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Missing passenger jet roils Malaysian politics

March 20, 2014 • World News


A woman pushes her baby cart in front of the messages board for passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Malaysia, Wednesday, March 19, 2014. New radar data from Thailand gave Malaysian investigators more potential clues Wednesday for how to retrace the course of the missing Malaysian airliner, while a massive multinational search unfolded in an area the size of Australia. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — It took more than a week, but both sides of Malaysia’s bitterly contested political divide are now sparring over the disappearance and hunt for the missing jetliner, a possible distraction for a government already under fire for its handling of the crisis.

The opposition is attacking the government, relishing in the international criticism that has been directed at leaders unused to such scrutiny. Pro-government blogs are focusing on the pilot’s support for opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, hoping that suspicions against the former will discredit the latter.

Malaysian politics have been defined in recent years by the government’s attempts to stop the rise of opposition parties chipping away at its five-decade grip on power. Anwar, the opposition movement’s main leader, spent six years in jail on corruption and sodomy charges, a campaign that Western rights groups and governments say is politically motivated.

The missing plane has reopened this fault line because the pilot, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, is a supporter of Anwar and the uncle of his daughter-in-law. It Login to read more

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