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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube 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.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid