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

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora