Kit Siang Tells Former Government Leaders to “Speak Up” over Abbott’s MH370 Claim

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Previous BN government must come clean on MH370 after Abbott exposé.

DAP’s Lim Kit Siang has urged the “highest levels” of the former Barisan Nasional (BN) government today to counter the allegation made by former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott on the disappearance of Flight MH370.

The Iskandar Puteri MP also suggested for an international commission of inquiry into the tragedy, following a claim that Malaysian government had initially viewed the incident as a mass murder-suicide plot.

He also said that the world will be waiting for the two-part documentary in which Abbott was quoted and added the claims will likely come as a shock to both Malaysians and Australians.

Firdaus Latif

“It would appear an international commission of inquiry into the MH370 disappearance would be necessary as a result of Abbot’s revelations.”

Malaysia allegedly knew “very early on” that the MH370 tragedy was a murder-suicide plot, Abbott, who was prime minister when the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 disappeared on March 8, 2014, told Sky News in a documentary.

Flight MH370 vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, triggering the biggest hunt in aviation history.

To date, only three wing fragments, known as flaperon, have been confirmed to be that from MH370. They were found on western Indian Ocean shores.

The last search operations ended in May 2018 when a United States-based exploration company Ocean Infinity failed to locate the ill-fated aircraft after searching over 112,000 km2 of the ocean floor in more than three months of operation.

In July 2018, the MH370 Safety Investigation Team, in its 449-page report, concluded they were unable to determine the real cause of the disappearance of MH370 but did not rule out the possibility that “unlawful interference” by a third party had caused the incident.

Abbott told Sky News that someone “from the very top levels of the Malaysian government” told him “very, very early on, they (Putrajaya) thought it was murder-suicide by the pilot”.

Reuters

“I’m not going to say who said what to whom but let me reiterate, I want to be absolutely crystal clear, it was understood at the highest levels that this was almost certainly murder-suicide by the pilot.”

Abbott’s Malaysian counterpart at that time was Datuk Seri Najib Razak, with Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai as his transport minister.

“The highest levels of the former Malaysian government who believed very early on that the MH370 tragedy was a murder-suicide plot must now speak up,” Lim said in a statement today.

Zaharie Ahmad Shah was the pilot of the Boeing 777, which carried 239 people, a majority of whom were Chinese, when it disappeared over the South China Sea about 40 minutes into its flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

“Good night. Malaysian three-seven-zero,” were the Captain’s last words to air traffic control before the plane dropped off the radar at 1:21am.

In the months after the plane vanished, the media scrutinised everything from his political beliefs to his mental health for clues as to what could have happened.

Unconfirmed reports said he may have been distraught over marital woes or the controversial conviction of then opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on sodomy charges just hours before MH370 took off.

But, family and friends of Zaharie – a highly respected veteran pilot – have strongly rejected such claims as baseless.

In 2016, Malaysian officials revealed that he had plotted a path over the Indian Ocean on a home flight simulator but stressed that this did not prove he deliberately crashed the plane.

Abbott said he never talked about the murder-suicide theory because all avenues needed to be exhausted during search efforts.

“What I believed was happening, and what I certainly expected to happen, was that the search would cover the maximum possible range of that aircraft,” he told Sky News.

Abbott was also quoted saying he had “no reason” to suspect a conspiracy.

Reuters

“I’ve read all these stories that the Malaysians allegedly didn’t want the murder-suicide theory pursued because they were embarrassed about one of their pilots doing this. I have no reason to accept that,” he reportedly said.

He also urged for the investigation to be reopened, if it was allegedly misled by the assumption the pilot was not involved.

“If it is a fact that the furthest reaches were not explored because of assumptions of a pilot who was no longer at the controls, I would say let’s ditch that assumption,” he was quoted saying.

“Let’s assume that it was murder-suicide by the pilot, and if there is any part of that ocean that could have been reached on that basis that has not yet been explored, let’s get out and explore it.”

A report by the Malaysian International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team in 2018 had shown “nothing negative” about the pilot.

Just last year, US writer and former pilot William Langewiesche had also returned to the rehashed theory that posited MH370’s pilot as the person who hijacked the Boeing 777 plane in a murder-suicide plot.

Former defence minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, who was picked as the government spokesman in the aftermath of one of the aviation industry’s biggest mysteries, later called on the masses to not pay heed to Langewiesche’s claims, which he labelled as a mere attempt at capitalising on the issue, adding that the authorities can easily debunk the former’s allegations.