Written by Fatin Amalina
After the heart-breaking stories of two Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight, MH370 and MH 17, again the world has been shocked by the same flight brand only on a different case, the controversial news regarding on sexual assault by Malaysia Airlines’ steward towards its passenger. The occurrence was reported in August 2014 which was a month after the tragic incident of the airlines’ flight.
What had made the incident look a lot bitter, the assault was carried out during the Chief Steward of MAS, Mohammed Rosli Bin Ab Karim performing his formalities. He was then detained by the police officers in France after allegations of sexual assault to one of the MH20 passengers, Laura Bushney on August 4th 2014. According to Bushney, the steward was trying to ‘calm and comfort’ as she was expressing how worried she was being on the plane in conjunction with the incidents that took place between MH370 and MH17. At the end, the action then allegedly turned into a sexual assault. Bushney made a police report about the ‘inappropriate sexual behaviour’. MAS terminated Mohd Rosli two weeks after the alleged incident on August 25th, 2014, and MAS came to admit of the following indictment, Mohammed Rosli was misbehaving against her. According to Astro Awani, MAS affirmed that:
… Malaysia Airlines has always expect the best standard of our staff and we also take seriously the claims of its kind. We will assist the French authorities to investigate (Tamboo, 2014).
However, two years after the occurrence, Bushney sued the carrier under the Montreal Convention for RM616, 000 while Mohammed Rosli was guaranteed in France and is still awaiting trial. Bushney has two years to get compensation based on the physical harm suffered and financial loss, according to Montreal Convention.
The fact that the incident took place between two different countries is obvious to show how drastically contrast the media coverage is. Now, let’s have a little glance on how the story was being covered between a Malaysian media, Astro Awani and an International media, Daily Mail.
Based on what was seen by Astro Awani coverage, it was crystal clear that they were playing with ‘picking side’ style of reporting. This can be proven when Astro Awani for a numerous times revealed the name and personal data of the sexual assault victim, Laura Bushney.
The offender (Mohammed Rosli) on the other hand, not even a single name was mentioned throughout the entire coverage. This plainly shows that Astro Awani was not being ethically fair to both parties of the case because when someone’s name is revealed, in fact, it technically endangers the person’s position too. However, both names were revealed according to the coverage made by Daily Mail.
Table 1: the table shows certain info and taken a passage from the article that was reported by Astro Awani which shows a different standard given by them towards Bushney and Mohammed Rosli where only the victim’s name and information was revealed.
One of the things that many news agencies always fail to ‘keep an eye’ onto is to prevent from any sense of a ‘hoop-la’. Why? Because audience loves it when seasoning and flavour are added to the stories.
On November, 15 2014, Astro Awani posted a news article entitled ‘Keluarga bekas pramugara MAS didakwa lakukan serangan seksual rayu bantuan’ shows more sympathy for Mohammed Rosli where they interviewed his daughter and son in law.
…“Kami semua merindui sangat bapa kami dan tidak tahu apa lagi yang boleh kami lakukan… “Kami hanya berharap kepada mana-mana pihak yang boleh membantu kami untuk membawa balik bapa kami,” tambah Mohamad Faiq (son in law)… “Surat tersebut mengatakan bahawa MAS memberinya 60 hari untuk memfailkan rayuan terhadap keputusan itu sedangkan mereka sedia maklum bahawa bapa kami sedang dalam tahanan di Paris dan tidak berada dalam Malaysia… “MAS tidak memberikan bantuan kepada kami untuk menjejaki bapa kami. MAS meninggalkan kami dalam keadaan serba tidak tahu dan ini amat mengecewakan dan menyedihkan kami sekeluarga,” tambahnya. “Dia (bapa) telah kehilangan berat badan. Dia kelihatan sakit dan tertekan. Dia menghadapi masalah berkaitan pemakanan dan mengalami stres selain tekanan darah tinggi… “Paling menyedihkan adalah pada hari terakhir kerana kami tidak dapat berjanji kepadanya bila dia boleh pulang,” kongsi Syaza yang tidak dapat menahan kesedihan… (Syafique Shuib, 2014).
Apart from that, Astro Awani also posted a news article which reported that Bushney had been deprecated on social media. Together with the news, Astro Awani attached few tweets that were posted by the netizens that disagreed with the entire issue of sexual assault and thought that Bushney was actually playing victim.
From the tweets, what can we digest from Astro Awani is that they had shown less professionalism in news reporting. At this point, what can we question is; are these propagandas purposely implanted so that their news would sell?
At the end of everything, we can never deny the fact that communication is the most significant part for every organisational operation as it not only functioning in connecting and interacting within the organisation itself, hence also enables people to communicate world-widely. With the existence of communication, automatically it enables ones to be reached borderless. However, the same thing also goes to media, where communication becomes a connector with one country to another. Hence to every company that sells communication like Astro Awani and Daily Mail, what they need to be aware of is that communication is actually representing who they are. For example, if they are practising and promoting good communication, it shall be a direct image of the company viewed positively among others.
Nevertheless, after a thorough glance of this issue, what can be summarised is that both of local and international news media agencies have their strengths and weaknesses moreover on the way of reporting. Local news are more to exaggerating the news to make it bombastic while international news are straight forward on the issue that they want to report even they if practice freedom of media. However, it is clear that Astro Awani is still in poor communication when it comes to reporting news to its audience.
Malaysiakini. (2015, December 11). 3,000 rape cases in Malaysia every year. Retrieved from Malaysiakini.com: http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/322980
Syafique Shuib. (2014, November 15). Keluarga bekas pramugara MAS didakwa lakukan serangan seksual rayu bantuan. Retrieved from Astro Awani`: http://www.astroawani.com/berita-malaysia/keluarga-bekas-pramugara-mas-didakwa-lakukan-serangan-seksual-rayu-bantuan-48465
Tamboo, L. T. (2014, August 14). Pramugara MAS ditahan polis Perancis kerana didakwa lakukan serangan seksual. Retrieved from Astro Awani: http://www.astroawani.com/berita-malaysia/pramugara-mas-ditahan-polis-perancis-kerana-didakwa-lakukan-serangan-seksual-41909