Malaysians unite in darkness
WE’VE heard the facts from Day One: MAS flight MH370, carrying 239 passengers, including two infants, and 12 crew members went missing en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing after taking off from Kuala Lumpur international Airport on March 8.
Within a few hours, Facebook and Twitter feeds were rife with speculations, false leads and conspiracy theories. It landed in Nanming, it didn’t land in Nanming. It crashed, it didn’t crash. There were oil spills, debris and phone calls made to passengers’ cellphones. There was even one fraudster @jasminejohari who tweeted false claims that her mother was on the flight. Her account has since been suspended by Twitter.
A few years down the road, this bizarre case of missing Flight MH370 could be an inspiration for best-selling novels and blockbuster movies to come, but right now, the pain has brought Malaysians all over the country together in honouring the first principle of the Rukun Negara or National Principles which is ‘Kepercayaan Kepada Tuhan’ or ‘Belief in God’ more than usual during this dark time.
Across the country, the ‘Solat Hajat’ is being performed by an assortment of organisations, companies, and ministries to pray for the missing flight. Muslims from our neighbouring countries Brunei Darussalam and Thailand are also offering their prayers.
Malaysian Hindus have also prayed accordingly for MH370. Closer to home, Hindus in Kuching gathered March 14 at Sri Srinibasagar Kaliamam Temple to pray to Goddess Ambal for their safe return and observed a minute of silence during their prayers.
Association of Churches (ACS) urged all Christian devotees to go to their respective churches for services last weekend (15 to 16 March) to pray for the missing flight. In Sibu, families and friends of Andrew Nari, the chief steward on board MH370 gathered to pray for his safe return.
Buddhism followers are also joining in the prayers. UPM Buddhist Society Members, Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia are among those from the Buddhist faith who organised a prayer session for the missing flight which was supposed to be bound for Beijing but never arrived.
Interfaith prayer sessions are also being held throughout the country where everyone regardless of their different religions, come together to pray.
Everyone is praying for almost the same thing; the safe return of the crew and passengers on board, for the loved ones they left behind, and safety for those involved in the search and rescue.
Whiteboards covered with prayers and well wishes are found across the country including shopping malls and Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). These walls of hope as they are called is where all strangers come together to convey their sympathies and encouragements.
I am one of those people who try my best to see my everyday life through rose-tinted glasses. Even when the story of the ‘bomoh’ with bamboo binoculars and coconuts became a laughing stock around the world, I am glad and proud to know that Malaysians (at least most of us) choose to unite in prayer regardless of our different faiths to pray for MH370. Faith in Malaysians restored.