Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

News & Supplemental  

The Ministry of Truth and Malaysian Air 370

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. (The flash dri­ve includes the anti-fas­cist books avail­able on this site.)

COMMENT: Nev­er have we seen the news media–The Min­istry of Truth in the most lit­er­al, Orwellian sense–behave more shame­ful­ly.

(We admit that their white­wash­ing of the out­right fas­cists and Nazi/OUN/B heirs in the Ukraine might equal the cov­er-up of the appar­ent­ly will­ful destruc­tion of Malaysian Air­lines Flight 370.)

The same Islamist/Muslim Broth­er­hood ele­ments fig­ure into this inves­ti­ga­tion as into 9/11 and–most recently–the Boston Marathon bomb­ing.

Some thoughts in this regard: 

  • The plane was pilot­ed by Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, a com­mit­ted fol­low­er and polit­i­cal asso­ciate of Anwar Ibrahim, a key Malaysian Mus­lim Broth­er.
  • The plane was almost cer­tain­ly divert­ed from with­in, by some­one with con­sid­er­able exper­tise.
  • The flight sim­u­la­tor in Shah’s home had data erased from it.
  • Anwar Ibrahim–Shah’s polit­i­cal idol–was a founder of the Inter­na­tion­al Insti­tute of Islam­ic Thought, a Mus­lim Broth­er­hood front that was inves­ti­gat­ed in con­nec­tion with the Oper­a­tion Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002.
  • Ibrahim is part of the polit­i­cal milieu of GOP big­wig Grover Norquist.
  • Key Bin Laden asso­ciate Tarik Ham­di was employed by IIIT.
  • The day the plane dis­ap­peared, pilot Shah’s men­tor and idol was sen­tenced to five years in prison for sodomy.
  • The New York Times, among oth­ers, has obfus­cat­ed the sin­is­ter polit­i­cal real­i­ty and con­nec­tions of Shah and Ibrahim.

“Malaysian Oppo­si­tion Leader Calls Spec­u­la­tion About Pilot of Miss­ing Jet ‘Absurd’ ” by Robert Mack­ey [The Lede]; The New York Times; 3/21/2014.

EXCERPT: Malaysia’s oppo­si­tion leader, Anwar Ibrahim, dis­missed spec­u­la­tion that the pilot of the miss­ing Malaysia Air­lines jet, a sup­port­er of his move­ment for demo­c­ra­t­ic change, might have hijacked the plane for polit­i­cal rea­sons, in an inter­view with Britain’s Chan­nel 4 News on Fri­day.

As The Lede explained on Wednes­day, the pilot, Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, was report­ed­ly described by an unnamed gov­ern­ment offi­cial as a “fanat­i­cal” sup­port­er of Mr. Ibrahim, a remark that was wide­ly mis­in­ter­pret­ed by jour­nal­ists and blog­gers.

Speak­ing to the Chan­nel 4 cor­re­spon­dent Jonathan Rug­man, Mr. Ibrahim crit­i­cized the Malaysian government’s han­dling of the inves­ti­ga­tion into the miss­ing Flight 370 as “clear incom­pe­tence” and said that any attempt “to cast asper­sions on the pilot pure­ly on the basis of polit­i­cal lean­ings is absurd.” Cap­tain Zaharie was, accord­ing to Mr. Ibrahim, “very pas­sion­ate about free­dom and democ­ra­cy,” and “a good pro­fes­sion­al pilot,” who sim­ply did not fit the pro­file of an Islamist rad­i­cal. . . .

“Malaysia Asks F.B.I. For Help in Plane Case” by Chris Buck­ley and Michael Schmidt; The New York Times; 3/20/2014.

EXCERPT: . . . . As the pos­si­ble break in what had been a fruit­less search was being pur­sued, the Malaysian author­i­ties were seek­ing help from the F.B.I. to help retrieve delet­ed com­put­er data from a home­made flight sim­u­la­tor belong­ing to the cap­tain of the Malaysia Air­lines jet that van­ished 11 days ago, their first request for high-lev­el Amer­i­can assis­tance in solv­ing the mys­tery of the miss­ing plane. . . .

. . . .Inves­ti­ga­tors have said the plane’s extra­or­di­nary diver­sion from its intend­ed course was prob­a­bly car­ried out by some­one who had avi­a­tion expe­ri­ence. The Malaysian police, who found that Mr. Zaharie had built a flight sim­u­la­tor at his home, said Wednes­day that some data had been erased from the sim­u­la­tor on Feb. 3, more than a month before the ill-fat­ed flight.

Evi­dence sug­gests that who­ev­er divert­ed the plane knew how to dis­able its com­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tems and pro­gram course changes, and the data record­ed in the pilot’s flight sim­u­la­tor may shed light on whether he was involved. . . .

“Slate White­wash­es Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Ties of Malaysian Pol ‘Fanat­i­cal­ly’ Sup­port­ed by Pilot of Miss­ing Plane” by Robert Spencer; Jihad Watch; 3/17/2014.

EXCERPT: Here is real­i­ty: “Anwar Ibrahim’s ties to the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood run deep. Ibrahim helped estab­lish the Inter­na­tion­al Insti­tute for Islam­ic Thought, or IIIT, a Mus­lim Broth­er­hood front group in the Unit­ed States. IIIT has come under fire for their con­nec­tions with ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions. In 2002, Anwar Ibrahim’s IIIT was includ­ed in a law­suit by vic­tims of 9/11 seek­ing dam­ages from orga­ni­za­tions linked to ‘ren­der­ing mate­r­i­al sup­port to rad­i­cal Islamism.’ In 2003, US gov­ern­ment pros­e­cu­tors ‘sub­mit­ted court doc­u­ments detail­ing finan­cial sup­port (PDF) from the IIIT for con­vict­ed Pales­tin­ian Islam­ic Jihad fundrais­er Sami al-Ari­an.’ They also found that Taha Jaber al-Alwani, the pres­i­dent of IIIT had once stat­ed via a fat­wa that ‘jihad is the only way to lib­er­ate Pales­tine.’ A US Cus­toms offi­cial said that the gov­ern­ment is also look­ing into the pos­si­bil­i­ty that IIIT was involved in ‘ter­ror­ism-relat­ed mon­ey laun­der­ing activ­i­ties.’” . . . .

“Inter­na­tion­al Insti­tute of Islam­ic Thought”; Wikipedia.com.
EXCERPT: . . . . Tarik Ham­di came to the Unit­ed States and applied for cit­i­zen­ship pro­vid­ing false information.[30][31] Ham­di worked for Sami Al-Ari­an, who con­fessed to pro­vid­ing assis­tance to the PIJ (Pales­tin­ian Islam­ic Jihad) and lat­er worked for IIIT.

In May 1998 ABC News in pur­suit of an inter­view with Bin Laden had com­mu­ni­cat­ed with Moham­mad Atef and were direct­ed to Tarik Ham­di as a per­son who could con­nect them to Osama Bin Laden. ABC con­nect­ed with Tarik Ham­di at his place of employ­ment at IIIT. ABC was able to get the inter­view. Ham­di was able to deliv­er a Satel­lite phone bat­tery pack that accord­ing to fed­er­al agents was used three months lat­er in the bomb­ing of Amer­i­can embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.[32]

It took until 2005 for Tarik A. Ham­di, who was employed as a pub­lish­er at IIIT, to be charged in a fed­er­al affi­davit of hav­ing been the “Amer­i­can con­tact” for one of Osama bin-Laden’s front organisations.[33][34] . . .

” ‘Democ­ra­cy is Dead’: ‘Fanat­i­cal’ Miss­ing Air­lin­er Pilot Pic­tured Wear­ing Polit­i­cal Slo­gan T‑shirt” by Simon Par­ry, Aman­da Par­ry and Wills Robin­son; Dai­ly Mail; 3/16/2014.

EXCERPT: . . . . Cap­tain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, a father-of-three, was said to be a ‘fanat­i­cal’ sup­port­er of the coun­try’s oppo­si­tion leader Anwar Ibrahim — jailed for homo­sex­u­al­i­ty just hours before the jet dis­ap­peared.

It has also been revealed that the pilot’s wife and three chil­dren moved out of the fam­i­ly home the day before the plane went miss­ing.

...Capt­ian Shah was an ‘obses­sive’ sup­port­er of Ibrahim. And hours before the doomed flight left Kuala Lumpur it is under­stood 53-year-old Shah attend­ed a con­tro­ver­sial tri­al in which Ibrahim was jailed for five years.

Cam­paign­ers say the politi­cian, the key chal­lenger to Malaysia’s rul­ing par­ty, was the vic­tim of a long-run­ning smear cam­paign and had faced trumped-up charges.

Police sources have con­firmed that Shah was a vocal polit­i­cal activist – and fear that the court deci­sion left him pro­found­ly upset. It was against this back­ground that, sev­en hours lat­er, he took con­trol of a Boe­ing 777–200 bound for Bei­jing and car­ry­ing 238 pas­sen­gers and crew.


Zaharie’s co-work­ers have told inves­ti­ga­tors the vet­er­an pilot was a social activist who was vocal and fer­vent in his sup­port of Ibrahim.
‘Col­leagues made it clear to us that he was some­one who held strong polit­i­cal beliefs and was stri­dent in his sup­port for Anwar Ibrahim,’ anoth­er inves­ti­ga­tion source said. ‘We were told by one col­league he was obsessed with pol­i­tics.’

In their inter­views, col­leagues said Zaharie told them he planned to attend the court case involv­ing Anwar on March 7, just hours before the Bei­jing flight, but inves­ti­ga­tors had not yet been able to con­firm if he was among the crowd of Anwar sup­port­ers at court.

...Malaysian offi­cials ini­tial­ly appeared keen not to direct any sus­pi­cion towards Zaharie or his co-pilot, 27-year-old Fariq Abdul Hamid, who was last week revealed to have invit­ed two women pas­sen­gers into the cock­pit and smoked on an ear­li­er flight to Phuket.

But evi­dence of the way the plane’s transpon­der and com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tems were dis­abled and the way the plane was expert­ly flown over the Indi­an Ocean appar­ent­ly using nav­i­ga­tion­al way­points meant only a skilled avi­a­tor could have been at the con­trols. Inves­ti­ga­tors were also baf­fled by why, if hijack­ers took over the plane, there was no May­day call or sig­nal from the two pilots to say the cock­pit had been breached. . . . .

“Janus-Mer­ritt Strate­gies”; Wikipedia.com

EXCERPT:  . . . . Janus-Mer­ritt Strate­gies was a lob­by­ing firm found­ed in 1997 by con­ser­v­a­tive activist Grover Norquist and then-lawyer David Safa­vian, who lat­er became bet­ter known as the chief of staff in the Gen­er­al Ser­vices Admin­is­tra­tion and for his con­vic­tion in the Abramoff-Reed Indi­an lob­by­ing scan­dal. . . .

. . . . On Decem­ber 17, 2001, eleven months after Safa­vian’s depar­ture, Janus resub­mit­ted its dis­clo­sure forms. This time the name of [con­vict­ed ter­ror­ist Abdu­rah­man] Alam­ou­di had been replaced by the name of Dr. Jamal al Barz­in­ji, who is also notable as a vice pres­i­dent of the Inter­na­tion­al Insti­tute of Islam­ic Thought (IIIT).[citation need­ed] Norquist has refused to release tax records of the firm for the peri­od dur­ing which he and Safa­vian owned the company.[citation need­ed]

Safa­vian told the Sen­ate that al Barz­in­ji, not Alam­ou­di, was his client. “Al Barz­in­ji,” he said, “should have been list­ed as the client retain­ing the firm for work relat­ed to Malaysian polit­i­cal pris­on­er Anwar Ibrahim,” refer­ring to the deposed prime min­is­ter of Malaysia, who also was a co-founder of the IIIT. . . .


3 comments for “The Ministry of Truth and Malaysian Air 370”

  1. Is the CIA already sport­ing black hole gen­er­a­tors?

    WHAT WAS MH370 DOING TRYING TO DUCK RADAR? M’sian PM under scruti­ny amid talk of CIA links
    Writ­ten by Malaysia Chron­i­cle

    News that the miss­ing Malaysia Air­lines Flight MH370 may have flown around Indone­sian air­space on the night it dis­ap­peared in what may have been a delib­er­ate attempt to avoid radar detec­tion, has tak­en on a sin­is­ter tone.

    The infor­ma­tion leaked by a ‘senior Malaysian gov­ern­ment source’ comes as Utu­san, the news­pa­per con­trolled by Prime Min­is­ter Najib Raza­k’s Umno par­ty fuelled belief in the swirling con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry that MH370’s dis­ap­pear­ance was the work of the Unit­ed States Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency.

    “If the CIA could arrange for the attack on the World Trade Cen­ter in New York on Sep­tem­ber 11, 2001, it is not improb­a­ble to link MH370 with the intel­li­gence agency,” wrote an edi­tor of the Umno mouth­piece, which has come under fre­quent attacks and law­suits for its sen­sa­tion­al sto­ries, usu­al­ly aimed at tak­ing down Najib’s arch rival Oppo­si­tion Leader Anwar Ibrahim.

    “What if the MH370 tragedy had been arranged by cer­tain par­ties to put Malaysi­a’s rela­tion­ship with Chi­na in jeop­ardy?”

