Malaysia has become the biggest victim in a dark year for aviation, as Malaysian airlines were directly or indirectly involved in three major aviation tragedies last year. Unfortunately, the aviation dark period seems to have continued - on Saturday, a private helicopter crashed in Semenyih, killing all six on board.
The Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia planes that went missing or crashed last year were all passenger aircraft and the incidents took place in foreign countries. The recent crash, however, occurred in the country.
Although the number of casualties is fewer than those caused by the last three tragedies, the helicopter crash still shocked the country as Jamaluddin Jarjis, special envoy to the United States, and Azlin Alias, principal private secretary to the Prime Minister were among the victims.
Coming amidst the current political and economic sensitive period of the country, the crash has led to speculation and rumours.
This is akin to rubbing salt into the wound of the victims' grieving families.
The best way to quash all speculation and rumours is to let the truth come to light. The question of whether the crash was caused by bad weather, technical problems or criminal factors must be clarified as soon as possible, before the situation gets worse.
In addition to the cause of the crash, the people have also noted the special status of the victims, particularly Mr Jamaluddin and Mr Azlin, who had close ties with Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Mr Jamaluddin was Malaysia's ambassador to the US from July 2009 to February 2012, and was later appointed as special envoy to the US. He had been committed to promoting Malaysia-US relations and was seen as one of Mr Najib's closest comrades.
Mr Azlin was voted "the best research analyst" in 2003 by The Edge, and was an important decision-maker in the Prime Minister's Department.
Their deaths are clearly a huge blow and great loss to Mr Najib, who is currently facing internal and external problems and in dire need of consolidating his position in the party.
Different factors led to the crash tragedies, but in any case, the crash has made people again question aviation safety. The government's top priority now is to find out the truth behind each tragedy as soon as possible, as well as strengthen security checks and flight safety.
The people's and foreign tourists' confidence in our aviation industry can be restored only when we prioritise safety and are able to prevent the repetition of such tragedies.
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