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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Exclusive Interview: Malaysian Prime Minister; Malaysia Under Scrutiny; Earnings Reports; Tech Shares Up; Most European Markets Up; MH370 Timeline; Latest Search Findings; Make, Create, Innovate: Purifying Water
Aired April 24, 2014 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE CLOSING BELL)
RICHARD QUEST, HOST: The markets are flat. It's a lackluster day on Wall Street. They are worried about what is happening in Ukraine. When the closing bell rings -- and hit -- yes, there's the gavel. It is Thursday, it's April the 24th.
At least that's what it is in New York. Here in Kuala Lumpur, it's already Friday, and tonight, in a broadcast exclusive, the prime minister of Malaysia tells us he's not ready to declare the plane and passengers lost.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NAJIB RAZAK, PRIME MINISTER OF MALAYSIA: Right now, I think I need to take into account the feelings of the next of kin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: We are live in Kuala Lumpur, where we also hear that the Malaysia government will release the preliminary report.
PAULA NEWTON, HOST: I'm Paula Newton in New York. Also tonight, one year on from the Bangladesh factor collapse, the push within the fashion industry for a revolution.
And former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier tells me about the pressures of running a Premiership team.
QUEST: Paula Newton is in New York, I'm Richard Quest in Kuala Lumpur, and together, we mean business.
Good morning from Kuala Lumpur. Good evening to you. It is 4:00 in the morning, and tonight, we have an exclusive interview with the prime minister of Malaysia who, in a wide-ranging discussion, gives his first impressions on that night and tells us the plane was tracked on radar, but nothing was done when they spotted MH370.
The PM refuses to say that the missing Malaysia plane and its passengers are lost. He won't do so for the sake of the next of kin and the families. He admits that shortcoming were made, that the presentation was not good. But he's proud of the way Malaysia put together its coalition of 26 countries involved in the search.
And he gives us the firm undertaking that Malaysia will continue the search until it can no longer afford it. All that in just a moment as we have the prime minister of Malaysia in this exclusive interview, where we start off talking about the brutal, unpleasant, and raw fact that Malaysia has been accused of bungling the investigation in the early days. And frankly, the name of Malaysia has been kicked around the world.
QUEST: The country has had real kicking over the perspective and perception of the way it handled those early days. I think the phrase used in many cases is Malaysia bungled it.
NAJIB: I have to be quite frank with you. I think, first of all, let's start from the premise that it was unprecedented. We all agree it was unprecedented.
It was the most technically challenging, most complex issue that Malaysia or any country, for that matter -- and I believe even an advanced country will have great difficulty handling such an issue.
Some of the things we did well. We were very focused on searching for the plane. We didn't get our communications right, absolutely right to begin with, but I think towards later part, we got -- we got our act together.
So, I'm prepared to say that there are things we did well, there are things we didn't do too well, but we're prepared. We're prepared to look into it and we're prepared for this investigation team to do its objective assessment.
QUEST: In the last 24 hours, you've had a very good example of what the critics say. The preliminary report. Now, not only did Malaysia not announce that it had submitted the preliminary report, it's still deciding whether or not to tell us we had it and to release it. Even though it's got a safety recommendation within it.
Now, I've covered enough air crashes to know that almost never -- almost always is the preliminary report published. So what we have here, Prime Minister, is an investigation or a minister who speaks the language of transparency, but the practicalities of seeming to do the opposite.
NAJIB: I hear the voices out there, Richard. And so, I have directed an investigation -- internal investigation team of experts to look at the report. And there's a likelihood that next week, we could release the report.
QUEST: Why not release it now, Prime Minister? Is there something in it that's embarrassing to Malaysia?
NAJIB: No, I don't think so. But I just want it to be -- this team to go through it. But in the name of transparency, we will release the report next week.
QUEST: You will?
NAJIB: We will release it.
QUEST: A firm undertaking that they will release the report next week. And also, I understand, that they will consider what other documents. James Chin is here, professor of political science at Monash University here in Malaysia. Good evening, Professor.
Thank you. It's five past 4:00 in the morning. I do -- I'm very grateful that you've come to give us your analysis on this. Why is the prime minister speaking now, do you think? What's the urgency for him now?
JAMES CHIN, PROFESSOR, MONASH UNIVERSITY MALAYSIA: I think all your readers -- your views will know that this coming Saturday, President Obama is coming to Malaysia. So, all the world's press attention is on Malaysia right now, and I think that he feels that he needs to send a very clear message to the rest of the world that Malaysia is on top of the MH370 crisis.
QUEST: Have people here been shocked by the criticism? The sort of - - the idea that they've bungled it in some way?
CHIN: Well, I think there was great confusion in the first few days, and I think this is reflected in the polls of the Malaysian public. Half of the public here actually thinks that the Malaysian government did a terrible job in the first week.
QUEST: So, it's not only abroad. Even here --
QUEST: -- in Malaysia. Because the perception outside is that it's a one-party state, and that there's not much press freedom, that everything's all wrapped up by the government.
CHIN: Yes, I think that's true. It is a one-party state, and there wasn't a lot of transparency. But I think after the world's press attention on Malaysia, they do realize that they need to change. So the real issue for this country is that, if the change comes, will it be permanent, or will they go back to the old days after the crisis is over?
QUEST: Do you get the impression in some way that the prime minister is a little bit shocked at how much damage has been done quite so quickly?
CHIN: Yes. I think they are shocked over the damage done to Malaysia's reputation. I think part of the reason is because they expected this crisis to go away very, very quickly.
QUEST: They did?
CHIN: Yes. So, therefore they were going to find the crash site, they were going to recover the bodies, and the crisis would be over. But now it is quite clear the crisis will drag on for a lot longer, so now, so now they have put together a crisis management team, and they're trying to handle the crisis properly.
QUEST: They acting transport minister, the defense minister, Hishammuddin, he has come in for scathing criticism for the way he's handled it. Rightly or wrongly, that's the criticism. Are there tensions within the Malaysian government between, say, the PM and the minister that we might now be sort of seeing about?
CHIN: I'm not sure that's true. I don't think there's a lot of tensions between both of them. I think the general consensus among the Malaysian government is that Hishammuddin has done quite a good job, especially after he took control of the press conference.
The consensus among the government is that he has presented a good face to the rest of the world, he has answered all the questions put out by the reporters. But I think the problem is, there are still issues of transparency.
So, for example, they're not giving up all the information they have. And secondly, for a lot of the information they do have, they sit on it for a little while before they release it to the public. And this is where the criticism lies.
QUEST: So, finally, to use that phrase, Professor, can the old dog learn new tricks? Do you believe that a change will -- a real change will take place, rather than just a presentation of change?
CHIN: I think a real change will take place, but I don't think it will take place during the crisis. I think they will learn from this lesson in the long run, but not in the short term.
QUEST: Professor, thank you very much, indeed --
CHIN: Thank you.
QUEST: -- for joining us. We'll hear more from the prime minister later in the program. It's been a very busy day worldwide in the business world, and luckily for us, Paula is in Studio 71 in New York.
NEWTON: Sure has, Richard. More earnings for you, today. General Motors first up, $1.3 billion bill for repairs to recalled cars, virtually wiped out the company's profits. GM, though, still managed a $108 million gain, and that was better than analysts expected.
And Caterpillar earnings also beat expectations. The company raised its outlook for the year, saying it's optimistic about sales to the construction industry. Now, Caterpillar CEO, though, warned that challenges in China could hurt sales.
We turn, now, to Alison Kosik, who's at the New York Stock Exchange. But Alison, the big news right now, Microsoft, Amazon, also out with their earnings in the last few moments.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. In the last few moments, we are reading through some of these post-bell tech earnings. Microsoft shares right now up 2.5 percent in after-hours trading. That's after the company beat on profit expectations. And it meet expectations on revenue.
Amazon also reporting, meeting expectations on profit, and topping on sales. We do see Amazon shares up three percent in late trading as well. Of course, both companies are going to be in focus tomorrow.
Interestingly enough, investors were also focused on the tech sector today on the heels of those stellar earnings reports from Apple and Facebook. A surprise rise in iPhone sales in the latest quarter, plus a 7- to-1 stock split pushed investors towards shares of Apple, which closed higher today. And that stock split goes into effect in June. It's going to make Apple shares much cheaper, open to many more investors.
Facebook also blew away expectations, putting to rest any fears it would have trouble bringing in mobile ad revenue, although Facebook shares did end lower today. Paula?
NEWTON: Alison, thanks for that US update. In the meantime, in Europe, stocks ended the day mostly higher. Talk of mergers outweighed worries about the situation in Ukraine. Shares of Alstom rose 11 percent on reports that General Electric may buy the company.
And shares of Scania were up around 9 percent as one of the company's major shareholders said it would support Volkswagen's takeover bid.
Now, with worldwide scrutiny there in Malaysia, there is Richard, who will be taking over again with his exclusive interview. Richard?
QUEST: Indeed, Paula, many thanks. Now, after the break, we will be considering the search in Perth and how that is progressing, especially bearing in mind that the focused circuit of ten kilometers has now just about been finished, and nothing's been found.
Also, what do the families make of what they've heard so far? This is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. We're live tonight in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur. Good evening.
QUEST: It's day 49, and the adjectives just keep rolling concerning MH370. "Unique," "unprecedented," "the most difficult search in aviation history," on and on it goes.
And who would have thought when, on that Friday night, when the plane first went missing, that so many weeks would go by and so little evidence would be found, and the world's greatest aviation mystery would, far from being solved, but would simply get deeper.
QUEST (voice-over): Amid the theories and conjecture, the dashed hopes and leads that went nowhere.
HISHAMMUDDIN HUSSEIN, MALAYSIAN ACTING TRANSPORT MINISTER: With every passing day, the search has become more and more difficult.
QUEST: Understanding what happened to Malaysia MH370 is as difficult now as the day when it disappeared.
MICHAEL VERNA, AVIATION ATTORNEY: The circumstances of this are so confusing, so mysterious, I have been involved in virtually every major commercial aviation accident in the world in the last 20 years, and I have never seen anything like this.
QUEST: On Saturday, March the 8th, at 12:41 AM, the Boeing 777 took off from Kuala Lumpur Airport. There were 239 souls onboard. The destination: Beijing.
Then, less than hour later, something went horribly wrong. Contact with the plane was lost. There were no distress calls, no cries for help from the cockpit. The last known transmission from the captain or first officer, according to the Malaysian government: "Good night, Malaysia 370."
Investigators believe the plane made a turn back, and then flew for roughly six hours, going south before crashing into the Indian Ocean off Perth, western Australia.
On March the 24th, after extensive work on satellite data, Malaysia's prime minister made a solemn announcement.
NAJIB: With deep sadness and regret that I must inform you, Flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.
QUEST: Families of those onboard clung to the hope that their loved ones are still alive. The investigation into what happened has gone backwards and forwards between the mechanical failure of the 777 and the so-called "nefarious option," including terrorism or sabotage by either the pilots or others onboard.
KHALID ABU BAKAR, INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF POLICE: This is a criminal investigation, it is ongoing.
QUEST: Investigators believed the plane's sudden course change was a deliberate move by someone in the cockpit, but there is no evidence at who might have been responsible.
KARLENE PETITT, PILOT: The airplane did not fly itself. That airplane, the pattern, the flight pattern, the route of flight, the airplane couldn't have done it. We had human intervention.
QUEST: In the first week of April, the searchers in the south Indian Ocean detected pings -- deep down below. It sparked optimism they were closing in on the 777's black box.
DEBORAH HERSMAN, OUTGOING NTSB CHAIRMAN: Certainly if we recover those recorders, we'll have a lot better chance of finding out what happened.
QUEST: Then, when the pings came to an end, it was time to send down the unmanned Blue Fin 21 underwater probe to scour the Indian Ocean floor, looking for debris from the plane. It promises to be an exhaustive search, carried out with the help of some two dozen nations. And it's so far turned up nothing. Two weeks ago, experts were expressing confidence.
ANGUS HOUSTON, CHIEF COORDINATOR, JOING AGENCY COORDINATION CENTER: We will find the aircraft, or what is left of the aircraft, in the not-too- distant future.
QUEST: A month and a half after its disappearance, and we're still no closer to solving the mysteries of MH370. At its most basic, where is the plane, and what happened?
QUEST: And I can tell you this evening that sources say that Prime Minister Tony Abbott of Australia is expected to make a statement on Monday, when he's expected, obviously, to outline how Australia will move forward.
Because by then, unless something is found by the Blue Fin in those last few searches of the tightly-focused ten-kilometer radius, well, of course, they will having to be rethinking what to do next.
The searches off the Perth coast continue. Nothing has been found, and time is really starting to run out, not only time, but areas to search. Our correspondent Erin McLaughlin is in Perth, western Australia.
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Richard, there was a lot of fuss made about this object of interest that was brought to our attention yesterday. Authorities have since ruled it out, saying that there's no relation to missing Malaysian Flight 370.
