Dear world, MH 370 is a tragedy, not a definition of my country.

I have been forced to write this to defend my country and its people. Much has been said regarding my people’s lack of empathy in this incident. No country should claim monopoly on grief. We have all suffered and are still enduring.

To accuse my country of ‘lacking transparency’ and ‘withholding truth’ in handling this tragedy is interesting in many ways. More so when the accusation comes from a nation with abysmal human rights record and a highly secretive government. Would you share your military records and expertise if a plane from your nation bound to my country went missing with the exact mix of passengers? Are we entitled to label you ’slow’ and siege your nation with unethical scathing remarks and make public demonstrations in front of your embassy when your own fleet of ships and airplanes are unable to unravel even a string of truth? Do the terms ’murderer’ and ’liar’ sound palatable when your highly advanced satellites produce images of the debris in South China Sea, which are later acknowledged to be false by your own government? This clearly shows there are limits to even your own technology. As such, if you live in a glass house, please learn not to cast stones.

The possibility of the plane being hijacked brought forward a surge of response. One of which was to associate the hijackers to religious extremists. There is no such thing as religious extremism in my opinion. Extremism is a character flaw, not a flaw in the teachings of a religion. Confused people become extremist. I believe there is not a single page, in any holy book, of any religion in this world that promotes killing and slaughtering of its fellow-men. Men are evil. They are flawed. Don’t blame religion.

Were the World Wars started by the very religion you have taken to task for every attack around the globe? Did they kill millions in concentration camps? It’s fascinating when others commit the same sins or worse, they are labelled as ’crime against humanity’ but the term ’religious extremism’ is kept only for a select group of people.

There are those who have expressed their concern regarding the lack of decisiveness on our part. I apologize on behalf of my country for not moving fast enough because I believe we want all our facts in place before making a decision. It’s similar to invading a nation suspected of holding nuclear weapons only to find nothing there, if you get my drift.

Malaysians who have jumped on the bandwagon to criticize the handling of this issue, I find you shameless and disrespectful. Suddenly, everyone’s an expert. Even those who have never flown on a plane or thought ‘Boeing’ was a foreign language prior to this incident. This is the time for us to stand united regardless of our political differences. Don’t use this tragedy to gain political mileage. Have better vision and maturity than that. As Winston Churchill once said, “When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.”

I believe the Malaysian government along with the relevant authorities are doing everything within the confines of their power to bring closure to this tragedy. Please don’t make it impossible for them to do their job. We appreciate the help and support we have received from our friends in finding MH 370. As a national daily aptly said ’Countries whom we call friends must now do more to prove their friendship’.

I urge our nation to stand tall, unyielding and resilient. Show up for your nation as it needs you now. This is not a time for petty bickering. Put aside your differences and lend a hand. Or at least your voice.

I leave with a quote by Dalai Lama, “ “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”

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39 responses to “Dear world, MH 370 is a tragedy, not a definition of my country.

  1. I salute your kindness and generosity coming from your heart. The SAR Team need this kind of support to progress further. Out of sheer jealousy, our NATION and the working group are under constant barrage of unnecessary attacks (internal and external). As ‘their’ housekeeping is not in order and being a grateful citizen, let us be united for the country to end this unfortunate episode in an amicable and respectful manner.

    Pray for MH370.

    Bless You Dr. Gratefulness

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    • I am a Malaysian and I love my country. Like you I would defend my country if it is being criticized or ridiculed or invaded. But in this tragic event, we should unite and give a ‘wacking’ to all those concerned. Had our defence people reacted positively when an unidentified object entered our air space on Day One, the whole episode would not have turned out to be such a big mess . So much of precious time was wasted.
      It is not fair to blame China for their citizens’ behaviour . What if those in MH370 were majority Americans or British or Russian? It all boils down to human feelings. How you endure your suffering for Malaysia is NOTHING compared to those whose loved ones were in MH370. They need to be treated with respect, with tender care and with human compassion – not to be holed up in hotel rooms and having bits and pieces of information thrown to them and then found out to be misquoted /junk/lies!
      Malaysia needs competent leaders who can think standing up, who can look into the TV cameras to tell the truth and not to read out prepared texts with bowed heads.
      “Truth is hidden in untruth, permanence is hidden in impermanence” Achaan Chah

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      • Totally agree. If RMAF hadn’t been sleeping when the plane flew over their heads, we wouldn’t be picking up the pieces now. Hishamuddin should resign as the Defence Minister for having caused 239 deaths needlessly!!!

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  2. Thank you so much! I couldn’t agree more with you.

