MH 370 And Immigration

The disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH 370 is undoubtedly one of the aviation industry’s most baffling modern mysteries. The fact that such a huge, well equipped plane with the latest in communications technology and tracking technology can vanish off the face of the Earth without the slightest trace, despite our access to extremely advanced technology is very hard to stomach. The main reason it is not being accepted is because the prospect of accepting that such a blunder can occur is extremely scary. The majority of passengers of the ill – fated flight were Chinese. Thus, despite being a Malaysian aircraft, the true loss is being felt in China. The incident has spurred an unprecedented coordinated international effort to help locate the jet. Every other day, some or the other sea debris is spotted by a number of satellites. This is often suspected to be parts of the jet, but unfortunately, this has been a false alarm every single time. Chinese relatives of the passengers are demanding, and rightly so, an explanation of exactly what happened. They refuse to take the Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak’s statement that the plane crashed in the Indian Ocean with no survivors as a finality. A relative recently conveyed to the media that the government needs to make efforts to find the plane, at least to let the passengers die with dignity.

Speculation about what may have happened to the plane is running rife with some people actually believing that the plane may have been hijacked and may actually have landed somewhere safely. Others believe that the pilot might have been suicidal and may have decided to sabotage the flight. While the idea of the plane having landed somewhere safe seems outlandish, the possibility that the plane was hijacked is extremely high. This is supported by the fact that there were two individuals travelling on stolen passports. While these individuals have been tentatively identified and it has been determined that they were Iranian nationals who were aiming to seek asylum in Europe, it raises another worrying question: Are the immigration policies in European countries so strict that they encourage people travel illegally on stolen passports? This was an isolated incident where the individuals were identified due to the unfortunate flight. The fact however remains that this probably happens very often. The number of times it passes undetected is bound to be much higher. This is an extremely worrying trend. It is, however, quite understandable especially when you consider cases like that of Yashika Bageerathi who was denied asylum based on a technicality. The bottom line is that ministers need to take a good, long and hard look at the current immigration policies and they need to amend these to best suit people. I am not suggesting that they do away with all immigration checks and allow anyone and everyone into the country. I am merely suggesting that they modify the existing laws in such a way that while they serve their purpose, they remain people friendly.