Sneha Shankar-International Business Times
2 March 2016- The daughter of imprisoned Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim said that the link between the pilot of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 and her father was just coincidental, Xinhua reported Tuesday after an exclusive interview. The comments from Nurul Izzah Anwar came in response to speculation that the flight’s pilot, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, hijacked the plane to protest against the upholding of Anwar’s conviction sentencing him to five years in jail on sodomy charges, a day before March 8, 2014, the day the plane went missing.
Zaharie had reportedly attended some political meetings and it was later established that he was a member of Anwar’s party. It was also revealed that Zaharie was a distant relative of Anwar’s daughter-in-law, CNN reported two years ago. Though it was not clear if Zaharie attended Anwar’s court hearing on March 7, his friends said the MH370 pilot was “upset and disgusted” with the court sentencing, according to CNN.
“The problem we have is we have no way of knowing what the government has done to investigate, to find the actual causes for the crash,” Nurul told Xinhua in an exclusive interview. She also said: “I understand the anger because a lot of the families did not get adequate explanation from the event. We were pushing for more disclosure in parliament because it’s disastrous.”
Flight MH370 had left from Kuala Lumpur and was headed to Beijing with 239 people on board — 154 of whom were Chinese — when it disappeared. Since then, while the people on board have been declared dead, efforts have been going on to find the plane and its wreckage. The only piece of wreckage that has been found so far is a flaperon found last July on the shores of France’s Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean, which lies about 2,300 miles away from the current search area. However, the multimillion dollar search for the plane has no concrete theory about where the plane could be.
If the plane is not found by June, a decision to call off the search or to continue it would be made in a tripartite meeting between Malaysia, China and Australia. About 32,818 square miles has been searched so far and Martin Dolan, chief commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau that is supervising the search for the missing plane, reportedly said Monday that only an area of about 17,500 square miles remained to be searched.
“We are still confident that we will find the aircraft between now and the completion of searching the search area of 120,000 square kilometers (about 46,000 square miles),” Dolan reportedly told Stuff news, adding: “The more we search, the more likely the aircraft is to be in the area we are still looking at.”
He also said: “The only level of uncertainty is the behavior of the aircraft at the very end of its flight. The weight of the evidence indicates that there were no control inputs to the aircraft at the end of its flight and that’s the basis on which we have calculated the search area.”
The authorities currently believe that the plane was on autopilot mode as one or both the pilots were dead, and that it may have crashed into the southern part of Indian Ocean, where the search operations are focused upon. However, if the plane is not found, then the possibility of someone else being in control of the plane would be a plausibility that authorities would have to consider