'Nobody should blame pilot'

'Nobody should blame pilot'
No proof of anything: Sakinab responding to speculation surrounding Zaharie’s (inset) role in the tragedy.

PETALING JAYA - The elder sister of Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah yesterday spoke of a brother who never failed to light up the occasion at family gatherings and who had everything he could possibly want in life.

A year after Flight MH370 went missing, Sakinab Shah also said that with no tangible evidence to show, nobody had the right to blame her brother for any wrongdoing in regards to the missing plane.

She was responding to theories and speculation about her brother's role in the tragedy.

She said Zaharie was a family man who had a passion for life and flying.

Fondly called Ari, he married his childhood sweetheart Faizah Khanum and was a father of three, and a grandfather.

"Besides being a doting father, Ari was generous, kind and cool, with a warm sense of humour," said Sakinab.

"He had a passion for life, for family and above all, for flying."

She said that he had everything he could possibly want in his life: "A professional career, family, friends, health and a more than comfortable life."

Zaharie was also adored by the family and was handy around the house.

"He could fix anything. My home and the homes of my sisters and brothers are not short of the things that remind us of him every day; framed pictures, leaking windows now repaired, a fish pond levelled up and nicely tiled, a new television installed," said Sakinab.

Sakinab said that Zaharie was a "loving man" who would stop at nothing to help others. She recalled her brother coming to her aid like a "knight in shining armour" when her husband passed away six years ago.

"He (Zaharie) came in, hugged me, and told me to go get ready because we had to rush to the airport.

"He had already booked tickets for the next flight out of Kuala Lumpur to join my mourning kids," said Sakinab.

"I will forever cherish his concern for my welfare," she said.

Sakinab said that Zaharie's presence during family functions "never failed to light up the occasion" and was always sought after by his siblings, nieces and nephews.

"He was a generous brother and uncle who often came bearing gifts from his overseas trips," she said.

"Ari was no ordinary brother to all his siblings. He has a special place in our hearts. We are proud to call him our brother."

Sakinab also rubbished reports that Zaharie's marriage was on the rocks and that they were in the process of getting divorced.

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