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  3. I am one of the Malaysians who are angry with our Government for the shabby and shambolic way in which this issue was handled. No one stood up for the much maligned pilot and crew. In fact they made it worse, I believe there is more to it than meets the eye. To knock us and make derogatory remarks about us is offensive and obnoxious. Just as you have the right to praise the authorities, we have every right to question them. Does not make you a good Malaysian or me a bad one, No one I know is criticising about the SAR, We are talking about how the tragedy was being handled. The deer in the headlights of the acting Transport Minister. The arrogance of the Inspector-General of Police. The non-involvement of the Prime Minister. He should have been there in the forefront. Look at the way Abbott dealt with the issue. I don’t know what factors you based your perceptions on, but every single person I know who were questioning this tragedy did not question the SAR missions or even ask why there were no substantial results BUT the way information or rather misinformation was given, the pathetic crisis management. Yet so many of armchair critics and keyboard warriors (yes, the terms apply both ways) do not have the mental finesse to distinguish the two different issues. And I am fed up that people jump on these criticisms as gospel truth.

    Having said that, I agree with you fully the nonsensical hysterical unjustifiable reactions from our so-called big trading partner. You are perfectly correct, Hypocrites.

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    • I agree that contradicting statements from the Malaysian authorities during the initial period of search wasted precious search time and bruised our reputation worldwide. But this event is unprecedented. The information obtained from the military radar was conveyed the moment it was verified as we have been told. One can go on speculating infinite possibilities. Could there be a small chance that information was withheld or protected in view of national security. That requires a slightly higher mental finesse and discerning analysis.

      I have a bone to pick with politicians who say they can do a better job if they are in power. That I believe is a crass statement. And the disgraceful accusations towards the political affiliation of the pilot. Utterly shameless. Just for the record, I have no particular political affiliation.

      We have probably been listening and reading different things then. Unless I am much mistaken most of the attacks from our affluent neighbors are regarding the SAR missions handled and coordinated by our country and regarding the lack of information relayed to them. Information cannot be created out of thin air. That would be a lie. We can only state the facts once we have it. That only requires common sense and not nearly as high a mental finesse as you would think.

      All I’m saying is regardless of our differences be it political or otherwise, keep it aside for the time being. I have a friend on that flight, Sofuan Ibrahim and I am hoping for his return. I honestly believe that the authorities handling this tragedy have cleaned up their act and are doing their best. This incident is unprecedented and as such it is not fair to compare or assume how other countries might have handled it. They have made mistakes. We know. No need to harp on it to score political points.

      A basic principle I grew up believing in is not to air your dirty laundry in public, especially when we are being ‘attacked’ by other nations. Let’s just focus on getting mh370 back or at least a closure for the country.

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  4. These are words spoken by a very wise man. I salute you kind sir.

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  5. Very well written, and right on every point mentioned. I share the exact sentiments. I am sharing this on my fb wall for others to read n share.

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  6. Well, said and I couldn’t agree more. Hope someone can translate that and post it to weibo. There is no Facebook in China.

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  7. I totally agree with you. It is a very difficult issue to handle. Malaysians should stand united and be supportive of the authorities.

    I agree with your points.

    1. Do not make things more difficult for Malaysia by becoming the country’s ‘enemies’. Regardless of our differences be it political or otherwise , we should keep it aside for the time being. It is always easy to criticize but if you get into their shoes, can you guarantee of making better and correct actions?

    2. As I see it the authorities are doing their best. We should give our support to our country as this incident is unprecedented. We must not compare this to the other countries. This is a much more difficult task compared to the previous air accidents and tragedies. Even the Air France incident took 2 years to solve.

    3. Even though mistakes were made, do not become opportunists, It is so disrespectful and unethical for some Malaysians to use them to score political points and to attack the government.

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  8. Thank you for the very good article..i’ve totally enjoyed your idea and opinion..

    MAS is a corporate company where all its passenger (and relatives) must know the consequences of when you go on journey..accident may happen anytime anywhere (similar risk when you travel by any other airline companies)..as far as i know the airline companies insured their business so that all of the players are covered if anything happen..therefore in my opinion what has happened to MH370 is an accident (due to something which we are still not understand)..

    Malaysia should not be blamed (neither other countries) when this accident happened..the country only shows its responsibiltiy (together with other countries also ) since we also have our own people inside there..

    what have made me confused is why these relatives try their effort to blame malaysia since they know more than a dozen countries try their best to help to search and to rescue in time where we could define this as airline disaster…when we talk about disaster we know that this is something that happen so suddenly

    in my opinion the chinese should stop blame the malaysian goverment as this article has spoken -IT IS A TRAGEDY AND NOT A DEFINITION OF MY COUNTRY..well said bro and thank you

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  9. Lillian Fisher

    Brilliant article…sums up my feelings!

