On 8th of March, I woke up to a trending online news relating to Malaysia. My heart sank.
Piers Morgan Live On CNN
A Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight scheduled to fly from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing reported missing during its journey. All over the internet, social media and tv, it became top news. A total of 239 pax inclusive of tech crew, cabin crew & passengers went missing with the aircraft. It's a baffling mystery.
Well, ya, I know... it seems a bit late that I am only blogging about it now since it happened 75 days ago. My Canadian in-laws were here to visit us and esp. to meet our newborn baby when this saddening news came along. I was very affected by it but I had to hold it in as I did not want to pass such negative vibes to my baby and my in-laws holidaying in the UK.
I am affected by it for several reasons. Firstly, I was a cabin crew with MAS and though I do not fly in the uniform anymore, I still do have ex-colleagues that are still with the company. Though none of my batch mates went missing with the plane, the crew on board might have crossed paths with me some time ago. I had a flashback of words by a trainer at the MAS training school, "Never leave home without making peace with your loved ones... you'd never know what happens next". I am sure I am not the only (ex)crew who feels it could have been anyone else going on that plane... it could have been me.
Secondly, it's not just a tragedy happening to any nation but to one I am very much a part of. A tragedy of such scale would usually draw the world's sympathy. But it gets personal when it is your tragedy. Your world comes to a halt. For at least a while. To me it is personal because I do somehow feel emotional whenever something good or bad happens to my birth land.
Lastly, seriously... I did not expect this but a few days into the big search of MH370, a close buddy from my high school told me that the missing aircraft is directly affecting someone we know. My primary cum high school mate, YY, who just got married in December 2013 is devastated that her husband boarded that missing plane. I can only try to imagine how overwhelming it is for her. Well meaning friends on social media were messaging her and trying to console & encourage her. I did nothing to contact her as I do not think it would make her feel any better and I think no one in her position would care much for social networking at that moment.
By day 17 of the search, the Malaysian PM made an official announcement that all lives on the MH370 is deemed lost. I have yet offered any condolences to YY as I do not believe the PM's announcement is valid. It is unfounded. I do not know what to think other than it is a rash conclusion and it is not a proper closure for the families of the 239 missing persons from 14 nations.
During this period, some opportunists took the advantage of the trending news by starting FB pages, publish books (while mystery still unresolved) and create more havoc in the local political scenes - all for their own gain. To my shock, even the entertainment world is making a commotion - Zhang ZiYi suggested people to boycott Malaysia & its products. This led to chinese netizens urging to also boycott innocent Malaysian artistes such as Fish Leong, Gary Chaw, Lee Sinje and Ah Niu.
I think it got really out of hand when these netizens started cursing Fish Leong and her unborn child. The anger has been wrongly channeled. Sigh. Isn't there already enough pain? Drama indeed! I wonder why they did not highlight the bigger Malaysian names like Designer Jimmy Choo, Actress Maggie Q... or even Actress Michelle Yeoh whom Zhang worked with over a couple of international films (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon & Memoir Of Geisha).
While the world slowly pulls away from this tragedy to another (South Korean Ferry, 276 Nigerian Girls and etc), I am still affected by this one.
As of now, I still choose to pray and continue to hope that the 239 people are surviving.