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

In China, Mixed Signals on Ebola Controls

How authorities are monitoring at-risk individuals remains unclear, including whether there are quarantines for Chinese health workers returning from West Africa More

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Electionsi
X
October 31, 2014 4:10 AM
Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid