As I write this on the evening of Thursday 20 March, the latest Malaysian government press conference is being shown live on the round-the-clock TV news channel ABC24.
And aside from the fact reported earlier elsewhere that debris that may be from an aircraft has been sighted by a satellite, and aircraft from the US, New Zealand and Australia are proceeding to the area to examine it, Hishammudin Hussein and several attending lackeys appear as much in the dark as ever.
Not just figuratively, but literally in the dark, as the lighting of all the MH370 press conferences I’ve seen has been so dim and murky as to seem almost deliberately symbolise the shadiness of the ruling Malaysian Barisan Nasional regime.
A shadiness that is so deep-seated and all-pervasive that it shows through every pretence to simulate even a semblance of human sympathy for the families and friends of passengers and crew aboard the missing aircraft.
In response to a question in the press conference I’ve just been watching, Hishammudin showed not a shred of regret, let alone remorse, for the rough treatment handed out to anguished relatives of Chinese passengers whose frustration at the lack of coherent information about the fate of their loved-ones drove them to try and crash yesterday’s media event.
And he seems oddly unaware of the fact that, far from swallowing his continual assurances that the regime he so dimly represents is doing everything in its power to deal with what he repeatedly and falsely refers to as an “unprecedented” event, that the eyes of the world are on BN’s Malaysia, and they’re not finding it a pretty sight.
Or to put this another way, after decades of lurking below the global radar by dint of its capacity for official secrecy, systematic sneakiness and sundry other evasive techniques designed to render them virtually invisible in the international community, the self-styled high flyers of BN have been revealed as a gang of hijackers.
Not of MH370, at least as far as we’re aware, as we wait with bated breath for definite news, but of every other possible rightful property of Malaysia and its people.
This corrupt and outright criminal government has hijacked literally countless billions of ringgit from Malaysia and Malaysians in land, timber and oil revenues; food, water, power, highway, telecommunications and other monopolies and concessions; ‘commissions’ and kickbacks on public works and government purchasing; and handouts to its members and cronies in the form of ‘bailouts’ and non-recoverable ‘loans’.
But far more costly to the nation and its people than mere cash have been the priceless rights and protections that the BN regime has systematically hijacked: the police and other forces that are supposed to be combating crime and corruption; the formerly fiercely and properly independent and now regime-compliant judiciary; constitutional civil and social rights and liberties; racial and religious freedom and equality; and that last line of defence for the people against such outrages, free, independent, true reporting of the news.
In fact Malaysia’s BN regime has done its damndest over many decades to hijack every aspect of the Malaysian people’s very humanity, including enough lives lost through suspicious deaths in police and other official custody to fill a couple of good-sized airliners.
It’s not on its own in its hijacking of humanity, of course. The rulers of perhaps the majority of populations in the world do precisely the same. The Malaysian regime’s insensitive if not outright inhumane treatment of the protesting relatives of missing Chinese MH370 passengers yesterday pales almost to insignificance beside the Chinese government’s suppression of comment and hasty burial of carriages, allegedly still containing the corpses of dead passengers, in an attempt to downplay the July 2011 rail crash on a high-speed line near Wenzhou.
The Chinese government has also yet to officially acknowledge or even permit public mention of its 1989 massacre of hundreds if not thousands of its own citizens in Tienanmen Square.
And of course even as we speak, the Chinese so-called “people’s” regime, as piously and hypocritically as it calls on Malaysia for an efficient and sensitive response to the loss of its citizens aboard MH370, is simultaneously supporting the murderous al-Assad regime in the massacre of the Syrian people, and propping-up the inhumane if not utterly inhuman Kim dynasty in North Korea.
Then we have Putin’s Russia, which is apparently so preoccupied with bullying the people of the Ukraine that it has yet to find time to respond with information on its citizen listed as a passenger aboard MH370.
A lapse of common humanity that recalls the Soviets’ shooting down of Korean Air flight KAL007, a Boeing 747 with 269 passengers and crew aboard, when it apparently accidentally strayed into the airspace of the then USSR in August 1983.
According to a recent CNN retrospective on this atrocity, “Moscow cast a shroud of secrecy over the crash site off Sakahlin Island, never revealing where it had found the plane’s wreckage, flight data recorders, survivors or bodies,” so I guess it’s far from likely to get too upset about MH370.
A thought that reminds me that when the American missile-armed cruiser USS Vincennes “accidentally” shot down Iran Air Flight 655, an A300 Airbus with 290 people aboard, over the Straits of Hormuz in 1988, at least they owned-up to it and helped recover the wreckage and remains.
Which is more than any country from Malaysia onward that may well have radar-intercepted and secretly shot down MH370, or had something sinister hidden in the alleged cargo of nothing but “a few tons of mangosteens”, or had passengers aboard with evil intent, has done so far.
So, at least at this moment of writing, the disappearance of the flight remains a mystery whose plot is playing out for now in the remote southern Indian Ocean.
Though I hope that by the time you read this, the aircraft, along with its entire complement of passengers and crew, has been found safe and sound, having been hijacked, as an experienced Malaysian – though not MAS – pilot I know says he and his colleagues believes it has been to Myanmar.
What if any evidence this theory may be based on I have no earthly idea. But whether MH370 turns up intact in Myanmar or anywhere else, or whether in fact it has fallen prey to mishap, sabotage or other fate, deliberate or otherwise, I hope it is found by searchers from a country with some integrity and humanity.
Because I’d hate to see the relatives and friends of the passengers and crew cheated by the operatives of a government so inhumane as to be capable of erasing the black box or burying, hiding or hijacking any other of the evidence, as I believe many of the usual suspects are more than capable of doing. And thus, along with Malaysia’s corrupt and incompetent BN regime, they richly deserve to be shot down, figuratively if not literally, by their cheated and oppressed citizens.