KUALA LUMPUR - Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has now admitted that MH370 pilot Capt Zaharie Ahmad Shah is related to his son's in-laws.
"I am not denying that he (Zaharie) is related to one of my in-laws and that I have met him on several occasions. In fact, he is a close friend of (PKR supreme council member and Subang MP) R. Sivarasa, as we said before," Anwar told reporters at the Parliament lobby here Tuesday.
"However, to politicise it is not right. We should respect the family's rights and pray for them instead of prosecuting him before the investigation is completed."
Anwar further admitted that Zaharie was a staunch opposition supporter and that he had met the pilot on a few occasions at party functions.
"I am not one to hide my associations with others. I have met him once or twice but I do not remember how many times," he said.
Anwar then hit out at pro-Umno bloggers for attempting to tarnish Zaharie's reputation despite so many others painting him as a "professional, a decent family-oriented man and someone who believed in fighting for justice".
When asked to comment on speculation that Zaharie may have committed "pilot suicide" on account of Anwar's recent conviction by the Court of Appeal, the opposition leader said that it was illogical as there were many other Malaysians who were not happy with his sodomy conviction.
"I believe 90 per cent of taxi drivers support me and are not happy with the decision. But they did not hijack their taxi to Kajang," he said.
He added that the sense of disappointment over his sodomy conviction was also noted by foreign media who may have drawn their own conclusion.
Earlier, Anwar was quoted by South China Morning Post as saying: "I don't recollect the name (Zaharie), but when the photographs were shown, I remembered I had seen him at party meetings."
He also said they had had no personal contact, but Zaharie was a follower of his Twitter account.
A report on Sunday in the UK's Daily Mail had linked MH370's Capt Zaharie to PKR.