May 2-3, 2014
MY COMMENT: William Pesek is generous. I would give Malaysia ‘F’ for its handling of MH370 tragedy. Nothing illustrates this more than the release of the preliminary report which confirms what most of us in Malaysia knew about MH370 and that is our government has shown the world that it is incompetent, inept and poorly led. Our leaders lacked an appreciation of the severity of the tragedy in terms of national security. And that means we never learned the lessons of Lahad Datu. Arrogance will get us no where. Humility will since it is when the learning process begins. –Din Merican
Thanks, CLF…Be Yourself… this poem…it is still a beautiful world…we are children of the Universe–Din Merican
Crisis Management: Malaysia gets ‘D’ and South Korea earns ‘A-
Malaysia gets ‘D ’, South Korea ‘A-’ in handling of tragedies, says Bloomberg columnist
Putrajaya was once again slammed by a Bloomberg columnist who compared Malaysia’s handling of the MH370 saga with South Korea’s response to the recent Sewol ferry tragedy.
We accept God’s will but at the same time, we want as human beings to be accountable for our actions, lest another tragedy such as this will strike again due to our ignorance.
In a scathing attack, columnist William Pesek said he would give top marks to South Korea for their handling of the ferry tragedy but found Malaysia sorely lacking in handling the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
He said the incidents could be described as tests for the two governments, if not of Malaysian and South Korean societies. “The grades so far? I’d give Korea an A-, Malaysia a D,” he said in his Bloomberg column titled “One missing jet, one sunken ferry, two responses”.
Pesek said in the two weeks since the ferry sank, killing about 300 people on board, the South Korean government had reacted with self-questioning, shame and official penitence.
President Park Geun-hye issued a dramatic and heartfelt apology. Her No. 2, Prime Minister Chung Hong Won, resigned outright. Prosecutors hauled in the ship’s entire crew and raided the offices of its owners and shipping regulators. Citizens and the media are demanding speedy convictions and long-term reforms,” he said.
Najib must emulate S Korea’s accountability. Its President apologizes, its PM resigns over the ferry tragedy.
On the flip side, there was no such reaction on the part of Malaysian authorities 56 days after MH370 vanished, said Pesek. “No officials have quit. Prime Minister (Datuk Seri) Najib Razak seems more defiant than contrite. The docile local news media has focused more on international criticism of Malaysia’s leaders rather than on any missteps by those leaders themselves,” he said.
Pesek said although both countries are democracies, the key difference is the relative openness of their political systems.
“One party has dominated Malaysia since independence, while Korea, for all itsgrowing pains and occasional tumultuousness, has seen several peaceful transfers of power over the past quarter-century. Unused to having to answer critics, Malaysia’s government has responded defensively.
“Korean officials, on the other hand, are reflecting, addressing the anger of citizens, and delving into what went wrong with the shipping industry’s regulatory checks and balances,” he pointed out.
Pesek said South Korea was most likely to emerge from the crisis stronger than ever, unlike Malaysia. He said this could be seen from the way both countries handled the 1997 Asian financial crisis.
Pesek said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who was the Prime Minister then, had blamed the ringgit’s plunge on some shadowy Jewish cabal headed by George Soros instead of internalising what had gone wrong.
“It didn’t admit it had been using capital inflows unproductively and that coddling state champions – including Malaysia Airlines – was killing competitiveness. Never did the ruling United Malays National Organisation consider it might be part of the problem.”
Pesek said South Korea, on the other hand, forced weak companies and banks to fail, accepting tens of thousands of job losses. South Korean authorities, he said, clamped down on reckless investing and lending and addressed moral hazards head-on.
“Koreans felt such shame that millions lined up to donate gold, jewellery, art and other heirlooms to the national treasury.” Pesek said while South Korea’s response wasn’t perfect, the country’s economic performance since then speaks for itself.
“Now as then, Korea’s open and accountable system is forcing its leaders to look beyond an immediate crisis. Ordinary Koreans are calling for a national catharsis that will reshape their society and its attitude toward safety. Park’s government has no choice but to respond.
“Malaysia’s government, on the other hand, appears to be lost in its own propaganda.
“To the outside world, acting Transport Minister (Datuk Seri) Hishammuddin Hussein performed dismally as a government spokesman: He was combative, defensive and so opaque that even China complained.
“Yet Hishammuddin is now seen as Prime Minister material for standing up to pesky foreign journalists and their rude questions. The government seems intent on ensuring that nothing changes as a result of this tragedy. As hard as it seems now, South Korea will move past this tragedy, rejuvenated. Malaysia? I’m not so sure.” .
May 3, 2014
To those who must take responsibility for mishandling MH370: Just RESIGN
By Robert Chaen@www.freemalaysiatoday.com
Here are three good reasons why Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya or Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein –or, better still, both—must resign immediately: to save MAS, to save the tourism industry and, most importantly, to save the reputation of Malaysia and Malaysians.
Malaysians, Chinese and other nationals affected by the MH370 crisis want someone to be accountable—a real person.
They don’t want a thousand and one excuses or those public-relations statements coming from the Prime Minister, such as “this is an unprecedented disaster, 26 countries are involved in the search, we are doing our very best” and so on.
Malaysia Airlines is already losing badly. Bookings are significantly down, and it is likely that more celebrities, holiday makers and travel agents will boycott the airline. And there is now serious talk about the company being split up.
Malaysia’s tourism industry will lose billions of ringgit. Business will be down for hotels, taxis, shopping malls and even roadside stalls. Because neither Jauhari nor Hishammuddin is willing to resign, much less apologize, Malaysians everywhere—not just Malaysian singers in China—will lose respectability in the eyes of the world.
Selfish and arrogant
It would seem that the only ones not losing are those clinging to their jobs and salaries despite their responsibility for Malaysia’s loss of face. How selfish and how arrogant of Jauhari and Hishammuddin?
Why can’t they follow the example of South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won, who resigned over the recent ferry disaster in order to calm down his countrymen and let them have closure and move on?
Even if just one person had taken responsibility over the MH370 debacle, the tide of resentment against Malaysia might have turned to sympathy.Because the Malaysian government does not have the courage to admit that its agencies and officials have bungled and that it has botched its public relations, the world’s media have rightly lost trust in it.
It is obvious that the government is hoping the public and the media will start to dim their focus on MH370 after nearly two months and move on to other events such as the football World Cup.But one can be sure that the affected relatives will not let it all go away until they find closure. They will continue to hound Putrajaya.
Malaysia’s mainstream media may well play their usual role of spin masters in an attempt to cover up what is rotten in the system, but it will not work this time around because the world media now have the country on their radar. Even Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s attempt to shift the blame to Boeing will not work.
People are not stupid. And that’s the good news. Even readers of Malaysia’s mainstream newspapers are getting wiser and are no longer willing to swallow everything fed to them.
Jauhari or Hishammuddin—or both—please have the decency to resign before you plunge Malaysia into deeper loss. Don’t wait for us taxpayers to rise up and demand your unceremonious sacking. Do the right thing for once. It’s not too late.
Robert Chaen is an international change expert and online pollster.