Flightradar24, a Singapore Airlines and an Air India flight were about 25 km away from MH17 when contact with the Boeing 777 was lost – all in Ukrainian airspace east of Donetsk.
Thus, a la but-by-the-grace-of-god-there-goes-me, the aircraft downed by the missile could have been a SIA or Air India flight, but alas, karma being a bitch decided that MH017 was to be the ill fated choice.
Thus the nonsensical attempt to associate the MH017 tragedy with the MH370 disaster is ridiculous, unfair and emotionally non-objective.
But the far more troubling thing is domestic political exploitation of a national disaster. In the MH370 case, we saw how Pakatan turned the tragedy against Najib, at a time when Malaysians should be closing rank.
For someone to accuse Najib, during a foreign press interview, of a 'cover up' regarding the abysmal lack of information about the missing aircraft when the PM was obviously and actually f* clueless about MH370's whereabouts, was opportunistic politicizing of the worst kind.
Then dirty linen was not only washed in public which I opine impaired on the already questionable status of our national security, ...
... but also fairy tales grew out of poisonous seeds not unlike Jack's Beanstalk, entertainingly beguiling us with Malaysia's super-duper ATC radar which, perhaps possessing capabilities akin to or far more than Australia's Jindalee over-the-horizon-radar, could look far into the Southern Indian Ocean and see the Lost City of Atlantis (and where I suppose MH370 had landed), and of non-existent 3-minutes air defence standby which were not launched.
But this time I am comforted by the statesmanship of DAP Lim Kit Siang in supporting Najib in a bipartisan stand on MH017, a rightful posture in times of national disasters and national needs. This is the civilised 1st World standard of bipartisan politics I want to see during times of national exigencies. We can resume combative partisan politics on less nationally tragic issues.
But alas, I forgot it was not the month of February when Valentine's Day would have kept PAS Youth pretty occupied, so a PAS Youth with spare time on its hands thought it could swing this disaster into some form of political gain, yes, by condemning MAS for flying a route which ICAO had approved and European ATC had cleared, and which of course with the advantage of hindsight was 'so cleverly' deemed to be of high risk, ...
... not unlike kaytee telling you now to pun on 3023 on last Sunday's Magnum 4-D draw.
Ain't it always easy to be wiser after the event, even for the ignorant!
But let's remind ourselves that MH017 has been a horrible national tragedy and we should all grouped together, at least to deal with the feelings of the victims' families and the very difficult aftermath of this Malaysian catastrophe.