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

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake 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.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid