26 March 2014
Malaysia’s handling of the search for missing Flight 370 has turned the official groomed to become the country’s next prime minister into a lightning rod for criticism, hurting his chances to lead the nation.
Hishammuddin Hussein, the defense and acting transport minister, has led almost all daily press conferences held since the Malaysian Air plane dropped off air-traffic controllers’ screens March 8. The relation of three prime ministers and the grandson of the ruling party’s founder has stoked ire among passengers’ families and China’s government with his self-contradictions and failure to provide definitive answers.
“People are trying to find somebody to blame,” said Ahmad Rafdi Endut, senior analyst at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies Malaysia. “Given that he’s the minister in charge of finding this airplane, people easily pinpoint his weaknesses. I believe he’s doing as best as he could.”
… “For Hishammuddin this is indeed another massive setback for his political career,” said Mohamed Nawab Mohamed Osman, an assistant professor and coordinator of the Malaysia program at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. “He failed to show leadership in this current issue. In a party where strong leadership is essential, this might spell the end of his political career.”
GPO / IDSS / RSIS / Online
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