News / Asia

Obama to Visit Malaysia Amid MH370 Criticisms

Obama Visits Malaysia Following MH370 Criticismsi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
April 25, 2014 10:18 AM
President Barak Obama heads to Malaysia this weekend, where the host government’s handling of the disappearance of the Malaysia Airways flight has drawn international attention - and criticism. But even critics note that Malaysia has successfully used its diplomatic connections to cobble together a vast multinational search effort, in which both the U.S. and China have featured prominently. Mahi Ramakrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur.
President Barak Obama heads to Malaysia this weekend, where the host government’s handling of the disappearance of the Malaysia Airways flight has drawn international attention - and criticism. But even critics note that Malaysia has successfully used its diplomatic connections to cobble together a vast multinational search effort, in which both the U.S. and China have featured prominently.

It has been more than six weeks since Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared, shining an intense and sustained international spotlight on Malaysia.

Fruitless search

Top officials, such as Acting Transportation Minister Hishamuddin Hussein, have faced a barrage of tough questioning and criticism from the international media over their handling of the so far fruitless search.

“I hope and I hope appeal to everybody that, though we understand their concerns we are trying our very best,” he said.

Malaysia's ruling party has been in charge for more than 50 years. Professor Azmi Sharom says it was totally unprepared for such scrutiny.

“They are more used to the more docile local media so it's not surprising that they didn't know how to handle it. Also there's a tradition of non-transparency with regards to governmentt activities and in this situation absolute transparency was necessary,” he said.

Despite missteps in releasing information, strategic analyst Steve Wong and others have praised Malaysia’s success in getting as many as two dozen countries, including both China and the U.S., to assist with the search.

“It's a triumph of Malaysia's foreign policy and diplomacy within the region, although it is shaped as I said both by what it is capable of doing. It is not a China. It is not a large power. It is a friendly power to all the countries concerned. And it is a power that actually is in need of help,” said Wong.

Was CIA involved?

But days before U.S. President Barack Obama’s first visit to Malaysia, a newspaper seen as the mouthpiece of the ruling party wrote an editorial suggesting the CIA may have been responsible for the flight’s disappearance.

Policy analyst Wan Saiful Wan Jan says such wild claims are counterproductive for the search effort and the government's image.

“It is tremendously embarrassing to us I think, not just the ruling party but the whole country should be embarrassed by this, for a major newspaper, seen as a mainstream newspaper being linked to the ruling party, being able to say ridiculous statements like this,” he said.

Political analyst Karim Raslan says the flight’s disappearance has clearly strained relations with China whose media and officials have criticized Malaysia’s handling of the crisis.

“The Chinese authorities have an ability to allow nationalist sentiment to be whipped up against certain countries and parties. They've done it with Japan. Are they going to unleash the forces on Malaysia? I think that that would be very irresponsible, and it's entirely within their charge and within their call,” said Raslan.

But both U.S. and Chinese officials have acknowledged that this disappearance of flight MH370 has been an unprecedented event that very few countries would have been equipped to deal with.

You May Like

Photogallery Oxfam: Ebola Could Be 'Disaster of Our Generation'

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba, says the Caribbean island nation will 'gladly cooperate' with the US in the fight against Ebola in West Africa More

Multimedia Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

Refugees receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed More

India’s Ruling Nationalist Party Makes Gains in Regional Elections

Bharatiya Janata Party’s huge margin over its rivals puts it on course to form governments in the northern Haryana and western Maharashtra states More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid