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

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost-Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More