The sad saga of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 supposedly flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, but whose fate is still unknown, tells many stories of our times.

There is the mystery of what happened to the aircraft. There are large questions about the competence of the Malaysian authorities. There are revealing questions about the value of human lives and the values of peoples and governments in trying to protect and care for human life.

Malaysia's prime minister, Najib Razak, took seven days before admitting that the flight's communications systems had been switched off and that MH370 had been tracked for seven hours since its last contact in a different direction from the one to which it was supposed to be going. He refused to state that the aircraft had been hijacked and merely said that "we are investigating all possibilities as to what caused the aircraft to deviate from its original flight path."