But today, CNN has obtained photographs of that object. It shoes a sheet of metal with rivets. And looking at it, it is easy, perhaps, to see why authorities may have been so excited about this piece of metal at first.
But now, of course, we know that it seems nothing more than trash or garbage, the kind of garbage that really has hindered this ongoing aerial search for debris. They've spent hours and hours scouring the oceans for any signs of missing Malaysia Flight 370. So far has yielded nothing.
And even Australian authorities have acknowledged that it's becoming less and likely that they're going to find that visual piece of debris from the wreckage. Instead, they are focusing on the underwater efforts of the Blue Fin 21.
As of this morning on its 12th mission, it's already traversed about 90 percent of that narrowed, refined search area that really has been described as a critical area, because it's basically authorities' best guess as to where the plane may be based on detailed acoustic analysis of those pings.
But 90 percent of it now ruled out. The question becomes what next? What are authorities going to do next? Well, it's something that Australian and Malaysian officials are currently discussing.
They're hammering out an agreement, talking about potentially broadening out the search area and introducing more powerful submersibles. We expect that agreement to be finalized by the end of the week. Richard?
QUEST: Erin McLaughlin, who is in Perth for us tonight.
NEWTON: Now, coming up, a natural solution to an age-old problem. How a Danish firm is using biotechnology for an easier way to purify water.
NEWTON: A firm in Denmark has come up with a natural solution to a global issue, how to provide clean water. Aquaporin is purifying water using new biotechnology that's more cost and energy-efficient. Now, in tonight's Make, Create, Innovate, Nick Glass goes to Copenhagen to find out more.
PETER HOLME JENSEN, CEO, AQUAPORIN: There's not really anything you can do on Earth without using water one way or the other.
It's essential for human life. It's essential for all industries.
NICK GLASS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): According to estimates, only 3 percent of the water on Earth is drinkable. To increase that tiny percentage, we'll have to desalinate more sea water or clean dirty water. A small company in Denmark thinks it has found a natural solution.
CLAUS HELIX NEILSEN, RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, AQUAPORIN: All living organisms process aquaporin channels. These are very, very important in nature.
JENSEN: The only thing that goes in and out through these aquaporin water channels is H2O.
NIELSEN: For example, if you take your kidneys, the recirculate about 180 liters of water per day, and that is taken care of, by large part, with these aquaporin proteins.
GLASS (on camera): They decide what gets through?
NIELSEN: Yes. They sort of constitute the passport control of immigration.
GLASS (voice-over): The current process for industrially cleaning water requires a staggering amount of energy, forcing water through filters at high pressure. Peter Holme Jensen and Claus Helix Nielsen claim they can save up to 30 percent of energy costs using the alternative of aquaporin technology.
GLASS (on camera): Can I actually see an aquaporin membrane?
NIELSEN: Yes, you can, and actually, I have an example here. So you can see, this is a very thin sheet here, where the aquaporin is actually a coating on top of this membrane. So what you see in this experiment is waste water on one side and a sugar solution on the other side.
Now, the sugar solution has a natural tendency to suck out water due to the process that we in science call osmosis. And you can actually see here how it actually flows across a membrane on this side, and then it flows on the other side from the other solution. We do not apply any pressure here. It's a natural process that we're supporting in this setup.
GLASS (voice-over): For today's experiment, they assured me this had been filtered coffee.
GLASS (on camera): I'm risking it here. It was that dirty before?
NIELSEN: It was that dirty before. Now it's clean, yes.
GLASS: Well, that's nice, actually. Mm.
So this is how it is in the lab. Tiny membrane, tiny filter, small volumes of water. But can they scale all this up?
Well, the process has already begun. This machine has been adapted to coat a long, white membrane with aquaporins. It's some 200 meters long, so you can well imagine the volume of water it'll be able to filter.
JENSEN: Instead of extracting one liter of water in the lab, we here extract up to 1,000 liters in the lab from one tank to another tank, using actually only a quite small membrane areas of the aquaporin inside membrane.
GLASS (voice-over): The implications are extraordinary: huge bodies of dirty water could be purified for agriculture and industry.
JENSEN: And if we quote JFK, he said that if you can find a cheap way to desalinate sea water into clean drinking water, that would really dwarf any other scientific accomplishment.
GLASS (on camera): How far off is that?
JENSEN: It's still some years ahead, but I think we have made some very large steps toward bringing a sustainable future in water.
