Crisis of credibility in Malaysian plane search


This is an article I wrote a couple of days ago for Asia Times Online:

It has been a sight that Malaysians are unaccustomed to – senior ministers and officials shifting uncomfortably and bristling in delivering curt responses to journalists trying to extract more information about the still unresolved March 8 disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines jetliner destined for China.

Graphic: Sydney Morning Herald
The search areas for Friday, 21 March 2014 and earlier this week – Graphic: Sydney Morning Herald

A series of false leads and apparent withheld information about the airliner’s known pathway has resulted in a wild goose chase involving dozens of countries. Today, Australia’s Air Force said it sighted two objects in the southern Indian Ocean that may be related to missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

The Malaysian government’s unexplained delay in disclosing the plane’s turn back from its scheduled route toward an area near Penang in the west coast of the peninsula has exposed Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government to global criticism of its perceived as inept crisis management.

Full article in Asia Times Online

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There are a number of reasons why anyone would not reveal all that there is to reveal in any such situation for reasons that concern security, potential litigation, consequential damages that flow from imprecise information and the sheer size of the tragedy that the disappearance of MH 370 presented the government of Malaysia. President Obama in an off the mic (or so he thought) remark said not long after the tragedy “I’m glad its them an not us having to deal with this”. The truth is this. No one and not any nation has performed any differently in such a… Read more »

Her Cul Ese

Bull is still bull, Julia – it does not matter what language is used. However I feel sorry for the people under the spotlight especially the Politicians, MAS officials and the Military. I agree with you that we should give these guys a break for the sake of the bigger picture. Imagine if we were the ones answering the questions. Could be worse. Its a most unfortunate incident and all of us should not worry or condemn, the way this this thing is being handled for lack of finesse but rather, I feel people should pray at this time that… Read more »


Her Cul Ese, we appreciate your concerns for those handling the long haul crisis, unprecedented in modern aviation history. Short of perfection in SAR effort, may we pray for a positive outcome in the face of daunting obstacles.
Knee-‘jerks’ (emo-political reactionists) are what we least expected or welcome in this moment of uncertainty.


Very interesting article on MH370 although criticism of the Malaysian officials lack of proficiency in the English language seems a bit unfair. Isn’t Malay the official language in Malaysia ? Surely it would be logical that the international press conferences are held in Malay, with interpreters. Nobody expects Francois Hollande to speak English, anymore than David Cameron bothers to speak French.Here in Europe many of us are impressed by the tireless effort and courtesy shown by the Malaysian officials in the face of the braying international media pack. To be suddenly thrust on the world stage is daunting enough, but… Read more »


Nice to hear from you, julia.
In times of crisis management, it is important to get to the solutions fast, whatever it takes.
But over here, there are some knee-‘jerks’ born of emo-politikus highs & lows who unashamedly, in contradiction to their ‘shame of Malaysia’ lambasted those who have to face daily press conferences, notwithstanding the Q&A sessions.
It’s more of an opportunistic politically motivated blame-game, a familiar tactic of some politicians whom you may not be familiar with.


But, she added, she only realised that she may have spotted the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 after landing at the KL International Airport at 4pm and was told about the missing plane.

“It looked like an aeroplane,” The Star quotes Raja Dalelah as saying. “Throughout the journey, I was staring out of the window of the aircraft as I couldn’t sleep during the flight.”

Well, She must have super infra eye to see in the pitch dark ocean.


Everybody seem to be seeing thing from the South China Sea to Thailand to Penang to Straits of Malacca to Andaman to Indian Ocean to Australia. Housewife: I spotted plane in Indian Ocean. Now what, blame Hisahm and the govt. Give Hisham and team a break please

Ong Eu Soon

Sorry! It is the disclosing the plane’s turn back from its scheduled route toward an area near Penang in the west coast of the peninsula has exposed Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government that make the world laugh at Malaysia. The refusal to release the satellite data to public is the main problem of our government. Our military was overconfident with their own finding refused to accept the finding of our civilian aviation finding! Our aviation expert had earlier dismissed the suggestion that MH370 flew over Strait of Melacca and was detected near Pulau Perak. This denial was one day prior… Read more »


dear yang, I think I am one of the few left who still bother to talk to you. ya, am a nuisance and real stupid to do that. yang, before 505 you were strongly for Pakatan and condemned that good for nothing BN but now you turned around 180 degree and sing BN’s praises to the extent of making most readers viomitting. I just wonder how your colleagues and friends look at you now ??? If one day I give up on Pakatan, I won’t betray my own conscience to sing the praises of that useless and corrupted to the… Read more »


Come on man, Kee, This is not about Pakatan or BN. This is about MH370 and above politics.You do not betray your conscience if you give up Pakatan. You only betray your conscience if you betray your belief which has always been fairness, corruption and transparency and what Pakatan stood for. Ask yourself truly in the heart, does PR really stood for that. if yes, no problem go with it. As for me I do not believe Pakatan stood for that anymore so I have the right not to support it. I can turn 180 degree so what, my conscience… Read more »

Rich Daddy

Anil, why spin so hard and never stop kutuk negara sendiri ??? Have you ever see Singapore, China, US using their COMBAT submarines to do SAR ??? Do you know what are the best tools for the SAR ??? Aside from lesser sonar capability (when using submarines vs ships), we also need to maintain “safe clearance” between submarines and ships in the SAR areas (to prevent collision) which defeating the purpose of having lots of ships with wide observation capability. If you don’t know a thing about submarines and SAR, please don’t comment too much. You look very very stupid,… Read more »


What is happening to our country when we have morons after morons politicizing a sad event for their political mileage of the govt. What crisis of credibility.?? This is an unprecedented event with more than 26 nations and about a hundred aircraft and ships searching a very wide areas. Even with such a huge armada and co-operation among the various govt working on the satellite, radar blip and ping, sighting etc it still lead to nowhere. Can we really blame our govt when some of the most advance nations like the US, Australia, China, Japan, France, Singapore, India etc etc… Read more »


Yes we know there is grief, anger and anxiety amongst the families of MH370. Its too bad the aircraft could not be found and the govt is at a loss maybe except to console and provide whatever info and assistance at this critical time. The govt is sending a high level person to Beijing and explain, console and provide whatever assistance they can to the families. MAS chief has said that if the Australian sighting is proven correct MAS will immediately fly them to Australia. Let the govt, Hisham and his team continue with their work and until such time… Read more »

Wee Chin

CNN’s Amanpour interviewed Anwar on MH307 incident:
Anwar: This Is 2014, The Government Can’t Govern The Obsolete Way

You will not see it on Astro Awani or TV3.


Ha Ha

And as I watched RTM TV1 News Anchorman (Ivan) who said : Usaha mencari MH370 yang DIKETUAI oleh Malaysia ……

Malaysia media as usual boasting about our capability to the kampung folks !

Wee Chin

If TLDM is to lead the salvage activity in the Indian Ocean, I think our GST next year would be higher than 6%.

Hisham was quick to point out that the Malaysian submarines has no capability to be involved in the search and rescue in the Indian Ocean. We are still awaiting him to tell us the capability of TUDM and its primary radar in time of airspace intrusion.


Ivan is cute!! And ofc he’s so fluent in Malay.


Kangkong land tenggelam, thanks to the leadership of a group of clowns !!!

How can our once lovely country not tenggelam when the country ministers’ utterances are a pile of rubbish!!!

How can a country not tenggelam when the leadership of a country knows no shame and only good at all the bukan-bukan…

When the ordinary people in the street cant trust the judiciary anymore, that country is as good as tenggelam !!!

Our country is now off radar too.

Sad !!!