Bringing solace to the grieving ― Lim Sue Goan

JULY 20 ― Before we have even got over with the mysterious disappearance of MH370, another of our national airliner was downed in Ukraine, all 298 on board killed.

This was an apparent act of terrorism and the international community must intervene and single out the culprits who have shot down a civilian aircraft and murdered hundreds of innocent civilians.

The separatists in eastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian government and the Russian government have all denied involvement while pointing their fingers at the others. Now we can only look to a UN-brokered multinational team to conduct site investigation and bring the bloody murderers before the International Court of Justice.

298 innocent lives were obliterated just like that, leaving behind their families grieving for the rest of their lives for the undeserved bereavement. Someone must really be brought to justice and answer to the lifelong agonies of the bereaved families.

To Malaysia, the repeated air crashes within the space of only several months are indeed heartbreaking. Although the most recent incident was caused by a missile attack, the image of MAS will invariably suffer another round of hard beating, as travellers are concerned about flying with MAS again, severely defeating the government’s effort to try to woo back visitors.

Instead of crying over spilled milk, perhaps what we can do is to improve on our crisis management as we strive to rebuild our national image in the eyes of foreigners.

The authorities and MAS have accumulated enough experiences while handling the MH370 crisis, and should therefore avoid repeating the old mistakes.

Firstly, our political leaders should demonstrate their leadership to organise and coordinate all the relevant agencies while establishing a coordination centre so that the dilemma of confusion and misinformation will not be repeated.

Secondly, the prime minister should appoint a specific minister or envoy to deal with foreign governments and organisations, urging the international community to take prompt actions to probe this tragic incident.

Meanwhile, MAS should also have the supportive mechanism for passengers’ next-of-kin in place so that the backlash from MH370 passengers’ families will not occur again.

The downing of MH17 by a hostile missile is indeed a major international disaster that has once again put Malaysia in the global limelight. The entire world is once again watching how the country is handling this disaster. As a result, it should be an opportunity for us to make amends from our disastrous handling of MH370. The damage done will be multiplied if we do not perform again, and the prime minister should therefore mobilise whatever resources available to tackle this crisis.

A country facing a major disaster like this indeed requires the full support of all Malaysians.

Malaysians irrespective of race and political affiliation should grieve and pray for those who have perished.

Web users must stop spreading unverified information as this will only cause more confusion among the people.

As a matter of fact, this tragic incident has put MAS in harsher predicament. The government cannot afford to defer further the restructuring of the national airline, and must bring the airline out of the current doldrums as soon as possible with the help of professionals.

Without deep and determined reforms, Khazanah would have to continue pump in more funds to keep MAS afloat, and this will eventually have its toll on the national coffers.

We cannot afford to allow more irregularities at a time when the country’s international image is on the slide, particularly in relation to national security, lest foreigners will feel threatened while vacationing in this country.

The intrusion of militants from southern Philippines into the east coast of Sabah must be stopped immediately. The killing and abduction of our cops is a crying shame and there is no way the government should allow these terrorists to get away with their heinous acts.

The missile attack on MH17 should open our eyes to the fact that geopolitical disorders are not that far away from us after all. There is no way for us to steer free from such dangers, such as the militants from southern Philippines and southern Thailand.

We must ready ourselves for any unforeseen circumstances. While we are not able to foretell a disaster, we can choose to handle it the right way and bring solace to the grieving. ―

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malay Mail Online

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