With thanks to FMT
Search is on for govt competence too
It has been a traumatic month for Malaysians.
On March 23, the by-election that we did not have to have took place in Kajang bringing to an end to yet another of PKR’s much touted ‘big leap’ forward that started with a bang but ended with a whimper.
PKR won with a reduced majority. In hindsight, was the Kajang Move a loss or a gain for PKR?
The jury is still out on that, and only time will tell but suffice to say that for now the old adage that men proposes and God disposes remains true for PKR.
As it is PKR will have to deal with its aftermath – a reduce majority, Anwar’s conviction and there is still the ‘Khalid as MB’ issue.
All I can say to PKR is this: As you make your bed so must you lie in it…
While Kajang is only a distraction, MH370 is not. The tragedy of MH370 is threefold.
The first and most heartfelt is the loss of lives of all those on board that MAS flight.
Next is the excruciating wait by families, relatives and friends for closure.
The third tragedy is the one that is most public and being played out on the world stage – questions are being asked globally as to the competency of this BN government to manage the search for MH370 and the unfolding drama of families desperate for news of their love ones on the missing plane.
In my living memory I have not seen Malaysia and this BN government caught in a perfect storm not of their own making where 26 different nations are directly involved in the search mission.
The rest of the world is now into the third week of having no news bulletin broadcast without some mention of Malaysia and flight MH370.
This failure of the BN government is not because it has not done enough to find out what has happened to flight MH370 after it went missing. Nor has this BN government failed to empathise and sympathise with the families and loved ones of the passengers and crew.
This BN government is doing its very best. The tragedy is that its very best is not, in the eyes of many, simply good enough.
The government under Najib Tun Razak is managing the hunt for MH370 in the same manner that it does governance – incompetently bordering on farce.
Inept, incompetent, clueless
While what they do domestically can be contained within the borders of our nation, this is not so with the search for MH370 with the whole world watching and a media contingent tasked with foraging for whatever they can find to feed the 24/7 news cycle.
For starters there has been a cacophony of ‘facts’ delivered by the Inspector-General of Police, the RMAF chief, the Civil Aviation DG, the CEO of MAS, the Acting Transport Minister and the Prime Minister himself – all eagerly wanting to give credence to what Andy Warhol opined that “In the future everybody will be world famous for 15 minutes.”.
There have been conflicting accounts on the last known position of MH370 before it went missing – about MH370 turning back, about an air turn back, about a possible hijack, about transponder being turned off deliberately.
Then there was the inconsistency of passengers getting on board or not getting on board flight MH370.
There was then the callous manner by which the police dealt with the Chinese who noisily demonstrated because they were dissatisfied with the manner Malaysian authorities were handling the search for MH370.
The police were only doing what they normally do when there is dissent or any incident that will embarrass BN – they stifle these dissents the only way they know.
Only this time the protesters were foreign nationals and the whole contingent of foreign media were watching and recording the incident – and beaming it to millions of homes across the globe.
Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein did belatedly apologise but the damage has been done, and now the world knows what is standard operating procedure (SOP) for our police when it comes to dealing with dissent.
It has taken a lost plane to enable the incompetence of this BN government to go global. And through it all, the head of this BN government, Najib Tun Razak, does two brief appearances at the media briefings where he failed to answer questions from the media.
All this seem familiar – as familiar as the Sabah incursion recently where the lackadaisical and dismissive casual attitude of those in authority and our political leaders allowed what should have been a minor border incursion.
This incursion could have been repulsed easily but it developed into a major two-week standoff resulting in the death of more than 60 members of the Sultan of Sulu invading troops and 10 Malaysian security personnel.
The MH370 saga has yet to come to an end just yet. We can be assured that as the days unfold, there will also be more unraveling of how inept, incompetent, clueless this BN government is in handling any situation.
And if it were not for the foreign press, no one, especially the rest of the world, would be wiser.
CT Ali is a reformist who believes in Pakatan Rakyat’s ideologies. He is a FMT columnist.