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  10. Thank you for your insight. Respect.
    Unfortunately, M’sia also have people who are bent on criticising the govt on anything for the sake of criticising. At least we know now, who are the traitors or rather who will be the traitors who will sell the country when there’s war.

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    • I don’t think it’s anyone’s intention to sell the country during a war rather than scoring cheap political points. Let’s remain level headed and stop bickering with each other. Inherently, I believe most of us want the same thing. A peaceful nation treated with dignity. Let’s pray for MH 370.

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  11. Well said, Mr Karthikesan. For those who said our front people ‘bungled’, even Tony Abbott was brought to task by his people for announcing the news ‘early’! Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. There were some people in the initial days who shoudn’t have been on TV, but after the 1st few days, I am happy Hishamuddin stepped up. The PM does not need to be the spokesperson actually, should have been the DG of DCA. Whatever, at the end of the day, we Malaysians should protect and support our people, our govt, our crew, our airline, our reputation. It is a big tragedy for all concerned, especially the families, but grief does not justify hysterical uncivilised behavior, and for it to be condoned by the govt and leaders of that country…doesn’t speak very well of their statemanship and leadership, does it?

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  12. A thought just crossed my mind. During my corporate days there used to be paid trouble makers during AGMs and EGMs. Those few sinisterly unreasonable grieving ‘relatives’ – did anybody check their documents to prove relation?

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  13. well versed!!!

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  14. I would like to share this on the Friends of Captain Zaharie MH370 Facebook page. I would like the world to read it. Well written!
    Thanks
    https://www.facebook.com/friendsofcaptainzahariemh370

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  15. Congrats Doc for well written thoughts in defence of our country. One thing crossed my mind ie nobody is taking Boeing to task on the aeroplane touted to be the safest!

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  16. The Australian Defence Minister has said in an interview about a week ago that this is such a difficult matter to handle that under the circumstances Malaysia has done as well as any developed nation. Yesterday the Minister of Law in Singapore made a similar comment. These people know what they are talking about.
    andal

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  17. Kortisam Ramaya

    Oh DK, the excuses are so lame. I have no doubts whatsoever that the Malaysians did their best !. There lies the problem. They are simply incapable and their best is at best mediocre anywhere else except in a third world country. For all it’s “Malaysia Boleh” mantra, when it comes to the crunch it spells Malaysia “ta boleh”. Any democracy ruled by ONE party for 57 years must languish in corruption, arrogance and unbridled misuse of power. I was born and bred there and although I still desperately miss the food, the fruits and the old friends left behind, I am glad to be out of there. It is so sad that it took such a tragedy to throw the spotlight on Malaysia from a world perspective

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  18. I salute u sir… really hope that this will make us unite.. thanks for this write up.

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  19. Dear Kortisam Ramaya

    I am glad that you are out of here and please stay out…

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  20. Awesome!! A true patriotic citizen !! I salute you Doctor !!

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  21. Dear Doc. Well said & very enlightening. I totally share the same thoughts. Bless You. When the point finger points, the thumbs also points. The Disney cartoon on “Bambi” also has a learning point for us on one of the character from the rabbit family named “Dumper” where his mom reminded him & said “Dumper, what did your father said?” So Dumper meekly replied ” if you have nothing nice to say… say noting at all.” Well at least mom rabbit practise what she preaches.

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  22. I’m amazed, I have to admit. Seldom do I come across a blog that’s both equally
    educative and engaging, and without a doubt, you hhave hit the nail on the head.
    The issue iis an issue that not enough men and women are speaking intelligently about.
    Now i’m very happy I stumbled across this during
    my search for somethiing regarding this.

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  23. Totally impressed with this blog post of yours.. i’ll share it on my fb. Thanks a lot..:) this is what malaysian needed

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  24. I salute you, fellow countryman, for defending our beloved country. No words are enough to describe my agreement and gratitude.

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  25. Dear doc,
    A well-written piece.thank you..I am officially your fan will be visiting your blog often after this:)
    May God bless you snd your family..
    P.s Sofuan Ibrahim’s sister, Mariza Ibrahim is my secondary school friend ..we were in the same class during form 1 and form 6..all of my school friends are really sad for the family..and have not stopped praying for the erll-being and safe return of all on board MH370. .

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  26. Permission to share on FB. Excellent write up and follow up comments. Thank you.

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  27. well said sir.. well said… :’-)

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  28. Thank you all for your kind comments. God bless 🙂

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  29. I could not resist commenting. Well written!

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  30. Only the creators/perpetrators know the real truth as to what befell MH 370 and its passengers. Everyone else, intentionally or unintentionally, involved in the attempt to have this mystery solved has become a victim or is being victimised. The media is largely responsible for the ensuing suffering and never ending conspiracy theories.

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