Malaysian minister slams report claiming MH370 captain 'committed suicide'

Malaysian minister slams report claiming MH370 captain 'committed suicide'

KUALA LUMPUR - Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman has slammed a Huffington Post UK article; claiming MH370 pilot Capt Zaharie Ahmad Shah caused the disappearance of the flight when he committed suicide.

The Sept 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 Zaharie was mentally ill, and that he had killed everyone on the flight when he committed suicide on March 8.

He had authored a book on MH370 titled 'Good Night Malaysian 370: The Truth Behind The Loss Of Flight 370', alleging there had been five previous incidents of "murder/suicide" in the aviation industry over the last 30 years.

Responding in a press release on Saturday, Anifah said he was surprised and disappointed that a news portal like Huffington Post UK could publish unproven claims.

He 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 and the circumstances under which it came to grief," said Anifah.

He added that it was disappointing that Huffington Post UK had deemed it fit to publish the article, without considering the feelings of those affected.

Wilson claimed in his book that Capt Zaharie killed passengers by cutting off the oxygen supply in the plane before deliberately ditching the Boeing 777 in the Indian Ocean.

MH370, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew, left the KL International Airport at 12.41am on March 8.

It disappeared from radar screens about an hour later, while over the South China Sea. The flight was to have arrived in Beijing at 6.30am on the same day.

Zaharie, 53, had been a staple in media speculation after evidence emerged that suggested MH370 was deliberately diverted off course shortly before vanishing.

The Penangite became a captain in the early 1990s and has 33 years and 18, 360 hours of flying experience under his belt.

His colleagues described him as a jovial but professional "aviation geek" who collects remote controlled miniature aircraft, light twin engine helicopters and amphibious aircraft.

Outside of aviation, he also ran a YouTube channel dedicated to DIY projects, where he teaches viewers how to fix home appliances like air-conditioners.

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