Earlier today, I left a comment on the Malaysia Airlines MH370 story (of which I would link to, but I'm posting with my phone). The comment was impulsive, not well thought out, ignorant, and missing key pieces of information that would enable it to be both insightful and respectful. Through the comment, I sounded at best, impulsive, and at worst, racist. This was neither my intent, nor a representation of who I am and what I believe as an individual.
For me, the story of MH370 hits close to home, as I was personally acquainted with one of the passengers who perished (whose name I will withhold out of respect of privacy for his family). Although I didn't know him well enough to truly facilitate calling him a "friend", I had met him enough times to see both his true colors as an individual, and his personality. He was kind hearted, and he put his family first. When I heard that he had been aboard MH370, I got in touch with our mutual friend, who informed me that his family was on their way to Malaysia in order to get the full story. This was more than 2 weeks ago.
I can't even begin to imagine their pain. I know I myself was personally affected. It's hard to imagine a person as being here one day, face to face, and then gone forever the next. I've never been able to cope with loss well, but I think this situation especially has hit me emotionally, due to it's absolute suddenness and unexpectedness. I've tried to move on and think about what's important to accomplish in my life, but everyday I find myself being subjected to speculation by way of the Malaysian Government, and the media. It hasn't been easy for me, so I really can't imagine just how truly life-altering this has been for his immediate family, especially today.
The comment I left was as followed:
*I'm in shock and disgust that it took them this long to figure out that this plane and it's occupants were gone forever. Anyone more than 2 days into the investigation knew that was the case...
I heard the Malaysian PM announce this on the radio this morning. There was no emotion in his voice, no "regret", and his words sounded so staged that they may as well have been read off of a TelePrompTer by a well trained goat. As a PM, I'd expect some REAL sympathy and respect for the families, not some staged show.
Malaysia just lost a lot of respect from me. For one, it took them this long to come to this obvious answer. For two, they put families of the victims through unbelievable grief keeping them on their toes by saying there was a small chance that this couldn't have happened, as if their family members were living like some cast members of a 10 year old TV show on a deserted island. For three, they barely did any investigative work themselves and asked everyone else to help them. And lastly, for Four, the only thing that mattered to them was saving their behinds and their money.
When the problem is over and they recover the plane, all heads will be pointed at Malaysia and their government. This won't end well for them.
This has been a complete and utter shit show*
Like I said, I truly apologize for the context and the way this comment was delivered. It was both disrespectful to Malaysia as a whole, and extremely emotionally impulsive. It was neither intelligent, nor informed, and as I'm sure most of my followers on Kinja know, I pride myself on trying to maintain a level headed ness within my posts.
Due to it's poor taste, I'd like to clarify a few things.
- My anger is not directed at Malaysia as a whole, but at their government, who perhaps did not have the resources to fully conduct a thorough search immediately post disappearance. I believe that all governments should have an emergency reservoir of funds, should something of this magnitude arises, so that they can contribute to the relief and search efforts. Clearly Malaysia's government was unprepared for this situation. Instead of post-haste turning to members of the UN or leaders of more developed nations right away for economic and social support, initially, they went into it blind. At one point, they called in a witch doctor. It wasn't until other nations offered to help (after seeing Malaysia's lack of action) that they agreed to form an international search party. This was quite a few days after the disappearance of the jetliner.
- The sympathy I expected from the PM is purely in the form of sympathy for the families of those lost. I was immediately notified before the live broadcast that the families had received text messages from the Malaysian Government... Not a phone call, and few personal, private meetings, but text messages. In my opinion, send a text message declaring all hope was lost (and really, most families knew all hope was lost after more than a week of no development - I know this firsthand) and that all lives are lost, is akin to breaking up with a girl through a text. It's not only tasteless, but incredibly inconsiderate.
- On a personal note, I am in no way racist nor do I judge people on their ethnicity or their background. I have many friends of all ethnicities, who I've met in my worldly travels. I love Japan, and all of Asia, including Malaysia, of which I haven't yet had the chance to visit. I understand that for some countries, the governments stance on issues involving their citizens is not always the politically correct stance. I SINCERELY apologize to anyone who I've offended with the statement that "Malaysia just lost a lot of respect from me". I meant this only in the form of the Malaysian Government, and it was certainly not directed towards its people as a whole.
In summary, I realize that what I said was incredibly offensive and impulsive. As someone who was personally affected, I should have taken more time and care in giving an appropriate response. I let my emotions and my need to get my opinion (which was flawed and not properly edited) out before I could even analyze what I was saying, and I can't apologize enough to anyone who I've offended.
I hope we can all remember the people and the events of MH370, and learn from them. If not for them, but at the very least, for ourselves, so that something as unfortunate as this doesn't ever happen again.
My deepest regards and sympathies go to everyone who lost someone aboard this flight.
Steve (AKA TokyoBayAquaLine).