When I first heard about the news of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, I was like any other person reading the same piece of news – dumbfounded. Everything went through my head. Is this a joke? How can a huge object flying in the sky be missing? What exactly happened?
So I begin to scour the whole of the internet (as I was away from the TV at that time) for information to feed my endless curiosity about such a huge question mark; what more when it happened so close to home.
And I’m sure that most of you went through the same things I did – refreshing Twitter for the #MH370, scrolling down Facebook statuses, reading through one after another articles written by reporters and experts, and watching through minutes and hours of news on TV.
Soon we get engrossed, and we start discussing the things we read online, or “heard from someone who knows someone” without even checking (or caring) about whether or not the piece of news is from a reliable source.
We become excited upon hearing about any and every new information that we dismiss the possibility that it might not be true.
Questions upon questions we ask, but we selfishly leave one for last: what are the family of the victims possibly be going through at this moment?
Frankly speaking, I was taken aback how some people can make comments and accusations that are blindly ignorant and self-centred without even having a tinge of empathy towards people who are actually going through it!
Blaming Malaysia Airlines for poor maintenance of the aircraft, the pilots for not being competent enough, the cabin crew who are not trained properly and not alert at emergencies, the local media for reporting slow, the immigration for being ineffective, the government for filtering information from the people, and the list goes on.
Like whoa, calm down!
Let’s take a step back. Everybody is trying their best to find the missing plane and to make sure that all the passengers are home safe. I’m not saying that nobody or nothing should be responsible for this, but until we get fully-investigated information, we shouldn’t get too jumpy.
So until we know anything for sure about what actually happened to MH370 and the passengers, let’s just be there for those who have their loved ones on the plane. It breaks my heart to see photos and videos of family members, husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, children and friends crying in cluelessness at the airports (KLIA and Beijing) over what had happened.
They must be thinking; what if the plane crashed? Or was it hijacked? Are their loved ones gone? When was the last time they spoke to each other? Are they going to see each other again?
And what about those who were supposed to board the plane but didn’t? I’m sure they are still traumatised just at the thought of the possibility if fate had been different for them.
So let’s put ourselves in their shoes.
While we are peacefully sleeping in our beds, some are lying down on stiff airport chairs waiting for good news on the missing plane. While we laugh with our friends, they are crying at the thought that they might lose their loved ones.
However, let’s look on the bright side just because. For until we get any confirmation on what truly happened to the missing plane, there is still a window of hope. There is still hope that the plane will be found, and that the passengers are all safe.
Let’s take this as a road bump; not just for MAS, the authority and those directly affected by this tragedy, but also for all of us. This is a testing time for not just us Malaysians, but the human kind as a whole. How do we deal with this, and get back on our feet?
So Malaysians, I urge that we unite. In times of crisis such as this, we should get together, put aside our difference and pray – regardless of language, race and religion. Do not speculate, do not spread rumours and negativity, just be there for each other. Look out for one another.
I know it sounds corny, but seriously. After all, at the end of the day, we all want the same thing: for the passengers of MH370 to be back home safely.
The writer offers her prayers and thoughts to the families and friends of the victims, and others who are affected by the tragedy of the missing aircraft, MH370.