• Wed
  • Nov 19, 2014
  • Updated: 8:58pm
Malaysia Airlines flight 370
NewsAsia
Flight MH370

Malaysians lose patience with Chinese fury and scorn over missing flight

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 April, 2014, 3:53am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 June, 2014, 3:04pm
 

At the coffee shop where an old man flipped some roti canai, Mohammad Noor could not contain his anger another moment.

"If China is so good, why don't they just take over and find the plane," said the 30-year-old petrol kiosk employee. His friends nodded in approval. "I don't think even Singapore could have done a better job."

Malaysians want the Chinese to know something: they, too, lost people when the Malaysia Airlines flight vanished. And they want the insults to cease.

For more than three weeks, residents and relatives in the besieged nation have endured worldwide scorn as the hunt continues for flight MH370. Chinese officials and relatives have accused Malaysian officials of withholding data, botching the investigation, even lying about the fact that the plane had ditched into the Indian Ocean.

Malaysian citizens, media and government officials have quietly seethed, and have heard enough. They want an end to what they see as a vulgar display of superiority and an overreaction by the Chinese over the missing airliner.

Video: Flight MH370 families pray as airline offers little solace

At the Everly Hotel in Putrajaya, the site of an official briefing for the passengers' relatives, Gurusamy Subramaniam was there to learn more about the fate of his 34-year-old son, who was aboard the flight. He had quietly endured Chinese complaints. But TV footage last week of Chinese relatives protesting outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing was the last straw, he said.

"What's the point? Will violence or protests bring the passengers back?" the 60-year-old said in Tamil. He admitted he had trouble sleeping. "All of us are suffering inside in our hearts."

On Sunday, a new group of relatives from China arrived in the Malaysian capital and staged their own press conference at the Holiday Villa, an expensive hotel in Subang. They unfurled Chinese state flags and banners and condemned Malaysians.

"Let me ask you something,'' said a Malaysian government official. "Which country do you think will allow others from another country to come and let them stay in a great hotel and allow them to throw insults? We've been very nice already. I hope they realise that."

Malaysian media, especially the local Chinese press, has published op-ed pieces condemning Chinese actions, but some newspapers have also asked readers to consider the bigger picture.

Social media has buzzed as Malaysians question the motives behind the Chinese behaviour.

James Chin, a professor of political science at the Malaysian campus of Monash University, said Malaysians initially had been sympathetic towards the Chinese.

"But marching to the Malaysian embassy was the turning point," he said. "It's hypocrisy. The Chinese won't dare do anything like this against their own government, which is one of the most opaque in the world."

But most analysts are confident the fallout will not continue in the long term. For Malaysia especially, there is too much at stake; China is a key trading partner and rich source of tourists. Najib Razak, Malaysia's prime minister, has just launched a 4 billion ringgit (HK$9.5 billion) development in Langkawi aimed in part at Chinese tourists.

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This article is now closed to comments

subramanian.thangavelu.9
Malaysia is doing a great job of Search involving many nations.
The whole world, including America, Britain and Australia, is not able to get an answer to the question, " What happened to the plane " and solid evidence to that.
What can the Malaysians do better than this ?
Why should Malaysia hide anything or is it possible to hide anything ?
There are many Nations which have lost their citizens, not only Chinese.
Chinese should support Malaysians in their difficult task.
Accidents do happen, and blaming does not bring back the dead.
HiggsSinglet
The behavior of these prc chinese is a disgrace to all overseas Chinese outside of the mainland!!!!
aplucky1
if this happened from a flight FROM china, they will tell everyone to shut up as this is an internal issue and none of their business
they would not fly one family member over , and let them stay for free? hahahaha
disgusting hypocrites , so easy to criticize others
if you they are so smart then do as the guy in the article says, FIND IT YOURSELF
purplehazelaw
The complaints of the Chinese people have no substance and unsubstantiated. Just an act out of childish behaviour. It is a disgrace to Chinese in the world.
purplehazelaw
In a disaster like this, do you expect everything is orderly and consistent? What are the "lies" you are talking about? There are confusion, yes but lies?
lucifer
I continue to believe that China's involvement is hindering the search for the plane. First, up until now, they have done nothing but send the international search and rescue teams on a wild goose chase for sea trash and are not brining any unique or high tech gear to help.
What's worse, is countries like Thailand, Malaysia, India, etc., likely have no problem with the US gaining access to or viewing data from their defensive radars. However, once China is in the mix, things start to get withheld. China has territorial claims against the territories of Malaysia, Vietnam, India and Japan, all who have been involved in the search at some point or another. It has also prevented the US from bringing in bigger, better and more high tech military gear, such as the Global Hawk drone, which can loiter for more than 20 hours to assist in the search. Then to make maters worse, you have the Chinese government stirring up hatred and nationalism to prevent the families from lashing out at Beijing. If China just stayed home and sat on the sidelines, this would be done better, faster and come to a quicker end. However, we all know that is not going to happen.
Hollander323
The secretive approach in handling the incident by the Malaysian government starting from the very beginning makes everyone angry not just the Chinese. The "correct" version of the last communication with MH370 published after almost 4 weeks makes people even angrier ! On the other hand the Chinese can behave better but we have to understand their feeling in face of situation like this.
Marcus T Anthony
What you are looking for is propaganda, not analysis. I'm afraid you can't pin this on "The West" yet again. It is illogical to think that all the anti-Malaysian hysteria in the mainland in the past few weeks would not cause a backlash. This is all totally unnecessary.
I recall the Bali bombings about ten years ago killed 200 people, and scores of Australians. There was no backlash against Bali in Australia and no concerted elevation of blame and hatred. And that WAS pure murder. Compare that to the reaction of the CCP, Chinese media and general population after this ACCIDENT involving Chinese people who were killed accidentally.
Like I said. All this is completely and totally unnecessary. Noting to do with the West, and I'm afraid it says more about China than it does about Malaysia.
nicolas
all the protest made by the families of mainlander's victim are simply propagated by the communist china government...they just wanted to tarnish the name of the malaysian government because of the territorial disputes at south china sea...chinese are not the only victims of this malaysian flight mh370 tragedy...there are also citizen from other nation but they remained calm and patient waiting for some good news from the malaysian government...mainlanders, be rational and accept the truth that none of the passenger may be still alive if the plane really plunge into the indian ocean...in fact, all the rescue and searh mission have been focused on the high sea and not dry land...mocking, shouting and insulting the malaysian government will never done any good to anybody...act more civilized and not like a bunch of morons....
ejmciii
TigerJ, sorry that other people have other views than you. Perhaps we need more press regurgitated from the People's Daily so you don't have to see stories that the masters don't like.

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