Tragedy of MH370 and Impian Sarawak

The tragedy of MH370 has exposed the Malaysian government’s leadership deficit in handling the whole crisis, observes Christopher Chong.

A media conference on the MH740 in progress - Photograph: themalaymailonline.com

A media conference on the MH740 in progress – Photograph: themalaymailonline.com

The tragedy of MH370 has exposed the Malaysian government’s leadership deficit in handling the whole crisis. The authorities were not only slow in providing information to the public but also made contradictory public statements.

All of this added to the anxiety and confusion of the general public and more so to the families of the people aboard that tragic flight. What is worse, aviation experts also criticised the way the Malaysian authorities handled the initial search and rescue operations.

Unsurprisingly, there have been calls to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) or a Parliamentary Select Committee to look into this tragic incident. Although the government has promised to spare no effort in searching for the lost plane the setting up of a RCI or a PSC is made contingent on the recovery of MH370’s black box. Unfortunately, experts have warned that it may take some time yet for the black box to be located (if ever).

It might make more sense to convene a RCI or PSC that limits its task to inquire into the way the authorities responded to this tragic incident. The task of finding out what went wrong in MH370 could be deferred until the discovery of the black box and the plane.

But an inquiry body must be quickly set up to highlight lessons learned in the way the flight MH370 crisis was handled by the authorities to ensure any errors are not repeated.

Away from the tragedy of MH370, Sara Loh recounted her experience of being part of Impian Sarawak, a DAP public funded project, that brings people from Semenanjung to contribute to infrastructure projects in rural Sarawak.

This article gave us, Semanjung urban folks, not only a glimpse of life in rural Sarawak but also a reflection of the unequal development which has prevented rural folks from enjoying the basic amenities which we take for granted.

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In solidarity,

Chris Chong

Co-editor, e-Newsletter 

1 April 2014

Christopher Chong

Christopher Chong, an academic, is co-editor of Aliran’s weekly e-Newsletter.

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