Crisis of credibility in Malaysian plane search

As unflattering global scrutiny intensifies, the country’s top leadership is also forced to face some tough questions over its handling of the MH370 disappearance, observes Anil Netto.

A media conference on the MH740 in progress - Photograph: themalaymailonline.com

A media conference on the MH740 in progress – Photograph: themalaymailonline.com

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.

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.

The government in general and air force in particular have faced uncomfortable questions over how its three radar locations in the north of the peninsula failed to detect the plane in the early hours of March 8 – an apparent failure that prevented fighter jets stationed at the air force base in Butterworth on mainland Penang from scrambling to intercept the jetliner and guide it to a safe landing.

Read the full article on the Asia Times website.

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