Malaysian authorities called murderers

2014-03-25 07:10
Malaysia Airlines Group CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, speaks during a press conference at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang. (File, AP)

Malaysia Airlines Group CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, speaks during a press conference at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang. (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia drew criticism on Tuesday for its announcement that a missing passenger jet had been lost at sea, even before any wreckage was found.

A sombre Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Monday that Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which vanished more than two weeks ago with 239 people on board, had "ended in the southern Indian Ocean".

He cited fresh satellite tracking data and said the information was being shared "out of a commitment to openness and respect for the families, two principles which have guided this investigation".

Malaysian authorities have come in for repeated criticism for perceived secretiveness or contradictory information since the plane fell off air traffic control screens on 8 March on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Najib's announcement drew further flak. In Beijing some relatives of passengers vented their anger, decrying Malaysian authorities as "murderers".

And China's deputy foreign minister demanded authorities in Kuala Lumpur hand over the new satellite data.

Malaysia Airlines was also criticised for informing some next-of-kin in a text message that the plane was lost with no survivors.

Insensitive

The airline said most families were told in advance of Najib's statement in person and by telephone, with SMS used only as an additional means.

Bridget Welsh, an expert on Malaysian politics at the Singapore Management University, said the authorities' intentions were good but the means of breaking the news could have been improved.

"The use of SMS messages even for additional communication could have been rethought. I imagine every time a person looks at their phone they will be reminded of their loss," she told AFP.

Paul Yap, an aviation lecturer at Temasek Polytechnic in Singapore, said Najib should have delayed his announcement until debris confirmed as coming from the plane had been found.

Online criticism abounded, together with messages of condolences for the victims - two-thirds of them from China.

"How can Malaysian government declare flight 'ended' in Indian Ocean but with no physical evidence?? #MH370 #dontbelieveit," one user posted.

"Malaysian airlines and government concealed and delayed information then tells news of dead relatives by text. #disgusting #MH370," another said.

A Malaysia Airlines spokesperson denied the texting had been insensitive, saying counsellors had been with relatives gathered at hotels in Kuala Lumpur and Beijing to offer support.

The Malaysian government, which has held daily press briefings, has insisted it is passing on information as promptly as it can.

Gerry Soejatman, an independent aviation consultant based in Jakarta, said Najib's announcement marked a "sad day, but at the end of it, we have to be realistic".

"It was the right thing to do to go ahead and announce, but I understand the frustration of the people. Sadly, the Malaysian government is in a 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' kind of situation," Soejatman said.

"They were criticised for waiting for verification because it meant delays in disseminating information, and now they are being criticised for releasing information as soon as they can."

NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
29 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Job: .NET Web developer - Leading Digital Agency- Cape Town R13,000 – R18,000

Cape Town Southern Suburbs
Initiate International
R13 000 - R15 000 Per Month

Engineer (IT)

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Hi-Tech Recruitment - Johannesburg

Counter Sales Person (Cape Town)

Cape Town CBD
Mpumalanga Personnel & Training Consultants

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Your sense of duty is emphasized and you may put your heart and soul into helping, serving and being there for the community in a...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.