KUALA LUMPUR: It has been 30 days since flight MH370 went missing but Department of Aviation (DCA) director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman (pic) remembers the phone call alerting him about the tragedy like it was yesterday.
“It was really early in the morning and I was at home. The phone rang, I got up and the person on the phone told me that a Malaysia Airlines flight had gone missing.
“Right then my mind started buzzing. What happened? Who should I call? What should I do? What should I do?” Azharuddin told The Star.
Since then, the aviation head has led a hectic month of little sleep and packed lunches, as he handles the mountains of information flying into his office and coordinating the search and rescue operations.
“Just imagine everything coming at you at one time from every direction and you have to take them, verify them, and send them back to the relevant authorities.
“You go for courses to handle crisis management, but really, nothing can prepare you for things like this.
“And then there is the media and the speculation. It has not been easy being under the microscope. Some of the criticisms are fair, so I have to take it and move on with my job,” he said.
Despite the arduous task, he felt no ounce of frustration. Rather, he was empowered to push forward with the search.
“No one in the world wants to know what happened to MH370 more than me. I play around with theories of my own and talk about them with other officers. That’s what is helping me stay positive.”
Azharuddin said the crisis had been made easier with the support of his family. “My two grandsons tell me they miss me, when I say I can’t come home. They would come visit me while I’m working and say I am doing a good job. That puts me at ease. I hope I can give the families of the passengers and crew that ease as well,” he said.