Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

6 Apr, 2014

MH370: Malaysians United In Warding Off Unkind Remarks

By S. Kisho Kumari and Nur Aimidiyana Zuher

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -6 April 2014 – The Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370 episode has put to test the patience of Malaysians and the country’s administration.

No thanks to the irresponsible reporting of some media on how the Malaysian government handled the crisis and the unkind remarks from the next of kin of the Chinese nationals who were the bulk of the passengers on the plane.

Many of the international report on the incident at best blamed Malaysia for the disappearance of MH370, including the US-based media Fox News Channel that linked Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah and co-pilot Fariq Ab Hamid with terrorism, sabotage and hijacking.

While Malaysia has been doing its best to recover the aircraft and find out what had happened on the ill-fated flight, CNN National Security Analyst, Peter Bergen prematurely concluded MH370 went missing due to terrorism or pilot suicide attempt.


While the frustration and the anger of the next of kin is understandable, but the extremities that they went to in venting them out is shocking.

About 200 family members were heard yelling in front of the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing; “We want the truth!” and “The Malaysians are murderers!”

They were also seen crying and shouting “the Malaysian government is an assassin” and “we want our family back”.

Many blamed the lost of the jetliner on the Malaysian authorities without any justification.

Both the international media and the next of kin also claimed that there was a cover-up by the Malaysian authorities on the missing Malaysian plane.

It appeared that Malaysians and their leadership were pushed to a corner, though they were equally disturbed with the loss of the plane with 239 people onboard and they too wanted to know the fate of the aircraft and its occupants.

Thus Malaysians retaliated by protesting over the acrimonious remarks and illogical demands through social media.

Blogger, Ibnu Khusairy in his recent post expressed his anger towards foreign news organisations that claimed Malaysia was trying to cover-up MH370’s disappearance.

He pointed out that those media organisations’ reporting were not an official statement.

Ibnu Khusair also referred to the stinging remark that ‘Malaysians are murderers’, stating that the Chinese have to bear in mind that Malaysians too were onboard and like everyone else they too were waiting with a hope.


Elaborating further on the reaction from the Chinese side, Prof Datuk Mohamad Abu Bakar, lecturer at the International and Strategic Studies Department at Universiti Malaya said saying Malaysians were murderers is illogical.

“When did we kill passengers flying using our national airlines?'” he asked.

He also pointed out that while the government has been doing its best to pacify all parties involved, it is certainly not an easy task.

“I understand that we have to do our very best to meet all the demands including satisfying China but in this case, I think we have to analyse each and every angle in detail based on the situation and circumstances,” he said.


A blog known as Just Read also questioned on why Malaysia should apologise for the missing MH370 as asked by some next of kin.

“NO! We will not apologise. The missing Flight MH370 was not our doing. It was beyond our comprehension and its an unprecedented aviation incident.

“Why must we apologise to the relatives of the Chinese passengers? We did not kill them, we are not murderers,” said the blog.

The blog noted that the Malaysian authorities have treated the Chinese nationals well, and had shared their sorrow and sadness over the incident, but blaming Malaysia which also had its citizens onboard MH370 is too much.


Meanwhile, marketing coordinator Najwa Azhar, 27, expressed her disappointment that malicious press reports and speculations has affected the Malaysian emotion.

It is not proper to accuse the Malaysian government without any proof, she added.

“Malaysians will continue to support their country. Labeling Malaysia as killer is outrageous,” she said when asked to comment on several foreign media reports on the aircraft which went missing on March 8.

Meanwhile, Prashanth Subra, 28, in his Facebook status told CNN that Malaysia is not a terrorist country. In fact, we (Malaysia) are 100 times more peaceful than other countries.

To register Malaysian’s disappointment, four non-governmental organisations handed in a protest memorandum on two American news agencies which allegedly provided inaccurate coverage and a bad image of Malaysia in connection with the MH370 tragedy.

The four NGOs – Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association (PPIM), Malaysian Media Foundation (MMF), International Muslim Consumers Association (IMCA) and Batas Malaysia (Bersekutu) – presented the memorandum to a representative of the American embassy here, Thursday.

The Boeing 777-200ER jetliner carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members, left the KL International Airport at 12.41am on March 8 and disappeared from radar screens about an hour later. It was to have landed in Beijing at 6.30am on the same day.

Seventeen days after its disappearance, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on March 24, announced MH370 had “ended in the southern Indian Ocean” based on an unprecedented type of analysis of satellite data by the United Kingdom satellite telecommunications company Inmarsat and the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch.

A multinational search is going on in the southern Indian Ocean where the aircraft, which had veered off course, is believed to have gone down.