Malaysia’s government has been under fire from its own citizens for the last several years. Still, the government has largely avoided the limelight on the international stage. The recent disappearance of a Malaysian airplane and the government’s poor handling of the situation, however, is drawing criticism from the Chinese government and experts from around the world.

Malaysia Airlines
Image: BBC Twitter

The Malaysian government has struggled to communicate with the public and answer questions regarding the disappearance. Even what information has released has resulted in miscommunication and corrections from the government.

U.S. Transportation expert slams Malaysia’s government

Former National Transportation Safety Board managing director Peter Goelz has concluded that Malaysia is bad at one of two things: either they can’t communicate, or they are just plain incompetent.   Mr. Goelz has gone so far as to claim that this is the worst disaster management he has ever seen.

According to Mr. Goelz there is an international treaty that sets out protocols for governments to follow in these situations. These protocols help handle relations for countries with vested interests and how to handle misinformation. Unfortunately, Mr. Goelz says, the Malaysian government has thus far failed to follow these protocols.

China blaming Malaysia for crash and mishandling

Experts in the U.S. aren’t the only ones criticizing the Malaysian government over the incident. The majority of people on the plane were Chinese citizens, so it should come as no surprise that the Chinese government is closely following the situation. And needless to say they are not happy with the Malaysian government’s handling of the situation.

153 Chinese citizens are missing and now presumed dead, and the Chinese government is not happy with the lack of information the Malaysian government has thus far provided. The Chinese government has also criticized the Malaysian government’s inability to properly follow up with families and to accommodate them and their needs.

Crisis shows challenges facing government

Malaysia’s government is struggling with a myriad of challenges. A complex patronage system has resulted in wide spread corruption, cronyism, and inefficiency among the country’s many Government Linked Companies (GLCs), including Malaysia Airlines.

Industry inefficiency has become a major point of criticism for the Opposition, and once the tragedy of this accident cools off, there is a high risk that the accident and especially the mishandling of crisis response, could be made into a political issue with the Opposition.

At the very least, the ruling government could lose a lot of confidence and support from abroad. While the government has seen its support among Malaysians rapidly declining, it has enjoyed a considerable amount of support and respect from other governments. That respect, however, is quickly waning as the Malaysian government wilts on the word stage.