Tuesday, March 11, 2014

L.A.M: Regarding MH370 and What Good Has Come Out of This

Firstly, I just want to state that my prayers, hopes, wishes and thoughts are on the passengers, crew members and family members affected by the missing airliner. I hope for a swift resolution to this unfortunate event and that the plane and its passengers will be found soon.

The events surrounding MH370 is very unfortunate. Many blogs and articles have been written, covering the sequence of events, theories regarding why MH370 went missing and where it is likely to be found. My focus sn't about covering what other blogs/articles have covered but to point out that there is a silver lining and to focus on the good that has come out of this event.

So, in no particular order, I list some of the unexpected good things that have occurred because of this incident.

1) Uncovering and giving greater awareness to a huge security flaw

Missing Malaysia Airlines jet MH370: Stolen passport holder has ‘no terror links’

One of the biggest mysteries surrounding the MH370 flight is the case of 2 passengers who boarded the flight using stolen passports. Due to greater scrutiny on the flight manifest, the world has learnt of a huge security flaw. We learnt that despite Interpol having a database of 40 million stolen and lost passports since 2002, this database is not integrated with the database of most airlines in the world. Due to this event, there is now a renewed focus on this underutilised database and if followed up correctly, the days of forged/stolen passports being used illegally could soon be numbered.

2) Bilateral relationships between Singapore and Malaysia has improved

View image on Twitter

Just days before this incident, Singapore and Malaysia were arguing over whether water pricing supplied to Singapore by Johor can be reviewed. At least for now, this political brickbat has been put on hold. With Singapore offering much needed submersible help to Malaysia, hopefully tensions can be eased between the 2 quarreling nations for the short term.

3) South China Sea relations have improved (for now)

Spratly Is since NalGeoMaps.png

There is a territorial dispute between 7 sovereign nations regarding islands in the South China Sea.

  • China People's Republic of China (PRC)
  • Taiwan Republic of China (Taiwan)
  • Philippines Philippines
  • Vietnam Vietnam
  • Malaysia Malaysia
  • Brunei Brunei
  • Indonesia Indonesia
Apart from Brunei, all of the other 6 nations have sent help to support search and rescue missions in the South China Sea.  This is a 180 degree change compared to the political disputes we have seen so far. Now instead of warships being sent to the South China Sea to demarcate a territory and harass fishing boats, we have warships being sent for search and rescue missions.

4) Crowdsourcing to find missing plane

Flight MH370 search crowdsourced

Nothing spells unity like thousands of people scanning high resolution satellite images to spot any wreckage or signs of a missing plane. Colorado-based DigitalGlobe Inc. used two of its satellites to collect imagery from an area between the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea where the Boeing 777-200ER with 239 passengers and crew on board was at first believed to have crashed after it went missing. The company placed the images on its crowdsourcing website Tomnod on Monday and invited the public to join in the search for any sign of the plane, whose disappearance has become one of the most baffling mysteries in recent aviation history. This event has highlighted that the power of the masses when combined with technology can be used for much good.

5) Heartwarming moments/ stories such as below:

#MH370, We are with you - Coconuts Singapore

Behind jet's passenger list is a huge human tapestry

MH370, we are waiting for you to come home

So, yes, this has been a tragedy so far but it is not without a silver lining. Most importantly, we are hoping for the biggest silver lining of all, that a miracle would happen and the plane would be found.


No comments :