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Political Corruption in the Airline Industry Essay

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Updated: Jun 5th, 2020

The cartoon.
The cartoon.

The cartoon relates to the recent disappearance of the Malaysian Airline Jet Flight 370. The Boeing 777-200ER had 239 people on board; 227 passengers and 12 crew members. It took off from Kuala Lumpur on March 8, 2014 and was headed to Beijing, China. The plane lost contact with the control towers between Malaysia and Vietnam and no call or signal was made indicating any problem before it disappeared from civilian radar. The satellite data indicated the plane went off course west before flying south of the Indian Ocean, and since no signs of mechanical problems had been noted, the plane is believed to have been diverted on purpose. The pilots are suspected to be responsible for the missing flight (Ramakrishnan, 2014).

The last words believed to have been from the plane were “All right, good night”, by the copilot. It is not known what the words meant, but knowing that the pilot might have diverted the plane on purpose, the words might carry hidden meaning. The captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53 years old was an experienced veteran pilot and had the knowledge to divert the flight, unlike his 27 year old copilot Fariq Ab Hamid, who did not have the expertise.

The captain had no militia connections, but he was a firm supporter of the opposition party in Malaysia. The party leader Anwar Ibrahim had been accused of committing sexual crimes and the day of the flight he was found guilty and jailed for five years though his supporters protested the ruling. Zaharie was present when the verdict was made and is likely to have protested by diverting the flight because the time it lost contact it was in the safe flight path and the weather conditions were excellent (Ramankrishnan, 2014).

Investigators searched Zaharie’s premises and asked the relatives if anything was suspicious about behavior of Zaharie in the last days before the flight. There was also the case of two passengers using stolen passports; Nourmohammadi 18, and Delavar Seyed Mohammad Reza 29, both Iranian nationals. The two also raised suspicions on whether they were involved in any terrorist activities and if they might have been involved in the disappearance of the plane and why were they using stolen passports.

The cartoon relates to this in that the two nationals may have used corrupt means to avoid security checks, and the pilot also had a personal political affiliation which may have caused him to divert the flight in retaliation to the court’s decision and wanted the government to feel the effect. The search for the missing flight has been a difficult task since it involves large masses of water in the Indian Ocean and many nations have offered help in the search. Planes and ships have surrounded Indian Ocean where China’s satellite imagery captured floating debris where the plane was last located though nothing was found (Siegel & Martina, 2014). The search and investigations are still ongoing.

The airline industry has been marred by corruption scandals in the past years, which greatly affects the country’s security. Thus, security operatives in the airports should do a thorough check and screening of the passengers and their luggage regardless of their status, and whether they are top officials in government or just local citizens. This will help in avoiding cases of smuggling, terrorist attacks and hijacking of the planes. Bribery should not be condoned at any cost and any individual found receiving or giving bribes should be charged in the court of law.

Corruption has been synonymous with American politics and administration. It is so deeply rooted in the system, making it impossible to eradicate the vice. An example as shown in the cartoon above is the case of drug and human trafficking. The government officials use the powers they have for their own private gain. An official could be trading in drugs and weapons and will instead bribe the security operatives not to check their luggage and use the back door to avoid security checks at the airports.

There is a large flow of illegal money from drugs in the American banking institutions that are causing adverse effects to the citizens who have no idea of what is happening behind the closed corridors of government institutions, but are greatly harmed and affected by this vice. These corrupt individuals are big wigs in the society; some are popular political figures who are cushioned by the government or government officials making it hard for them to be prosecuted. Corruption should be dealt with by the top organs of government first for it to be completely destroyed.

Corruption in government is so widespread that citizens have accepted it as normal and even though most cases of corruption in America are prosecuted, the vice is still widespread. Thus, to ensure the roots of corruption are uprooted both the government and private institutions should be checked and audited on a regular basis to ensure high transparency level and accountability (Ackerman, 2009). The vice is not only common among junior workers but also among the highest ranking politicians in the name of senators, governors and even presidents. Hence, to curb this vice there should be goodwill from both leaders and the people.


Ackerman, S. (2009) Corruption and Government: Causes, Consequences, and Reform. London, UK: McGraw Hill. Web.

Ramakrishnan, M. (2014). . Web.

Siegel, M., & Martina M. (2014). Malaysian Jet Search Resumes, US Sends a Second Poseidon Plane. Web.

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