A most distressing scene: relatives — who simply want answers about what might have happened to their missing kin — dragged away from another haphazard press conference on flight MH370 in Kuala Lumpur last night. Once again, authorities didn’t have many answers.

That we don’t know where the whereabouts of the plane is not the fault of the government. But its handling of the whole situation has been calamitous. As our international affairs commentator Professor Damien Kingsbury writes today:

“In its five decades in power, assisted by rigging electoral boundaries, the Malaysian government has rarely been held to account, much less scrutiny. It is not used to addressing questions directly or, sometimes, honestly. However in recent years its grip on power has weakened.

“The MH370 crisis has shown how sclerotic the otherwise comfortable Malaysian government has become.”

In a void of real information, that’s an issue worth talking about.

****

It is with heavy hearts that we write to confirm that our Dog is leaving Crikey.

We will miss him dearly. Plucked from obscurity (yes, a call centre) seven years ago, pre-Twitter, if you can imagine it, First Dog on the Moon has gone from repeatedly marvelling out loud in amazement that he was “actually a full-time paid cartoonist” to an actual full-time paid cartoonist who owns at least one fancy suit, has met at least one prime minister (twice) and can now write “Walkley Award-winning” at the top of his bio. In his time with us he’s covered three election campaigns, an interregnum, Sarah Palin, that time we made him move his desk, the death of Kevin Rudd’s cat, a disproportionate amount of PMs, and everything in between.

Dog came to us as a fan of Crikey and that meant he was always more than just a cartoonist to us. He was committed to what Crikey stands for and he shared his ideas on everything, whether we wanted them or not. Crikey is all the richer for having housed, fed and watered him.

We’re very proud of his achievements. Tomorrow will be his last cartoon.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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