Malaysian official slams article on MH370 pilot
Malaysian foreign affairs minister Anifah Aman Saturday slammed an article claiming that Malaysia Airlines flight MH370's pilot, Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, caused the aircraft to disappear when he committed suicide.Updated: Sep 20, 2014 16:57 IST
Malaysian foreign affairs minister Anifah Aman Saturday slammed an article claiming that Malaysia Airlines flight MH370's pilot, Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, caused the aircraft to disappear when he committed suicide.
Anifah said he was surprised and disappointed that a news portal like Huffington Post could publish unproven claims, The Malaysian Star reported.
The September 16 article quoted a Birmingham Mail report citing claims made by Kiwi Airlines founder and New Zealand air accident investigator Ewan Wilson.
Wilson had claimed that it was likely that Zaharie was mentally ill, and that he had killed everyone on the flight when he committed suicide March 8, the day the flight had disappeared.
Wilson wrote a book on MH370 titled "Good Night Malaysian 370: The Truth Behind The Loss Of Flight 370", alleging there has been five previous incidents of murder/suicide in the aviation industry over the last 30 years.
Wilson claimed in his book that Zaharie had killed the passengers by cutting off the oxygen supply in the plane before deliberately ditching the Boeing 777 in the Indian Ocean.
Anifah added that Wilson's theory regarding Zaharie's mental state was baseless and would only create more anxiety and trauma for the family and friends of the deceased.
"No thought or consideration is given to the victims' loved ones as they await news of the missing plane," Anifah said.
He added that it was disappointing that the Huffington Post had deemed fit to publish the article, without considering the feelings of those affected.
Zaharie, 53, became a staple in media speculation after evidence emerged that MH370 was deliberately diverted off course shortly before vanishing.
Zaharie became a captain in the early 1990s and had 33 years and 18,360 hours of flying experience under his belt.
The Boeing 777-200 took off with 239 passengers and crew from Kuala Lupmpur March 8 and was expected to reach Beijing six hours later.
However, 40 minutes after take off, the plane suddenly disappeared from radar screens and is believed to have crashed somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean.
First Published: Sep 20, 2014 16:55 IST