It is very rare that Malaysia headlines international channels for weeks on end. That’s exactly what happened the past few weeks for a very unfortunate reason. We are all saddened by the misadventure of Malaysia Airlines flight 370. The senseless loss of lives hurts, and it hurt more for not knowing how and why. We offour our deepest sympathy to the families and friends of all those onboard.

For the first time in many years, people of all races, across countries, political inclinations and religious beliefs are united in their desire to find the place and in praying for its recovery.

However, that unity was short lived. The moment Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak declares that the plane has been lost, the ugly nature of people became apparent. Relatives and state media led the charade of labelling Malaysia as a country of liars and incompetent people. Never mind that it was the Chinese satellite images that first led the search efforts pointlessly into the South China Sea. A whole day was wasted as a result. Never mind that despite the superior satellite, military and search and rescue capabilities of China, it didn’t come close to finding the plane on its own. The voice of China was echoed by its state media, popular artistes and many Malaysians.

Then there was the accusations that the search and rescue efforts were not transparent. Never mind that from day 1, the world’s media has descended on Malaysia – leaving almost no room for secrecy. never mind that China, that has been leading the accusation of non-transparency is one of the least transparent countries in the world. Again, the same accusations were shared universally by netizens and others who’s contribution to the extire tragedy was nothing more than watching it unfold on their television. indeed, it’s easy to be an armchair critic.

DOUBLE DISASTER For Malaysia Airlines, the loss of the aircraft couldn’t have come at a worse time. After a failed share swap with AirAsia that’s now being investigate by the Malaysia Competition Commission, the company have been beset by a near revold of its union. Last year, it posted a loss of over US$ 300 million. With some of the largest online travel agencies in China now boycotting sales of its ticket, the number of travellers from China at an all time low and a mega lawsuit in the offing, the airline is now facing its darkest moments. All the transformation plans, equipment upgrade, improvement in service and products offerings are now on the verge of going down the drains. I’d pay anything not to be in the position of MAS right now.

LESSONS FOR SMEs if there’s anything that this whole episode has highlighted, it’s how every company, big or small, should have disaster mitigation and recovery plan in place. Even MAS, despite years of preparing for crisis such as MH730, couldn’t have anticipated the public sypathy-turned-furore the disaster attracted.

Imagine this: You have spent years to carefully nurture a business. All your staff and their families rely on you to keep their lives going. You have developed a lean and mean organisation that’s ready to take on the world. And then an unexpected disaster strikes. What then?

Many of us simply hasn’t put aside the funds, the resources and the know-how to handle any unexpected setbacks. let the MH370 incident be lesson for all of us in business. there’s really no such thing as too much preparations for the unexpected.