Let me first make it very clear than any criticisms I have about the (mis)handling of the disappearance and probable crash of MAS flight MH370 is directed, not at Malaysia itself or the majority of the Malaysian people, but specifically at Malaysia’s ever-incompetent, corrupt, criminal and above all deceitful Barisan Nasional regime.
That this distinction has to be made is a damning criticism in itself, of course, in that it highlights the fact that BN is arguably an illegitimate government, as it was only by means of its massive gerrymandering of electoral boundaries that it clung onto a majority of seats in the May 2013 general election with only 47 per cent of the national vote.
And then there’s the even more damning fact that even BN’s 47 per cent minority vote was achieved by every dirty trick in the book, from blatant, barefaced bribery to its illicit co-option of support from the mainstream media, police, judiciary, civil services and the very organization whose sworn purpose is supposedly to ensure clean and fair elections, the electoral commission (EC).
So, I repeat, it is not the nation of Malaysia or the 53 percent of Malaysians who voted to rid their beloved nation of the curse of BN last year that I or anyone else could possibly blame for the atrocious mishandling of the tragic mystery of MH370, but the regime and those inane, insane or self-interested enough to support it.
Since the very instant at which the KLIA control tower lost contact with the ill-fated MH370, BN’s self-styled high fliers in government and its crony-riddled national airline management, department of civil aviation and defence department have been caught in a total tail-spin of confusion, ineptitude and indecision.
And ever since it wasted those initial precious hours by flying into a tizzy and a tail-spin, it has been adding insult to its incompetence by spinning increasingly tall tales.
Deceit has been the order of the day, every day. Starting with the long delay before BN authorities admitted, then denied, then admitted again that Malaysia’s defense radar had tracked an “unidentified” aircraft over the Malacca Straits while searchers were wasting crucial time and costly resources in the seas south of Vietnam.
And then came the lame “excuses” for the tragically evident failure of the Malaysian air defenses to investigate or make any attempt to intercept what could well have been a hostile aircraft, or, as notoriously in the Twin Towers atrocity, a civilian airliner taken over by terrorists.
I’m not about to list every single instance of dissembling, disingenuousness or outright deception by the panel of BN spokespersons in the course of the search so far, as the international media, if not their mainstream Malaysian counterparts, have well and truly documented most of them in all their sordid and damning detail.
But I will add one that many observers appear to have overlooked, which is that chief spinner for the BN regime during the entire search for MH370 so far, Hishamuddin Hussein, was introduced at the very first and has been officially described ever since as “acting Minister for Transport”.
Thus at a stroke BN has been implying that as only the “acting” minister he could not be held responsible for any disarray in Malaysia’s air transport system, and denying or at least deliberately diverting attention from the fact that he is, in fact, the Minister for Defence and thus entirely and ultimately responsible for the Malaysia’s failures in the radar and fighter-interception departments.
But far from accepting even the remotest degree of responsibility for the whole SNAFU, Hishamuddin is now being portrayed, and is at pains to portray himself, as the hero of the hour, and the criminal and racist regime he represents as some kind of paragon of global citizenship.
With almost breathtaking arrogance, he recently started spinning the false message that “Malaysia has done exceptionally well in coordinating the search-and-rescue operation for Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370.”
“Not all countries can get 26 other countries to come and help,” he bragged, then added, unbelievably to anybody unfamiliar with the BN regime’s reliance on racial and religious divide-and-rule tactics in its domination of Malaysia, that “there was no concern over issues like skin colour and religion.”
Having thus provided the world with a glimpse into his own and his BN accomplices’ pathologically racist and sectarian psyches, he smugly gave himself and the rest of the regime a big pat on the back in concluding that “it is a great achievement…history will judge us well.”
Earlier in the day, in the Malaysian Parliament, he had praised Malaysia’s “unity” in the crisis. This was a blatant lie in light of the fact that he several days ago briefed only BN members of Parliament on the search for MH370, and tried to excuse the exclusion of opposition MPs by claiming that they “didn’t ask” to be included.
But he didn’t confine himself to falsely claiming to have fostered unity in Malaysia, but then went on to claim that he and the BN regime were “setting an example about unity” for a disunited world.
“The world is not united. But we are setting an example, we are setting a precedent,” he declared, having already, several days earlier, observed that the co-operation extended by other countries in the search for flight MH370 was proof of the “global respect” for Malaysia’s leadership.
Such sordid, sleazy, self-aggrandising attempts to spin BN’s woeful mishandling of the MH370 tragedy and the selfless, humanitarian efforts on the part of other countries to supply the expertise, resources and compassion that the Malaysian regime all-too-evidently so dismally lacks, are an absolute disgrace.
And thus far more likely to unite the world in its contempt for BN’s already internationally-notorious criminal incompetence and deceptiveness than for anything even remotely praiseworthy.
There’s no doubt that tail-spinning and tale-spinning has served this rotten regime all too well with those dwindling numbers of Malaysians content to be robbed, repressed and disenfranchised and lied to as long as there’s a prospect of cheap kangkung or 1RM chickens.
But the families and friends of the passengers and crew of MH370 won’t be so easily fooled, and nor will the majority of honest, upstanding Malaysians or their fellows in the global community.