IT’S been a while since my last article for this column. It’s not that I’ve had nothing to say; rather it feels like there are just too many things in my heart and in my head that I’m overwhelmed, paralysed by it all.
The heartaches, the disappointments, the pain of seeing how things have been going in this beloved country of ours.
Yet I believe writing is a necessary act of processing these emotions and experiences, distilling thoughts and extracting ideas with which one can try to shape the days to come.
Nations pray and await news on the missing flight MH370. This is by far the greatest aviation mystery that we have collectively experienced in a very long time. The anxiety is punishing. The not knowing is crushing. This emotional limbo is... exhausting. It’s been more than two weeks.
The fracas between the family members of passengers from China and security at a daily press briefing a few days ago is only to be expected. Some of my friends sympathize and empathize with the relatives and disagree with the harsh manner in which they were booted out, but they also know that there is not much that the Malaysian government can do at this point in time. There is just so little information to be shared.
I came to realize that perhaps the Malaysian government has never been scrutinized and its actions nitpicked by the international media as thoroughly as right now. There are both plus points and drawbacks to this treatment.
On the one hand, the solidarity of all communities for the pilots, crew and passengers is absolutely clear and transcends politics - think #PrayForMH370, #DoaUntukMH370 as well as the various vigils and prayers held. The love and respect shown for everyone who have worked tirelessly in the search and rescue operations is absolutely overwhelming.
On the other, it exposes our preparedness (or lack thereof) in managing a crisis of this magnitude, and how partisanship can’t always be overcome in full.
Without a doubt, MH370 is the only thing that we can think about and talk about right now, regardless of whether we are shopping for kangkung or one ringgit chickens; or canvassing for votes in Kajang or Balingian; or considering the next phase in our lives after SPM or STPM.
All around us, amongst us, between us, through us - all of it is weighted with the deafening silence of all on board that fateful flight.
We should not be faulted for asking, “Is there no apotheosis here?”
I believe that - whether it be one more week, month, year, or beyond - we will eventually arrive at the truth. But until that endpoint is reached, it will feel like the night is forever and the dawn will never break. (Sometimes it feels like this forever-ness applies to a lot of things in this country, but I shall save that thought for another time.)
But until that time, let us pray that the Almighty lends us strength to keep searching; fortitude to keep asking difficult questions; patience to keep answering those difficult questions; foresight to keep seeing the best in all adversity; faith to keep believing that out of this, good will arise.
Let us pray, because right now, that is all that we can do.
Come home, MH370.
>The views expressed are entirely the writer’s own.