What are Malaysians saying about Air Asia Flight QZ 8501?

By Karam Singh Sethi
Dec. 30, 2014

Air Asia

Earlier this week, the head of Indonesia’s national search and rescue agency said that because contact with Air Asia flight QZ 8501 was lost over the Java Sea, that is where the plane would likely be found. He was right. Officials have now confirmed that the debris and bodies recovered from the Java Sea this morning belong to the flight.

The recent misfortune in the sky put Malaysia, a small country of 30 million, back into the spotlight despite the fact that an affiliate airline, Air Asia Indonesia, not the Kuala Lumpur based carrier was operating flight QZ 8501. In the wake of previous aviation adversities, Malaysia has fumbled and prolonged already arduous rescue missions. Now faced with yet another catastrophe, how is the country reacting?

Malaysia Airlines showed solace:

Prime Minister Najib Razak offered support:

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim suggested prayer: (Translates to: Pray for the safety of all on the plane and patience for their families.)

Tony Fernandes, Malaysian CEO of Air Asia, expressed grief:

Malaysian Minister of Defense, Hishammuddin Hussein, showed initiative:

The U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur guided donations:

Malaysia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs opened a 24-hour phone line:


Unfortunately, being the most experienced in recent memory to deal with the ostensibly impossible makes Malaysia a momentary expert. But a country that is not necessarily known for its competence in crisis scenarios, displayed hints of value. Hopefully it won’t take more catastrophe to make Malaysia more prepared.

Title Photo: Wikipedia Commons.

Karam Singh Sethi recently returned from teaching English in Malaysia as a Fulbright fellow. He is now an assistant editor at the Aspen Institute working on the Aspen Journal of Ideas.

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