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Where is PM Najib? – Soraya Salim

The world is scrambling for answers following the disappearance of flight MH370, but it seems it is still business as usual for Prime Minister Najib.

I read with disbelief that he was boasting about buying chicken for RM1 at a market. He even had the cheek to tell Malaysians to look for bargains, instead of complaining about price hikes.

Prime Minister Najib only attended one press conference on the missing aircraft and missed the rest, leaving the arduous task to the Acting Transport Minister, DCA, MAS and other authorities.

I am no expert in disaster management, but I believe this is not something the Prime Minister could simply delegate to others. Shouldn’t the Prime Minister lead (of course, not the search & rescue effort itself) in managing the situation and disclosing crucial information to the public? Shouldn’t he be attending all press conferences and convey what little information he has to the public, especially the families of the passengers and crew?

An incident involving 239 lives is a top priority for a Prime Minister and just cannot be delegated. He must show the affected families that he is committed to ensure a thorough investigation of the incident and find out the crux of the problem as soon as possible.

We have read in the news that the Chinese media were generally unhappy with Malaysia’s handling of the situation, stating that Malaysia cannot shirk its responsibilities and should be more forthcoming with information about the plane’s disappearance.

When Air France 447 crashed in 2009, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, within 24 hours of the search, told relatives of the passengers that there was only a minimal chance that anyone survived.

Sarkozy told the media, "I told them (the families) the truth. The prospects of finding survivors are very small”. This is exactly what Najib should be focusing on right now; tell the affected families the truth and not visit a wet market checking prices of chicken. (After all, checking prices of goods at the market does not bring down prices.)

What have we Malaysians done wrong to deserve a Prime Minister of such quality? – March 11, 2014.

* Soraya Salim is a reader of The Malaysian Insider.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.

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