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AT TAYLOR'S: Rani Kaur (RaniKaur.MohinderSingh@taylors.edu.my)
PROJECT PARTNER: Institut Onn Ja'afar (institutonnjaafar@gmail.com)
In the early morning hours of 8th March 2014, the entire world was shocked when Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, carrying 12 Malaysian crew members and 227 passengers of 15 nations, was reported missing. The aircraft, a Boeing 777-200ER, from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) bound for Beijing International Airport lost contact with air traffic control at 01:19 MYT when it was over the South China Sea, less than an hour after takeoff. It then disappeared from air traffic control radar screens and has not been found since.
 
As the mystery surrounding the missing Flight 370 entered its first anniversary, Taylor’s Residences Service Learning initiative hosted ‘#MH370 Forever In Our Hearts’ in collaboration with Institut Onn Ja’afar (IOJ) to encourage staff and students to come together in remembrance of the lives lost. This event underscored the values held by fellow Malaysians on the importance and sanctity of life, and conducted a prayer for peace. Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus hosted the event which saw a crowd of 800 volunteers from Taylor’s University (TU) and Taylor’s College  as well as invitees from residential communities of Universiti MalayaUniversiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaUniversiti Teknologi MARA and Universiti Putra Malaysia  who came together in solemn remembrance.
 
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The program started with heartfelt wishes via a video message, to the families of these victims from the VVIP guest, Yang Berhormat Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein Onn, the patron of IOJ and a Vice-Chancellor and President of Taylor's University, Professor Dato’ Dr. Hassan Said. This was followed by a video dedicated to the families of passengers on board this ill-fated flight that allowed participants to connect to the loss and pain of those left behind. In this solemn space, prayers were silently said in the minute of silence observed by all present. Charles Mohan, Chief Executive Officer of IOJ, said that the event co-hosted by THM was held to give hope and encouragement to family members of the passengers and crew of flight MH370. “We may not know the victims of MH370 well, but the incident has brought people of Malaysia together to pray and hope for the best for the family members to move on with their lives,” he reflected.
 
At the event, Professor Dato’ Dr. Hassan together with Ms. Sheena Angelina, Chief Operating Officer of THM, Ms. Angela Pok, Vice President Student Experience of TU, Ms. Yuen Mei Lin, Director of THM and Mr. Charles, released 239 pink and white balloons as a symbol of remembrance of the 239 passengers and crew on MAS Flight 370. Professor Dato’ Dr. Hassan said he was overwhelmed by the spirit and commitment shown by students from the various local universities. “The repercussions of the missing aircraft reminded us of the importance of cooperation when confronted with a disaster, and I could see how committed the students were, in their volunteer activities,” he said.  Julia Shenjaya, University Residence Leader and current degree student in Architecture shared her thoughts on being present. “I want to support the victims’ family, but I know there is nothing much we can do. This event has brought us all together to respect and pray for them, hoping that they will find peace in future.”

On 29th January 2015, the Malaysian government declared the missing aircraft an accident under international aviation regulations and all 239 passengers and crew were presumed dead.

Written by Amelia Ooi
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