Early on July 22 the two black boxes from the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 were handed over by Alexander Boroday, Prime Minister of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) to Colonel Mohamed Sakri of Malaysian National Security Council. As the latter stated that both devices were intact, they signed a document to confirm it. The world watched on TV how an official of the state that had suffered most as a result of the MH17 tragedy personally thanked for cooperation «Mr. Boroday» and his people who are called «pro-Russian terrorists» by Kiev and the West. For «terrorists», they behaved, indeed, surprisingly well. The Malaysian experts, as well as the experts of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe were given green light to conduct search and inquiry within the area of the plane’s crash. The remains of the passengers and the crew were passed to the Malaysians without any delay. All was done in line with the UN Security Council resolution N 2166 of July 22 which demands a comprehensive and independent investigation of the tragedy according to the principles and rules of the International Civil Aviation Organization.
This episode is hardly supporting the myth about the «terrorists» who shot down the civilian airliner. No perpetrator would give the world an evidence of his crime with so much care about the good condition of the evidence. On TV, the DPR Prime Minister and the members of his team looked like a group of reasonable people in control of themselves – unlike Ukrainian parliamentarians who literally fight each other in the session hall and can never agree on anything. If the «terrorists» were just doing what Moscow told them to do, then, perhaps, the advice was not so bad. If not, then shall we view the DPR as an independent and responsible actor in international affairs?
By the way, Malaysia is quite well-known for its hypersensitivity to anything that smacks of terrorism. The Southeast Asia Regional Centre for Counter-Terrorism – SEARCCT is operational there since 2003. If the Malaysian officials are coming into a public contact with those who are already labeled as «terrorists», it means that they, in fact, do not share this assessment.
To be sure, Colonel Sakri was not acting on his own initiative in Donetsk. Before July 22 came to an end, Reuter’s issued a story by Trinna Leong and Siva Govindasamy, two well-known Malaysian investigative reporters, on the background of the contacts between Malaysia and the DPR. According to them, all preparations for that were conducted in high secrecy and under personal supervision of Najib Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia. While some of his advisers were suggesting an early and emotional statement on the tragedy, not unlike those coming from Washington, London and Canberra, Najib was developing an alternative course. Working through unnamed intermediaries to reach Alexander Boroday, he had at least one telephone contact with him. Malaysia was basically focused on bringing back the bodies, obtaining the black boxes and assuring that investigators have access to the crash site. Boroday wanted a paper acknowledging that the black boxes were not tampered with, and did not want them in Ukrainian hands. As the later events showed, the interlocutors came to an understanding pretty soon. In parallel the Malaysian leader was talking to the Russian President: according to kremlin.ru they had two phone conversations on July 17-18.
With two MAS airliners lost over just a few months, passions in Malaysia and the world are running high. Taking this into account, Prime Minister Najib deserves special merit for his restraint and wisdom. But this is more than strictly personal: his posture is a reminder of the foreign policy vector developed by his great predecessor, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.
This is not to say that Najib has no beliefs of his own. He is the founder of the Global Movement of Moderates – GMM, propagating dialogues to solve domestic and international disputes, and rejecting all forms of dictate in world affairs.
Najib’s refusal to dance to the Western tune in the particular case of MH17 may have another important reason. There are still too many disturbing questions about the earlier disappearance of MH370.
At the end of the day, all those fed up with media hypocrisy and lies about the disaster over Donetsk, have a reason to say «Bravo, Mr. Prime Minister! Thank You, Malaysia!»