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Survey shows 50% of Malaysians unhappy with Putrajaya’s handling of MH370 crisis
01-Apr-2014, The Malaysian Insider
By Elizabeth Zachariah
|Media members outside the Equatorial Hotel in Bangi, Putrajaya, where relatives of passengers from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 are staying. A survey by Merdeka Centre for Opinion Research shows that 50% of Malaysians are unhappy with Putrajaya's handling of the crisis. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, April 1, 2014.
As Malaysia continues to face mounting criticism over the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 – for instance, its lack of transparency and conflicting statements – a survey has shown that 50% of Malaysians are unhappy with Putrajaya's handling of the crisis.
The survey, carried out by the Merdeka Center for Opinion Research, revealed that only 43% were satisfied with the way Putrajaya was dealing with the issue.
The results were based on a survey done on 1,005 respondents – 60% Malay, 31% Chinese and 9% Indians – through phone interviews from March 7 to 20.
However, approval towards Putrajaya’s handling of the incident varies distinctly according to racial lines.
The majority of Chinese and Indian respondents were dissatisfied, at 74% and 59% respectively. Only 18% of Chinese and 36% of Indian polled said they were satisfied.
But 63% of Malay respondents expressed satisfition with the handling compared with 30% who said they were not.
Malaysia has come under heavy fire for miscommunication, and the failure of search and rescue efforts for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, particularly from China. The incident has now entered its fourth week. Out of the 239 people on MH370, 154 were Chinese.
The families of Chinese passengers have continued to accuse Malaysia of mismanaging the search and withholding information even as authorities concluded that the plane had crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.
Opposition politicians have also condemned Putrajaya for the plane's disappearance and have repeatedly called for a Parliamentary Select Commitee (PSC) to investigate the matter.
MH370 went missing on March 8 shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport bound for Beijing.
The search for the plane was first focused in the South China Sea where the plane was thought to have been but it was later determined that the plane made a deliberate turn back and flew over Peninsular Malaysia.
Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri was criticised after he said that the military did not respond when it saw an unidentified flight on its military radar as they had assumed that the air traffic control in Subang had ordered the plane to do a turn back.
A day later, he issued a terse two paragraph statement admitting that he had assumed that the air traffic control asked the lost flight to turn back, adding his assumption was not accurate.
Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had hit out at Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for failing to "be seen to be hands on" in the incident which has captured global attention.
Today, Pakatan Rakyat MPs were upset over acting transport minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein's decision to attend the Asean Defence Ministers meeting in Hawaii, instead of briefing them tonight on MH370.
Describing it as the "height of irresponsibility and an utter contempt of parliament", DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang (pic) said they wanted Hishammuddin to brief them, and not his officers. – April 1, 2014.