QUEST: Make, Create, Innovate, only on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. After the break, when we come back, we will dig into the deep details of what happened on the night that MH370 went missing. We'll talk about the myths, and you'll hear from the prime minister about the facts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NAJIB: How could a plane that was supposed to be heading towards Beijing -- they could decide that the plane ended halfway towards Antarctica?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest. There's more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in just a moment. This is CNN, and on this network, Paula has the news first.
NEWTON: Thank you, Richard. The prime minister of Malaysia has defended his country's handling of the MH370 crisis to CNN. He told this program that he refuses to declare the flight is lost for the sake of the families of those onboard.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NAJIB: Right now, I think I need to take into account the feelings of the next of kin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Russia is ordering new military drills near Ukraine's border, warning of "consequences" after deadly violence in eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian forces earlier moved against pro-Russian separatists in Slaviansk, killing five people they describe as terrorists.
At least 180 people have now been killed in the South Korean ferry disaster. An opposition lawmaker for the Jindo Island, where the ship sank, has told CNN that the ferry was renovated last year to accommodate more passengers. Meantime, South Korean prosecutors are now investigating the private company responsible for inspecting and certifying ships.
A day after the Palestinians' two major factions announced they'll form a unity government, Israel says it will not negotiate peace with any entity that includes Hamas. Peace talks between Israel and the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority have made little progress.
QUEST: The sheer number of facts that are unknown about what happened when Malaysia 370 disappeared is quite staggering. From the moment after it made the turn to when it crossed the country, all the way to where the plane and those onboard rest at the moment, believed to be deep, deep into the south Indian Ocean. Over the past six weeks, there have been many myths, rumors, and leaks. But tonight, we hear from the man who really knows the facts. He is Malaysia's prime minister. Speaking to us in a broadcast exclusive, we talked to him about the details of what happened after the plane made the turn and who saw what in the Malaysian military as it flew that night.
NAJIB: Now, the military radar, the primary radar, has some capability. It tracked a -- an aircraft which did a turn back. But they were not sure -- exactly sure -- whether it was MH370. What they were sure of was that the aircraft was not deemed to be hostile.
QUEST: No planes were sent up on the night to investigate?
NAJIB: No, because -- simply because -- it was deemed not to be hostile.
QUEST: Don't you find that troubling that a civil aircraft can turn back, fly across the country, and nobody thinks to go up and have a look? Because one of two things -- I understand that the threat level and I understand -- either the plane's in trouble and needs help, or it's nefarious and you really want to know what somebody's going up there to do. So as prime minister, don't you find that troubling?
NAJIB: You see, I'm coming back to my earlier statement that they were not sure whether it was MH370 or not.
QUEST: Even more reason to just go up and have a look.
NAJIB: They were not sure. But it behaved like a commercial airline.
QUEST: Moving to, then, when the Inmarsat data is brought to your attention, did you have any doubts when Inmarsat said and your advisors said, "We believe now, the plane flew for seven hours or so, six and a half hours or so, and this is where it went"? Did you -- you must have had quite a shocked reaction.
NAJIB: To be honest, I found it hard to believe to begin with, because how could a plane that was supposed to be heading towards Beijing, you know -- they could decide that the plane ended halfway towards Antarctica. It's a bizarre scenario, which none of us could have contemplated. So, that's why when I met the team -- and mind you, these are the foremost experts in the aviation industry, they are the real experts, as you know. They come from the United States, they come from the UK, they were there. I asked them, "Are you sure?" I asked them again and again, "Are you sure?" And their answer to me was, "We are as sure as we can possibly be."
QUEST: Are you prepared now to say the plane and its passengers have been lost?
NAJIB: On the balance of the evidence, it would be hard to imagine otherwise, Richard.
QUEST: But the significance is that until Malaysia says the plane has been lost, the compensation packages, the next stage of the proceedings under the Montreal Convention, can't take -- go ahead. So, I ask you again, Prime Minister, are you prepared to say that the plane and its passengers are lost?
NAJIB: At some point in time, I would be --
QUEST: But not now?
NAJIB: Right now, I think I need to take into account the feelings of the next of kin. And some of them have said publicly that they're not willing to accept it until they find hard evidence.
QUEST: The Malaysia prime minister, and there'll be more of that in the hours ahead. David Soucie, CNN's safety and aviation analyst, joins me now. Good evening, David. So, pull the strands together. I mean, those of us who've worked this story like yourself have heard many of the rumors on these facts. But now we know that they tracked it and did nothing.
DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: It answers a lot of questions, Richard, because remember we discounted some of that Malaysian radar data in the first place because of the fact that we thought how could it be possible that it would go over the -- over this country -- and no one would've reacted, no one would've gone. We couldn't answer that question. For the prime minister to step forward as he has here and take a leadership role in this and to show people that he's a human being like the rest of us and has questions and doesn't have answers like we don't is a huge move forward hopefully for the families to find some peace in the fact that everyone's doing what they can, everyone has good information, --
SOUCIE: The information they have is open and free is very important.
QUEST: When the prime minister, or when do we get the preliminary report which they say will be next week and you be assured as soon as I've got my copy, I'll -- you'll -- be getting yours if not sooner, what should we look for in the prelim?
SOUCIE: I think the most important thing that we would get out of the preliminary is some information from the air traffic control centers, because that is part of the preliminary report requirements, is that they say who they were -- that would probably be redacted in -- for person interest and personal privacy, their names -- but there should be some information about what actually happened. Because, again, this is a statement of fact. This isn't conjecture, it isn't possibly this or possibly that or theorize, this is simply a statement of facts. So it's going to be drab. It's going to say this, there's a lot of check boxes, there's a lot of blank spaces that will be in this document, so I wouldn't expect a whole lot from it.
QUEST: Finally, David, in doing this interview and being as upfront as he has and in looking forward now to the next search which they obviously have to negotiate with Australia, is it too late for Malaysia to regain its reputation?
SOUCIE: You know, Richard, that's a really good question, and as I've always told my son as I'm raising him, it doesn't matter how you mess up, what matters is what you do afterwards to show that you're credible, to show that you mean well and that you're going to do the right thing. And I think that's exactly what this prime minister has done here -- to step forward and admitted that they didn't do the right things in some areas, they didn't do their communications well, but they did do some very good things and I think that's extremely important. And, yes, credibility can be restored certainly for the Malaysian government at this point I believe.
QUEST: David Soucie, thank you.
SOUCIE: Thank you, Richard.
NEWTON: Now, the factory collapse in Bangladesh killed more than 1,100 people. One year later we look at whether the garment industry has kept its promise for change.
NEWTON: One year ago today, the collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh claimed more than 1,100 lives. It was the deadliest industry disaster in 30 years. Western Clothing Company's promised safety improvements and compensation for victims' families. Jim Boulden looks into what's changed.
JIM BOULDEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: One year after the disaster at the Rona Plaza Garment Factory in Bangladesh, the emotions of relatives are still raw.
Female with bullhorn: We're here to say 'never again.'
BOULDEN: Thousands of miles away along London's Oxford Street where many Bangladeshi-made garments are sold. Campaigners focus on an American brand -- the Gap.
Male: This date one year ago, over 1,100 workers at the Rona Plaza building lost their lives when the building collapsed.
BOULDEN: Campaigners say Western clothing brands have only contributed $15 million of the estimated $40 million the U.N.'s National Labor Organization says is needed to compensate the victims.
AMIRUL HAQUE AMIN, PRESIDENT, BANGLADESH NATIONAL GARMENT WORKERS' FEDERATION: We have again demanding to them to put reasonable and acceptable amount of money in this compensation trust fund so that these victim families, the injured workers, everybody can get their full pah (ph) compensation.
BOULDEN: The Gap was handing out flyers to customers noting that it had contributed to a fund that has donated more than $2 million to victims, even though it says it never sourced clothing from Rona Plaza. Some of the brands whose garments were made in Rona Plaza have also donated funds. Primark noted that its "Long-term compensation and support services for workers and families reached $10 million" while (Matalan) says its financial support assists the community and those affected by the incident.
Female with bullhorn: For 2,500 Bangladeshi garment workers --
BOULDEN: Campaigners also want the Gap and Walmart to sign up to binding fire and safety agreements to so-called Bangladesh Accord. It involves brands, unions and the Bangladeshi government. Many European brands have signed in while some U.S. brands have agreed to voluntary targets.
RACHEL WILSHAW, ETHICAL TRADING MANAGER, OXFAM: So it's a kind of second initiative called the Bangladesh Alliance, which is U.S. companies who are really fearful about the kind of legal risks they will expose themselves to if they join the Bangladesh Accord.
BOULDEN: The Gap says it's making significant long-term investments to improve fire and building safety in Bangladesh. While much of the campaigns over the past year have been focused against the brands, some of the campaigners also remind consumers that they can make a difference as well.
KATHARINE HAMNETT, FASHION DESIGNER: Anybody that bought a t-shirt that they couldn't believe how cheap it was, maybe it'd be a good idea if they sent the price of that t-shirt to one of the funds that's been set up to pay compensation. We have to set these (inaudible) as well so we support these brands. They can't exist without us.
BOULDEN: One issue that campaigners and Western brands do appear to agree on. Rona Plaza brought significant focus to working conditions in Bangladesh, and change is underway. Jim Boulden, CNN London.
NEWTON: Now, Livia Firth is the creative director for Eco Age. She's leading a campaign from within the fashion industry to try and designate April 24th -- today -- as Fashion Revolution Day. Now, earlier I asked her what consumers could do to improve conditions for workers.
LIVIA FIRTH, CREATIVE DIRECTOR, ECO-AGE: We're all basically victims of fast fashion. They made us believe that it's democratic to buy a t- shirt for $5, a pair of jeans for $20, but it's the democracy of whom? It's definitely not the democracy of the garment workers.
NEWTON: Sometimes consumers do have a hard time just fielding these kinds of labels. Sometimes you might think that it's a good label, an expensive label that it is paying its workers a fair wage, and yet that turns out not to be true. Is there any kind of program that you see in the offing where we have, you know, we have fair trade coffee -- that we have fair trade garments?
FIRTH: I think take a little step back. You know, I'm 45. When I grew up, fast fashion didn't exist. But all the big brands existed -- all the luxury brand, the medium brands existed. We just bought in a different way. There were two seasons a year -- autumn/winter, spring/summer. We knew how to take care of the things that we bought. We looked for them, we stored them properly, we washed them properly. You know, they were part of a wardrobe that we will build in a lifetime. Today, the average wardrobe of a person, you know, an item that'll last for more than five weeks on average, you know, we always say if you can -- if you can commit to wear a garment a minimum of 30 times, buy it. But you would be surprised how many people wear a garment 30 times. You know, some people wear it once or twice and then it's actually cheaper to buy a new one than to send it to the drycleaner to wash.
NEWTON: Now, well some people can certainly buy into that argument that you're making, and I'm kind of want to get away from that consumerism mentality, some argue that this will actually hurt people in places like Bangladesh though. That the answer is not any kind of a boycott, that the answer is for them to get better conditions of work and better wages. That if we start trying to parse this so that at the end of the day there aren't going to be jobs for these people in those countries.
FIRTH: You know, we are actually profiting from their need to work, to use them as slaves. And I'm not saying that we don't -- you know, we need to give them work but it has -- they have to be treated with the same respect that we treat our children, our friends. They're not different from us. You know, their life is valued the same as ours. And unfortunately, what Rona Plaza showed is that they are not treated with the same value.
QUEST: Extraordinary weather situation here in Malaysia. Absolutely never seen any rains quite like it. Jenny Harrison is at the World Weather Center. Morning, noon and night, Jenny, storms.
JENNY HARRISON, WEATHER ANCHOR FOR CNN INTERNATIONAL: Yes, I know, and now Richard of course it's very typical for that region, certainly in Malaysia itself. But the weather of course out in the search area it has been very variable over the last several weeks of course, and in fact we're still now just seeing the remnants of what was that Cyclone Jack pushing towards the west of Australia. So looks as if we're in for a few days of slightly calmer, better weather conditions. Can't exactly say completely calm, but certainly the really strong winds will ease and as will the clouds and the really heavy amounts of rain.
But to the swell will still be there and in fact we've got this cold front approaching from the southwest. It's not a particularly strong front, in fact you can see it at the end of this forecast here. So, a line of rain showers coming through. At the cloud (ph) we're going to see variable over the next couple of days, and as I say, the big swells will certainly ease. But the winds are still apparent in the area, just not as strong as they were. So, that is some good news of course, and when it comes to accumulation, really nothing too remarkable. Instead, as I say, that rain heading towards the southwest of Australia.
Now, we've had quite a bit of rain still across the southeast of Europe. There's more on its way certainly across the northwest. And with a system in the southeast that has been so strong, it's actually had an effect on the northern portions of North Africa. What it's been doing is literally been pulling up all the dust and the sand from the north of Africa and actually feeding it up into the Central Med and into some areas of the southeast. At the same time, the rain has been coming down very heavily. Look at this -- 70 millimeters in Ogulin and 54 into Slavonski as well, and 39 millimeters there in Serbia. So, more rain on the cars really although that system beginning to ease a little bit, but it is very closely followed by this other area of low pressure, and then another system pushing in across the northwest. So just a very unsettled weather picture once again. Not many areas seeing fine dry weather.
