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MH370-inspired Halloween costumes anger Malaysians

No, it is absolutely not okay to turn a national tragedy into the subject of fun and jokes

By Andrea Tim | Published: 3 Nov 2014

This joke is not ok
Photo: Screenshot via Hype.my

While the fate of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which went missing on 8 March this year, remains a mystery, a number of Halloween-partygoers thought it would be a good idea to mine the tragedy for costume ideas.

The Star Online first reported the inconsiderate act: a photo posted on Instagram of three women dressed in cheongsams, wearing gruesome makeup and holding fake Malaysia Airlines cabin crew identification cards. The caption included the hashtags #somethingwong, #malaysiaairlines and #flightmh370. The photo was posted by user @nystone01. Her account no longer exists.

"Our country is still hurting from the missing flight, but you seem to think it is okay to make fun and publicise it to the world," Malaysian Instagram user @maylimchinai commented on the offending photo.

Nystone01 and her friends weren't the only ones to demonstrate a lack of tact. Hype.my posted more screenshots of other Halloween costumes, which also poked fun at MH370.

The display has angered thousands of Malaysians and foreigners alike, the same way two 19-year-old students, who dressed up last year as the World Trade Center Twin Towers from the September 11 tragedy, became the target of online abuse.

Ismail Nasaruddin, president of the National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia, has warned individuals who posted photos of their offensive Halloween costumes to remove the photos before legal action is taken.

"Such jokes or innuendo should be refrained from because it may hurt the feelings of those who have lost their loved ones," he told the Malay Mail. "Having a Halloween party depicting the MH370 or MH17 does not give a positive message because those are international tragedies involving many nations."


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