World / Asia-Pacific

Yearender: Twin tragedies of MH370, MH17 deeply impact on Malaysia, world

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-12-21 21:45

Yearender: Twin tragedies of MH370, MH17 deeply impact on Malaysia, world

A family member of a passenger aboard Malaysia Airlines MH370 looks out of a room as he cries after watching a television broadcast of a news conference, in the Lido hotel in Beijing, March 24, 2014. The Malaysia Airlines plane that disappeared over two weeks ago crashed in the southern Indian Ocean, Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Monday. [Photo/Agencies]

KUALA LUMPUR -- 2014, as Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak put it, has been "a tragic year" for Malaysia with the great pain infected by the twin tragedies of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flights MH370 and MH17.

Despite the unprecedented efforts by 26 countries in search of the aircraft, MH370 is still unaccounted for since its mysterious disappearance on a trip from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8. Just four months later, another MAS flight MH17, was shot down in eastern Ukraine on July 17, claiming the lives of all the 298 passengers on board.

With the whereabouts of MH370 remain unknown and the criminals behind the downing of MH17 still at large, the two disasters left Malaysians not only astonished, deeply suspicious and utterly sad, its effect also spilled over into the world's political, economic and aviation spheres.


The two unexpected disasters saw the world come together in an unprecedented act of global solidarity when 26 countries all over the world involved themselves in the search and rescue operations for the missing MH370 airplane and dealing with the aftermath of the MH17 crash.

As 154 people of the 239 passengers and crew on board MH370 were Chinese, there were concerns that the tragedy might cast a cloud over the friendly relations between China and Malaysia. However, as a judgment by former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in an interview with Xinhua went, China-Malaysia ties have not been affected by the incident.

In fact, China and Malaysia have cooperated closely in handling the emergency. Official data showed China deployed 19 ships, eight helicopters and five fixed-wing planes to aid in the search.

The year 2014 marked the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Malaysia. During his visit to China, Prmie Minister Najib expressed his gratitude for China's help in the MH370 incident and vowed to keep on with search and rescue operations.

As search areas mvoed moved from the Gulf of Thailand to the North Indian Ocean and then to the South Indian Ocean over the past several months, big and small countries have pooled their resources in the mission, which was branded by the Wall Street Journal as one of the largest search efforts in recent years.

Meanwhile, as Malaysia's state news agency Bernama put it, the MH17 crash also witnessed the cooperation between Malaysia, Russia, the Netherlands, Australia and Ukraine and attracted the attention of the United States. Thanks to the unremitting efforts from related parties, most of the passengers'bodies have been recovered from the crash site and the aircraft's black box recorder has been handed over to the investigation team.

According to the preliminary report delivered by the Dutch Safety Board, MH17 blew up in the air due to structural damage caused by "a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside" and no evidence has indicated that a technical fault or human errors may have led to the crash.

Special Coverage:

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370"ended" in sea


Two more MH17 crash victims identified

7,000 sq km seafloor searched with no MH370 debris found

Key vessel rejoins MH370 search efforts in S Indian Ocean

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