Fuller pointed to two major court cases involving top opposition leaders Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Karpal Singh, both sentenced to jail and fined respectively, in what many believed was a continuing effort to suppress the opposition.The Boeing 777 was carrying 239 people, including a 12-member MAS crew.
That authoritarian trait, according to critics, is now reflected in Malaysia's management of the mysterious disappearance of MH370, which went missing last Saturday shortly after taking off Kuala Lumpur International Airport for Beijing.
Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, who until recently led the electoral reforms coalition Bersih, said Malaysian leaders appeared to have been jolted as the world focuses on the search and rescue efforts.
“Malaysians have come to accept that their leaders don’t answer questions,” she said.
“When you are not seriously challenged in any meaningful way, of course you get complacent and comfortable," she told the paper.
Pollster Merdeka Center said the Malaysian response showed a weakness born out of a system which waits for instruction from the top, in addition to the culture of not questioning the authorities.
“There’s a tolerance for a lack of attention to detail. You have a tendency of not asking so much and not expecting so much.
“There’s always been a kind of wait-for-instructions-from-the-top attitude,” said Merdeka Center director Ibrahim Suffian, speaking to the New York Times.
Other have, however, acknowledged that the crisis was unprecedented for Malaysia, which has not been faced with handling a case of global proportion such as the MAS plane's disappearance. – March 13, 2014.
~ The Malaysian Insider