Eastern Europe is under high pressure, so that's probably your best bet to seeing some dry, calm, good sunshine. The winds also on the increase for the next system coming into the northwest, and in fact, there are warnings Thursday into Friday across areas of southern France and the northeast of Spain. Strong winds, maybe some large damaging hail. Richard.
QUEST: And I can do my own forecast for here for Malaysia, no doubt more rain in the offing. Jenny Harrison, thank you.
NEWTON: Now, it was a dramatic week for Manchester United after the sacking of David Moyes. In a moment, lessons in management from someone who knows the job all too well.
GERARD HOULLIER, FORMER LIVERPOOL F.C. MANAGER: It's not down to the manager to keep the players happy, I would say it's down to the players to keep the manager happy.
NEWTON: Manchester United is on the hunt for a permanent replacement for David Moyes. The club's manager was given the boot after just ten months in the job. A former manager in the English Premier League admits there's a lot of pressure in the job, and he should know. Gerard Houllier steered Liverpool to three major trophies and secured two titles for Lyon. During his spells in England, he had two health scares, first suffering a suspected heart attack during a Liverpool game in 2001 and another heart scare in 2011 forced him out of Aston Villa. Now, in the week that David Moyes departed Old Trafford, Gerard Houllier admits that losing matches affects everyone. I began by asking him how stressful it was to run a big team and effectively a big business.
HOULLIER: Well, when you are the manager of a big team which is linked to a commercial -- high commercial, I would say, asset -- so, maybe sometimes even a big investor, you're not only running the team, you're also running a business. And of course the business is on a game and where it becomes difficult it's when the expectation is -- there's a big gap between the expectation and what the team can do. Let's take the premiership for instance in England -- you've about four or five teams. You would say that losing one game becomes suddenly a crisis because they all expect to win the title or to win the cup.
NEWTON: Is it always true, though, that if you take care of winning on the pitch, on the field, that the business portion will take care of itself?
HOULLIER: Well, you do only focus on creating the best condition for your team to develop the best football and to practically give the best result. In other words, as you said, the score will take care of itself provided you prepare and provided your focus on that. But sometimes because of the atmosphere, because of the media factor, it increases the level of pressure on the manager and sometimes -- maybe sometimes -- just affects the team itself.
NEWTON: You've talked a lot about the media pressure. Is it easier as you were -- to be a Frenchman in the U.K. and one -- you know -- trying to lead one of their big teams? Do you think it's easier to kind of let go of a lot of the media criticism and second-guessing?
HOULLIER: The -- I mean, the media pressure is everywhere in every country and the only thing is sometimes it's probably a bit more acute in some countries, but I would say as a manager you live with that. And it's part and parcel of your job. The only thing is that I would say is that it's -- it must not affect your job. It does sometime when some players are affect by what has been written. So there again you have a role to protect your team and to protect your players from them -- from the media.
NEWTON: Do you try and concentrate when you're managing a team like this though on keeping ultimately the players happy as opposed to the owners?
HOULLIER: Well I would say that it's not down to the manager to keep the players happy, I would say it's down to the players to keep the manager happy.
HOULLIER: The manager will help them, will probably lead them, but I think it's down to the players obviously to be happy and to make the manager, I mean of course the heads of the clubs and the fans happy.
QUEST: Gerard Houllier talking to Paula Newton. We'll have a final thought on the PM's interview after the break.
QUEST: Tonight's final thought. Having covered MH370 since the very moment when the plane's was announced to have been -- vanished and disappeared, to sit down with the prime minister tonight was an extraordinary occasion. For me to be able to hear him say that there was somebody who saw the plane going across Malaysia on the night, to hear that there were no planes scrambled to see what was going on, to learn that the Inmarsat pings he did ask, "Are you sure? Are you sure?" And then the final realization that those Inmarsat handshakes are the best they've got. And that's something that we must not forget as they look to the future on the next stage of the search. This entire search operation is being held up by science of the flimsiest sort, but it is the only science they've got. And that's "Quest Means Business" tonight from New York and from Kuala Lumpur, I'm Richard Quest. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it's profitable.