MH370: What Did Najib Razak Do When It Went Missing?

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Imagine this, you are the Prime Minister of a developing country, and a plane carrying the flag of your country, 227 passengers and 12 crew members, went MIA. What did the then Premier Najib Razak do when MH370 was reported missing? Hasnah Abdul Rahman has the story …

Nine years ago, an international passenger flight operated by Malaysia Airlines, MH370, disappeared on 8 March 2014 while flying from KL International Airport in Malaysia to its planned destination, Beijing Capital International Airport.[1] The crew of the Boeing 777-200ER registered as 9M-MRO, last communicated with air traffic control (ATC) around 38 minutes after take-off when the flight was over the South China Sea. The aircraft was lost from ATC radar screens minutes later, but was tracked by military radar for another hour, deviating westward from its planned flight path, crossing the Malay Peninsula and Andaman Sea. It left radar range 200 nautical miles (370 km; 230 mi) northwest of Penang Island in northwestern Peninsular Malaysia.

The above is the explanation by Wikipedia and it went on to add that with all 229 aboard presumed dead, the disappearance of Flight 370 was the deadliest incident involving a Boeing 777 and the deadliest in Malaysia Airlines’ history until it was surpassed in both regards by Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was shot down while flying over conflict-stricken eastern Ukraine four months later on 17 July 2014. The combined loss caused significant financial problems for Malaysia Airlines, which was renationalised by the Malaysian government in August 2014.

MH370 Conspiracy Theories

Many have read the details, while there were countless conspiracy theories which have evolved with sightings and debris believed to have been from the plane were found on Reunion Island, France (next to Madasgacar). Various documentaries have been produced. Even the Netflix drama series Manifest was said to have been somewhat based on the MH370 story.

Today, on the day the plane took off and disappeared off radar, Netflix aired its docuseries: MH370: The Plane That Disappeared.

After all, it became the most expensive search in the history of aviation. It focused initially on the South China Sea and Andaman Sea, before analysis of the aircraft’s automated communications with an Inmarsat satellite indicated a possible crash site somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean.

What if you were the Prime Minister at that time and you had to tell the family members of the 239 people on board the plane that disappeared, that “ … we are very sorry, but …”.

Malaysia’s 6th Prime Minister Najib Razak during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur to confirm debris found on Reunion Island is from the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 flight. Photo credit: Fazry Ismail/EPA

We could not get the thoughts of the Prime Minister then, Najib Razak, as the latter is currently serving time in prison for political persecution under the guise of the SRC International RM42m case.

Rosmah Mansor Tells Mediahit That …

So, we got the next best thing! Reflections from his wife Rosmah Mansor on what were the emotions going through the Razak household in Seri Perdana, the Prime Minister’s official residence in Putrajaya, when news first broke about the missing plane.

Rosmah said that while nine years is a bit too long for her to remember the exact details of what she and her husband were going through and felt at that time, one thing is for sure, they were so devastated when the news first came, and they could not imagine how shattered the family members of the victims were feeling.

“When we got to know about it, we were truly in shock and we thought it was a plane crash! Just like what everyone else was thinking, I guess.

“Little did we know that it was going to take almost a decade, with still no closure till this day,” Rosmah added.

She disclosed that her husband was talking to the Ministers concerned without a break in between, although she stayed away most of the time as she does not interfere with his official movements. At that time, she thought that the authorities would finally put the pieces together. Alas, it was not meant to be.

Perplexed

“Of course, all of us were very affected, not to mention perplexed at the turn of events. With the advanced aviation technologies that we have today (even as of nine years ago), how can a plane just disappear off the face of this earth?

“We just could not understand how it could have happened. Was Malaysia being targeted? If so, why?

“We had excellent bilateral relations with almost all countries at that time. Are we that important in the geopolitical scheme of things that they had to kill innocent people, all 239 of them?”

While she did not think that Malaysia has antagonised any foreign nation, she and husband also did not rule out the fact that it could have been an unfortunate accident.

“If it was a deliberate act by other parties, then it’s a very cruel one. For whoever is responsible for this dastardly act, all we can say is: You face your enemies, but don’t let the innocent victims perish.

“Where Najib was concerned, then and now, we must always remain friendly with all nations ~ for economic reasons, for the people and for the country to prosper.

“That’s why we were so disturbed when we realised that the agencies could not handle it then and we had to seek the assistance of relevant authorities from elsewhere.”

At that time, both Najib and Rosmah saw it as probably the worst aviation disaster to have happened in the country, until of course they were faced by another horrendous aviation mishap four months later: the downing of MH17.

“While it’s no relief that we could bring back the bodies of the deceased and even the black box of MH17, at least the families of the victims had closure, so unlike the fate of the families of MH370.

MH370 Families

“When I met the families of the MH370 victims, it was such an emotional moment for all of us. I cannot imagine how much they were wrought with pain inside of them, all we could do was offered words of comfort.”

Rosmah and her family, however, did not just stop at offering words of comfort to the family members of the victims. They continuously had prayer sessions and meet-ups with them, even after Najib lost the PM seat in May 2018.

“My daughter even became close with one of the family members and we did as much as we could, with the hope that it would relief some of the pain, although I know that what we did would never be enough.”

Rosmah Mansor, left, wife of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, cried with family members of passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, at a hotel in Putrajaya March 9, 2014. Pic credit: Zulfadli Zaki—Reuters

How did the Prime Minister take it that within a space of four months, two of the country’s flag carriers were downed in the most devastating way?

“That’s when I knew how strong my husband is. During the MH17 crisis, he was speaking every night to our people in Ukraine, planning on how to get the deceased out of Ukraine, back to Malaysia and the other countries that the other nationalities belonged to,” Rosmah disclosed.

It was a very sad year in terms of the aviation industry, more so for Malaysia. But I guess Malaysians were fortunate to have Najib Razak as the Prime Minister at that time as his calm demeanour and professionalism in handling the crises with his team members was the salve that the country needed. – mediahit