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

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid