Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 - A Year of Mourning

Three aviation tragedies involving Malaysian airliners have struck at the hearts of people all around the globe. MH370 and MH17 brought Malaysia Airlines to its knees, while QZ8501 has blemished AirAsia's impeccable safety record. But of course, the real loss in these disasters are the 699 people who have lost their lives on these flights, and the countless families and friends who have lost loved ones.

For a man who has circumnavigated the earth in a plane, it is both terrifying and deeply distressing for me to attempt to imagine the final moments of these people's lives on a doomed airliner. It is frankly unspeakable.

In the coincidental lyrics of the song "This Love" sung by Adam Levine of Maroon 5, these passengers:

"got on a plane, never to return again,
but always in my heart"

The most puzzling of these tragedies is the saga surrounding the vanishing of MH370 on 8th March, 2014. Not a day has passed by during these last 9 months that I haven't thought about that flight and the people on board.

A man looks at the arrivals board at Beijing International Airport where flight MH370 would soon be declared missing. (Image taken from

Air Asia's flight QZ8501 appears to have encountered awful weather and crashed into the Java Sea off the Southern coast of Borneo with no sign of survivors as yet. Families' reactions have ranged from shock to hope to despair during the search process. Again, Adam Levine, through these unintended lyrics, summed up the abundant hope that once dominated, and still continue to dominate in the case of MH370, the thoughts and prayers of us all:

"I'll fix these broken things,
Repair your broken wings,
And make sure everything's alright"

AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes speaks with relatives of the passengers on board QZ8501 in Surabaya airport, Indonesia. (Image taken from

MH17 is believed to have been shot down by pro-Russian rebels, though Ukraine and Russia have done a dirty job of blaming each other so that NO-ONE has been held accountable for this outrageous cessation of human life. Adam Levine's lyrics continue to burn my thoughts:

"I was so high I did not recognize,
The fire burning in her eyes,
The chaos that controlled my mind"

The only thing I can imagine in all of these 3 flights is CHAOS. I cannot begin to imagine the scene. I am completely overwhelmed by the horror and sadness of it all.

My Instagram post in memorial of MH17
So while the world will be celebrating the beginning of 2015 with fireworks, music and champagne, I'll be mourning with those who mourn from 2014, hoping that truth will be revealed, and desperately hoping, wishing and praying that no such tragedies will befall Malaysia again. We've surely had our fair share.

"This love has taken its toll on me,
She said Goodbye too many times before,
And her heart is breaking in front of me,
I have no choice cause I won't say goodbye anymore"


  1. Very well written honey! I will also mourn with those who mourn during this New Year.

  2. I can't agree more: well said, Duncan!

  3. I wish you a happy 2015 full of light dawns that fill you with vitality and beautiful sunsets that cover your tender heart!

  4. It is a tragedy what happened to all the planes.
    I wish you and all your loved ones a happy and especially healthy 2015.
    Best regards, Irma

  5. Great tribute. Let's hope 2015 will be better. Happy New Year!

  6. A very fine tribute. It is unimaginable that aircraft from your part of the world have suffered three such huge catastrophes.

  7. It really has been a difficult year for Malaysia on many accounts. Holding positive thoughts for country and its people for a better 2015.

  8. A very tragic 2014 for Malaysia, indeed. A very well written account, Duncan. My family chose not to celebrate the coming of 2015 with all the pomps and fireworks. Instead we had a quiet moment at my sister's house in Sg. Petani with prayers. We prayed for the family of the lost lives to be strong and for 2015 to be better. We really don't know what is coming and with the unusual case of flooding, there really is no cause for celebration.
    Despite everything, I would like to wish you and your family a prosperous, successful, healthy and a far better 2015. May your wishes that did not materialize in 2014 become a reality and new hopes and aspirations for 2015 become brighter and more fulfilling.

  9. Yes very well written,Duncan last year was tragic for Malaysian Airlines but no one would expect one after another and then three in a year. While I was holidaying with my family in Japan we heard the news we felt the pains for the lost of the innocent lives and their loves one. Let us prayed for those lost souls and their family to be comforted, hopefully no more of these will happen again in 2015. My sincere condolences for those who perishes .

    Bro. Richard Wong fr Singapore Woodlands Ward.

  10. Three incidents in one year! Never could anyone have imagined that happening to any one country. Even the odds would not dare wager on that happening. We want the government to come clean on a lot of things, especially on the mystery surrounding MH370. The anguish, pain and doubts of the grieving families must be unbearable. We can only grieve along with them.


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