Archive for January 21st, 2009

Horror flight on board MH161

by Radhika Iyer-O’Sullivan
Jan 20, 09 3:55pm

I am a Malaysian currently residing and working in Dubai. On Dec 25, 2008, I flew with Malaysian Airlines flight MH161 to Kuala Lumpur to visit my parents. I was in seat 36H (an aisle seat) and the seat next to me, 36K (window seat) was vacant. The flight stopped over at Karachi for an hour.

In Karachi, more passengers boarded the plane. One male passenger boarded, showed his boarding pass to a stewardess and she pointed to seat beside me (36K). The man looked at me and said, ‘She’s a Hindu, I cannot sit beside her.’ The stewardess responded, ‘So what? What’s wrong with Hindu?’ The man then began to yell and shout that he would not sit next to a Hindu.

The crew insisted that he had to because there were no other seats available because the plane was full. Then this passenger sat down but began to verbally abuse my faith and the crew members. I sat in my seat but was physically cringing away from him. The flight supervisor was summoned and until then the man was still seated next to me. Imagine my shock, horror and fear in being next to a hostile, abusive person.

One steward did stand next to me but did not offer any help and I did not feel safe or reassured. I reached out and told that steward that I did not feel safe anymore. I said this to him softly in English and he told me to sit and wait. He then walked off and a female crew member took his place. All this time I was under the impression that this hostile passenger beside me was a Pakistani.

I then told the stewardess in Malay that this man should not be seated beside me after what he had said about me. There were other Malaysian passengers sitting in the same area and all of them heard me. She smiled and merely nodded. Read the rest of this entry »


Can Najib emulate Obama to embody change?

Can Datuk Seri Najib Razak emulate Barack Obama to embody change and inspire Malaysians with the same hope of a “dream come true” as Obama has been able to evoke from the American people as witnessed in the inauguration of the 44th United States President yesterday?

This is the natural question to ask following Najib’s acknowledgement that Obama won election as the first African American president of the United States because he pushed for and embodied change.

Can Najib’s warning that Umno and Barisan Nasional must change or perish in the next general election be taken seriously, when he had just spearheaded the Barisan Nasional’s Kuala Terengganu “buy-election” campaign where money politics and electoral corruption had reigned supreme? Read the rest of this entry »