Written by Aris Abd Rahman
The Mass Rapid Transit collision in Singapore on 16 November 2017 had worldwide media coverage on that incident as Singapore claimed that they have one of the world’s best public transportation systems. On that particular MRT collision, The Independence reported that the MRT is no longer a national pride but a national embarrassment. The tittle of the news was “MRT collision is branded a “blemish” in Singapore’s efficiency and infrastructure by international news outlets”. The collision at Joo Koon station being the latest in a string of service breakdowns that has plagued Singapore’s public transport system and inconvenienced countless commuters in recent years. The train collision injured at least 29 people and they had had to seek medical attention from local hospitals. The train collision has gained widespread international traction, with several news outlets commenting on the collision, the first such incident since 1993. Bloomberg News did not mince words in its report. The report was re-published in the South China Morning Post, as well:
“The incident is the latest blemish in a city known for its efficiency, tree-lined highways and slick infrastructure. Singapore’s mass transit system has been strained as the population expanded, leading to multiple breakdowns and delays especially in the past six years, symptomatic of a learning curve the city faces as it upgrades infrastructure rapidly to cope with more people.”
On the other hand, New Straits Times focus was on how many Malaysian were involved in this accident. The headline was “Wisma Putra confirms 6 Malaysians injured in Singapore’s train collision”. The news reported that The High Commission of Malaysia in Singapore is working closely with the local authorities to monitor and obtain further updates on the incident. Malaysians involved in the incident and require consular assistance are advised to contact the High Commission of Malaysia in Singapore and contact number so does email were given in order to communicate efficiently. The train accident was also reported simple and did not condemn the local authority.
“At 8.19am, a second train stopped behind the first faulty train. At 8.20am, the second train moved forward unexpectedly, and came into contact with the first train,” regulator Land Transport Authority (LTA) and train operator SMRT were quoted as saying.
A report by Ahmad Fairuz Othman (New Straits Times), with the tittle “Singapore MRT crash tests public’s faith in transport system” is more pleasant reading comparing to Bloomberg tittle “Singapore Train Collision Leaves 25 People Injured”.
The Mecca Grand Mosque crane collapse on 11 September 2015 received worldwide news as the crane fell 10 days before the start of the Haji, the annual pilgrimage for Islam. The Star quickly came out with the news “Six Malaysians missing after Mecca crane collapse” to alert Malaysian on the current situation. This first news was publish at 12 September 2015 at 11.23am. 3 hours later at 2.16pm, The Star produce a new report with the tittle “Name list of six Malaysians missing in Mecca crane collapse”. Meanwhile CNN updates their news with the tittle “107 killed in crane collapse at Mecca’s Grand Mosque”. Unlike The Star, CNN reported on how the catastrophic happen. The first sentences was “A powerful storm toppled a construction crane Friday afternoon at the Masjid al-Haram, or Grand Mosque, in Mecca — killing at least 107 people and injuring 238 others.”
CNN only reported at least 12 Egyptian pilgrims were injured but the remaining 226 was not reported. In this report CNN also quoted “The Grand Mosque is no stranger to tragedies, often because of the crush of people in Mecca for Hajj.”
“In 2006, a stampede killed at least 363 people. That stampede, like others in the past, happened during a stone-throwing ritual in which the pilgrims stone a symbolic devil. Hundreds were killed in stampedes in 2004 and 1998 and 1,426 died in 1990.”
BBC News reported similarly to CNN with the tittle “Mecca crane collapse: 107 dead at Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mosque.” BBC mention on the injuries casualties but the figure is different from CNN and The Star. This news mention 230 were injured and were treated as outpatient. The news also reported that, shortly before the crash, the city had been hit by unusually high levels of rainfall and winds of up to 83kph (50mph).
In reporting of both cases, the Malaysian newspaper such as The Star and New Straits Times focuses on Malaysian even though this two mishap did not happen in Malaysia. They focuses on Malaysian abroad and their safely when the catastrophic happen. Meanwhile for foreign newspaper such as CNN, BBC or even South China Post they see the bigger picture of the catastrophic and details in reporting.