News / Asia

Malaysia Jet Search Continues to Draw Ire

Search for Malaysia Jet Continues to Draw Irei
X
Carolyn Presutti
March 26, 2014 12:48 AM
The Malaysian government has been criticized for its handling of the investigation into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370. It’s been more than two weeks since the plane and its 239 passengers - two thirds of them from China - vanished, with only satellite data calculations indicating it likely crashed in a remote area of the southern Indian ocean. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look at the delays - why some are not surprised - and what this could mean for Malaysia’s future ties with China.
The Malaysian government has been criticized for its handling of the investigation into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370.   It’s been more than two weeks since the plane and its 239 passengers - two thirds of them from China -  vanished, with only satellite data calculations indicating it likely crashed in a remote area of the southern Indian ocean. 
 
In Beijing Tuesday, families upset over the handling of flight 370’s disappearance marched toward the Malaysian embassy, one day after Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced that Flight 370 and all those on board were gone.
 
Many would dispute that saying the Malaysian government has withheld information from families and the media.  Inmarsat, a British satellite company, told Malaysian officials four days after the disappearance that they had hourly signals from the plane.  Yet Malaysian officials delayed for three days before acting on that information. 
 
John Goglia spent years with the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, investigating plane crashes.  He blames Malaysian inexperience with air tragedies.
 
 “In this particular instance, what had come out certainly seemed disconnected.  Seemed like [they] didn’t follow any known processes that had been established for years and years,” says Goglia.
 
Neighboring countries were quick to join the search, but slow to share radar or satellite information with Malaysia about possible sightings.  Bud Musser used to fly the same Boeing 777 throughout Asia. 

“To save face. To not let the Indians or anyone else know that we have some weak points or that we have some people asleep on the radar,” says Musser.
 
Malaysia is in a difficult position. Observers say it does not want to anger the economic powerhouse of the area - China - and two-thirds of the passengers were Chinese.  Yet, China’s Global Times newspaper is running editorials blaming  Malaysia's government.  One editorial says:  “Malaysia is determined to enter the ranks of developed countries by 2020.  But judging from its handling of the MH370 incident, Malaysia’s modernization will take far longer than this.”
 
Malaysia has a growing tourism industry and last year, 1.8 million Chinese tourists visited Malaysia. But this could change.
 
There are going to be economic consequences, says Nile Bowie, a political reporter living in Kuala Lumpur.
 
“I was speaking to some of my Chinese friends in Beijing today and they said ‘We are definitely going to be boycotting Malaysia.  We won’t be coming to visit you anymore.’  The Chinese, I think have a ‘group think’ in situations like this and it could lead to a lack of trade between Malaysia and China, at the very worst,” says Bowie.
 
Many watching the events unfold in Malaysia say the longer the search drags on, the greater the chance that Flight 370 becomes an unsolved mystery.

Carolyn Presutti

Carolyn Presutti is an Emmy and Silver World Medal award winning television correspondent who works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters.   She has also won numerous Associated Press awards and a Clarion for her coverage of The Syrian Medical Crisis, Haiti, The Boston Marathon Bombing, Presidential Politics, The Southern Economy, and The 9/11 Bombing Anniversary.  In 2013, Carolyn aired exclusive stories on the Asiana plane crash and was named VOA’s chief reporter with Google Glass.

You can follow Carolyn on Twitter at CarolynVOA, on Google Plus and Facebook.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs