Opinion: Waiting for MH370

Joyce Ng is a senior English major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater.  Contact her at [email protected].

Joyce Ng

Over a week ago, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared. The Boeing 777 vanished en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Mar. 8.

Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak released a press statement on Saturday, Mar. 15 stating that based on new satellite information, the last known movements of the plane as tracked by military primary radar coverage are “consistent with deliberate action by someone else on the plane.” He denies the speculations and media reports that the plane has been hijacked and said, “We are still investigating all possibilities as to what caused MH370 to deviate from its original flight path.”

At the time of writing, it appears officials are nowhere closer to the discovery of the location of the plane than a week ago. The families of the passengers and crew of MH370 have been subject to much agony this week as information about the plane remains scarce and largely speculative.     Throughout the week, there were many false leads to the incident, such as the two passengers who were traveling on stolen passports, the Chinese satellite images of “three suspected floating objects,” and the discovery of the two oil slicks by Vietnamese Air forces, to name a few. None of these lead Malaysia Airlines any closer to uncovering the mystery behind the missing jet.

As a Malaysian, it has been an incredibly difficult week to watch pass by. Kuala Lumpur is my hometown, and my brother used to travel frequently on that same flight to Beijing with Malaysia Airlines. My family could have been one of the families waiting in extreme pain and confusion for news.

The worst part of the incident so far is the lack of certainty; knowing for sure the plane has crashed and the passengers killed would allow families to begin the long mourning process. Yet the only answer they have received so far seems to be, “We don’t know anything for sure.”

At the very beginning of the search and rescue efforts of MH370, I was confident that Malaysia was doing its best and that they were facing a particularly challenging task. As the hours turned into days and now into weeks, I started to feel less confident in the Malaysian authorities.

Many Chinese nationals have expressed their anger and frustration at Malaysia for their lack of communication and contradicting media statements, as two-thirds of the passengers onboard were Chinese.

As we who have no part in the search and rescue efforts watch anxiously, it is important for us to contain our frustration. While I do not usually advocate passivity, I believe that there is nothing most of us can do in this case.

Making our voice heard is important; the Malaysian government has come under worldwide scrutiny due their inefficiencies and lack of transparency. Hopefully, that type of unwanted attention will urge the Malaysian officials to step up their game.

However, in urgent situations such as this where the lives of 239 people and their families are at stake, “keyboard warriors” who express their rage and discontent online need to shut up.

Rumors surrounding the plane already abound; what we need is some peace as we wait. All we can do now is hope and pray for MH370.