PETALING JAYA - The family of Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah has sought refuge away from their own home in a bid to ride out the "storm of speculation" against him.
"Zaharie's family prefers to ride out the storm than talk. For now, they know who their real friends are," said a close family friend who requested anonymity.
According to the friend, the decision of Zaharie's wife and children to go into "hiding" was to avoid being hounded by the media, like what happened to the family of co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid where a local TV station stationed themselves in front of the house.
"At a time of anxiety like this, the family members want to rally together for emotional support, not fend off questions from the media," she said.
Except for an initial interview with his grandnephew, a YouTube tribute for the pilot and an outpouring online support for his daughter Aisyah, nothing else has been said.
The friend said the family had been very co-operative with the requests made by the authorities, as they had nothing to hide.
Although some relatives felt Zaharie's family should come out publicly to clear speculations that portrayed him as a political activist, they knew they should respect their desire for privacy, she said.