Search and recover first, questions later

Because of my ‘alternative career’ option, I’ve had various experiences in different fields, namely journalism, the English and Japanese languages and education.  I hope to add military to that list but I’ll wait until I have my proper credentials to stake that claim.

The events surrounding MH370 are making my hack senses tingle and at the same time being a reservist brings out the nationalist in me.  The daily press conferences are becoming my fix and I time my journey home so that I could listen to it on the radio, imagining the minister, the CEO, the director and others in front facing the large press corp.

I know that it is frustrating to not be able to string more than a few lines of fresh leads for a story when the demand for information is at a peak.  You cling to any possible angle, and sift through the crap to find something you could use.  I know that the editors will tell you to ask certain questions and they will be watching the PCs and will check whether you did what you’re told to do.  At the same time, you try not to sound as clueless as you really feel, when voicing out your queries.

And I get mad when I hear people criticising the SAR efforts in any way, especially those armchair experts questioning the capability of our military personnel and assets.  I get even madder when they somehow choose to ignore the facts presented to them, by the Chiefs no less, and continue to spout nasty, nasty words in the wacky wide world of the internet and real life too.

I’m proud of my journalist friends who are still in the industry and what they do.  Most of them have not let me down in their handling of this tragedy and I love them for that.  I understand that there are many, many questions that needed to be answered but there is a time for that later.

By association, I am fiercely proud of the RMN and its SAR efforts, despite the limitation it faces.  I wish I could contribute too, but I realised that it is beyond my ability and, like an officer had once mockingly told me, “kamu ni, lambat lagi”.  What I could do is try to fend off those belittling their work, along with the other services and the MMEA.

I can’t imagine being out there in the Indian Ocean, and wish that people would keep their dignity by shutting their trap if they have nothing else to say that could help with the search.  Idiots.

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