MEDIA STATEMENT released at 7.24am/8 Mar 2014 - MH370 Incident - http://t.co/z8YfOEPljaIt was learned that MH370 from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Beijing (PEK) has "lost contact" shortly after departure with 227 passengers and 12 crew onboard.
— Malaysia Airlines (@MAS) March 8, 2014
As a fellow Malaysian and frequent flyer of Malaysia Airlines, one's heart missed a beat. While preparing for the worst, we repeatedly prayed to God Almighty that it be a minor error, that no souls were lost, that the incident would end safely. Worldwide, #MH370 and #PrayforMH370 were trending on all social media as netizens wake up not expecting a sophisticated Boeing 777 would simply vanish into thin air.
I can only imagine the agony and frustration of family members later that day as irresponsible social media users spread false information about the missing aircraft. Stuck on Al Jazeera English (our hospital router blocks all other news sources, AJE is the one our IT department apparently missed) for the next 20 hours, helplessness developed into fear and anger as numerous questions were raised about appropriate actions - why was the authorities informed so late? Why are there false travel documents? Why was the transponders turned off? Possibly even deliberately? We were haunted with newsflash of agonised family members at both PEK and KUL as journalists rush to the story and endless theories like sharks smelling blood.
The days that followed were as heartbreaking as it was confusing for all. Amidst the shorthanded and inexperienced Malaysian authorities fumbling with the initiation of search and rescue operations, our ASEAN neighbours, Australia, UK, and many more nations joined in the search in what is possibly the worst (and most clueless) air disaster in decades. As days went into weeks, family members of multiple nations began demanding answers from our authorities, which we scarcely have. Chinese families staged protests, pressured diplomats, went on the media, and even started a nationwide boycott fuelled by the void of information about their loved ones on board. Others, such as Maira Nari, daughter of chief steward Andrew Nari channels her loss with great composure and integrity on Twitter.
I know he'll come home safely, cause he has to see my future together with my mom. :'(
— Maira E. (@Gorgxous_) March 8, 2014
Daddy. It's almost 24 hours. When will you be back home? I'll be waiting, all of us are. Goodnight, daddy. :')
— Maira E. (@Gorgxous_) March 8, 2014
Daddy. You're all over the news and papers. Come home fast, so you could read them! Don't you feel excited? :'D pic.twitter.com/Jc4TzMSKym
— Maira E. (@Gorgxous_) March 9, 2014
Goodnight, daddy. See you soon. We'll be waiting. :')
— Maira E. (@Gorgxous_) March 11, 2014
God loves you more, daddy.... God loves them more. :')Across a nation divided over a recent high court sentence and political stance, Malaysians unite in praying for missing MH370 in an unprecedented scale and momentum. People of all color and creed were one in their daily prayers - that the aircraft be found soon and its passengers and crew safe and sound.
— Maira E. (@Gorgxous_) March 24, 2014
Over the weeks we gradually started to accept the fact that the aircraft and all its passengers are "lost", it united aviation photographers from around the world to pay a tribute to something forgotten all the while - the aircraft herself. Unsurprisingly 9M-MRO on her last flight as MH370 had a fruitful 12 years in service, bearing the flag of Malaysia across exotic nations during Malaysia Airlines' better times. I particularly loved a black-and-white 9M-MRO landing in KUL on January 30, 2014 - one of her last landings back home, which the photographer aptly titled "Oscar, you're 'home'."
Wherever you are, we hope you're in a better place, MH370.