PETALING JAYA - A second major incident involving Malaysia Airlines in the short space of four months is "like a bad dream", according to Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai.
"Another incident barely four months after the 'unprecedented' MH370 disaster, which remains unresolved, is like a bad dream," said the Star Publications (M) Bhd managing director and chief executive officer of the incident that saw flight MH17 crashing in Ukraine late Thurday.
"It is terrible because it has never happened before in aviation industry - to have two big disasters happening in a short space of time," he said in a video interview published by The Star's SwitchUp.tv, featured on its YouTube channel.
Wong also said the reality was difficult to cope with, and he related how he stayed up late into the night hearing "heart-wrenching" stories about crewmembers from his friends.
Wong said Malaysians were still coming to terms with the incident, an act which he labelled "pure murder".
"Pure murder. It is a criminal act when you shoot down a plane with more than 200 people on board," said Wong.
Wong also spoke of public confidence in Malaysia Airlines which had taken a serious beating, from the time flight MH370 disappeared.
"There is a need for the Government to re-evaluate and see how MAS can continue," said Wong, adding that the airline was in a very difficult financial position, and could possibly even be "beyond rescue".
However, Wong said that he would continue to fly Malaysia Airlines, as "for all its sheer bad luck, is still a very good airline".
The KL-bound Boeing 777, which was expected to have arrived in Malaysia at 6.10 am on Friday morning, lost contact with the control tower at 10.15pm local time Thursday, while it was flying in the Ukrainian airspace.
Malaysia Airlines, in a statement, disclosed that there were 189 passengers from Netherlands, Malaysia (44), Australia (27), United Kingdom (9), Belgium (4), Germany (4), Philippines (3), Canada (1) and New Zealand (1).
As of 8.20pm Friday, the nationalities of four passengers had yet to be identified.