Monday, July 21, 2014


Much has been written about the downing of Malaysia Airlines MH17 on 17 July and the disappearance of MH370 on 8 March. The two incidents occurred barely four months apart and both involved our national airline. A total of 537 innocent lives were lost. The nation is still reeling from shock and disbelief. For the grieving families, no words can fully describe the pain and anguish they must feel to lose their loved ones so suddenly, so tragically. Our deepest condolences go out to them.
I could sense an air of heaviness at KLIA. The departure lounge was quieter than usual. Some MAS flights were cancelled probably due to low passenger load. 

Last Saturday 19 July, as I sat in the departure lounge at KLIA waiting to board my flight to Singapore, my thoughts were on the airline staff. Their morale must surely be at an all-time low after losing 12 of their colleagues when MH370 went missing, and another 15 so soon after when MH17 was shot down in East Ukraine.

As I watched some cabin staff walking past to report for work, I couldn't help wondering what was on the minds of these pilots and the stewardesses. It couldn't have been easy for them to focus on their job knowing that they had lost so many of their dear friends.

As well-trained professionals, the cabin crew has to welcome everyone on board with a warm smile, and see to the comfort and safety of every passenger. Now with the twin disasters of MH17 and MH370 still so fresh in their memory, what lies behind the welcome smiles? Fear? Grief? Numbness?

The grieving families need our support, so do the pilots and cabin staff. So does Malaysia Airlines, our national carrier. It has suffered blow after blow in the past years. Will the recent MH17 disaster be the last nail in the coffin for the ailing airline?

Would Malaysians want to see the demise of our beloved national carrier? Or are we prepared to give our full support to rescue plans to save it?

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