MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku



10 APRIL 2024

Thursday, June 29, 2017


Some problem with the aircraft engine at 38,.000 ft, rocking like a washing machine.
Suddenly the captain announced, “Let’s pray that we may reach home safely.”
This happened days ago onboard AirAsia X flight from Perth to Kuala Lumpur.
If I happened to be one of the passengers, my heart would very likely sink at the announcement, and for those with low stress tolerance levels, they could be in trouble before the aircraft.
Former minister Zaid Ibrahim felt that the announcement shouldn’t have been made in the first place. He tweeted, “If AirAsia is big into prayers; engage proper iman and priest.”
While some supported Zaid, others were critical of him, demanding “what’s so wrong to pray?”
AirAsia X CEO Kamarudin Meranun asked, “What’s wrong with it when you are in a tight position, seeking divine intervention while doing whatever humanly possible?”
Well, they reflect the religious views of different segments of our diverse society.
I believe those with a strong religious inclination would tend to support what the captain did. Of course, this encompasses different religious faiths and not any particular religion.
As for those lightly religious or atheistic. they may still pray. When a person gets desperate and helpless, all he can do is to surrender himself to the Almighty.
The question is: how should we define a helpless moment?
If I were on that AirAsia flight, it was my own business whether to say my prayers, but most positively I would not want to hear an announcement calling for prayers.
I would pin all my hopes on the people inside the cockpit, not anyone outside it.
What I was trying to say is that passengers would fully depend on the pilot with all his professionalism to overcome whatsoever problems the aircraft may encounter to ensure everyone’s safety.
With such an enormous responsibility upon his shoulders, the pilot must make sure the passengers have faith in him.
If the pilot were to ask everyone on board to pray together, passengers in their right minds and those watching too much of Hollywood disaster movies would assume the aircraft was out of control and that they could only surrender their destinies to the Almighty.
How could this not trigger widespread panic?
The consequences could be grave if a handful of the 300-plus passengers cramped into a tight space at 38,000 feet went hysterical.

I would rather hear something like this: “We have a failed engine, but don’t worry, another engine is still functioning well and this aircraft is under our control so that we can get back to Perth safely.”
Even in more serious conditions when the pilot could not be sure of a safe return, at least a well-intentioned lie would do more good than harm.
Often in the last moments of life, we need faith and hope to keep us going.
In no way should the captain call for a prayer. This is not an argument about the belief in a god, but we must first have faith in human power, through our own courage and wisdom to overcome the imminent crisis.
Easily surrendering ourselves is a manifestation of weak determination, which is forbidden by God.
“Our destiny lies in our own hands”, and this holds true for a pilot manning the steering wheel in the cockpit, a business leader and even any individual. And this insistence must be stretched to the very last moment before we surrender ourselves to God.
I pray that the next time I take a flight, I will not hear this announcement from the captain: “Let’s pray!”
– Mysinchew

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