    Under pres­sure to quit

    The 60-year-old Najib had him­self mut­tered sim­i­lar com­ments when grilled by reporters in the imme­di­ate after­math of the lat­est deba­cle, where a Shang­hai tourist and Philip­pine work­er were snatched away from a hotel resort in the mid­dle of the night by armed gun­men who came and left in boats.

    Already under pres­sure to resign to take respon­si­bil­i­ty for bungling the MH370 search and res­cue oper­a­tions, Najib was accused of try­ing to save his own polit­i­cal skin by start­ing a blame game, although he did not men­tion any names.

    “This must be avoid­ed. There may be those who are attempt­ing to dri­ve a wedge between us and Chi­na. They may be try­ing to take advan­tage of the sit­u­a­tion,” Najib was quot­ed say­ing in Aus­tralia by The Star.

    Utu­san also said in its Sun­day op-ed that con­spir­a­cies at the high­est lev­els involv­ing the CIA with the Sep­tem­ber 11 tragedy were not some­thing new, adding that facts and con­vinc­ing argu­ments had been put for­ward to sup­port this claim.

    “Many par­ties have accept­ed that the Sep­tem­ber 11 inci­dent was a plan by the Unit­ed States to get a free tick­et to attack Afghanistan and Iraq,” said the Utu­san op-ed.

    Blame game as the truth from black box nears?

    Mean­while, CNN had report­ed a senior Malaysian gov­ern­ment source say­ing that the miss­ing jet made the detour after it had left the range of Malaysian mil­i­tary radar.

    The lat­est details emerged as new satel­lite cal­cu­la­tions put the like­ly loca­tion of Malaysia Air­lines Flight MH370 in the same spot where Chi­nese patrol ves­sel Haix­un 01 detect­ed deep water acoustic sounds on two con­sec­u­tive days.

    In the strongest lead to date, Air Chief Mar­shall Angus Hous­ton said the Haix­un 01 picked up sounds com­ing from about 4,500m down, in two loca­tions just two kilo­me­tres apart, on Fri­day and Sat­ur­day.

    The searchers are seek­ing the jet’s two black box­es, the Cock­pit Voice Recorder and the Flight Data Recorder. This has raised the pos­si­bil­i­ty the Haix­un 01 may have heard fre­quen­cies from the two sep­a­rat­ed box­es from a crashed and bro­ken plane.

    While Mr Hous­ton viewed the devel­op­ments as pos­i­tive, he warned against any draw­ing any con­clu­sions until the sounds had been prop­er­ly eval­u­at­ed.


    Note that the Malaysian gov­ern­ment sub­se­quent­ly refut­ed the CNN report that MH370 had inten­tion­al­ly tried to avoid radar detec­tion. Well, ok, the gov­ern­ment sort of refut­ed that report, but not actu­al­ly:

    The Mayay Mail Online
    ‘Untrue’ that MH370 avoid­ed Indone­sian radar, Hisham­mud­din says

    April 7, 2014

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 7 — Malaysia denied today reports claim­ing that MH370 had skirt­ed Indone­sian air­space to avoid radar detec­tion.

    Act­ing Trans­port Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Hisham­mud­din Hus­sein told a press con­fer­ence here that he had instruct­ed Malaysia’s mil­i­tary chief to con­tact his Indone­sian coun­ter­part and that the lat­ter con­firmed this.

    “It’s untrue,” he said. “They (Indone­sia) con­firmed they had no sight­ing of the plane,” he said at the con­fer­ence broad­cast live on Astro Awani.

    Hishammuddin’s brief response, how­ev­er, did not appear to direct­ly answer the ques­tion raised by a reporter at the media con­fer­ence.

    Yes­ter­day, a CNN report cit­ed a “senior Malaysian gov­ern­ment offi­cial” as say­ing that lat­est radar read­ings from neigh­bour­ing coun­tries showed that the Boe­ing 777 air­craft car­ry­ing 239 peo­ple had avoid­ed Indone­sian air­space, pos­si­bly to avoid radar detec­tion.

    “What this offi­cial says is that after the Malaysia Air­lines flight MH370 took that left-hand turn, devi­at­ed from its path to Bei­jing, flew across Malaysia.... the offi­cial now says that they know from look­ing at radar data from neigh­bour­ing coun­tries that the flight then skirt­ed the radar air­space of Indone­sia,” CNN’s senior inter­na­tion­al cor­re­spon­dent Nick Robert­son said in his report broad­cast live from Kuala Lumpur.

    The Boe­ing 777’s flight path clear­ly showed that some­one on the plane was pilot­ing the air­craft in this man­ner to avoid detec­tion from Indone­sian radars, he added, cit­ing the Malaysian source.

    The plane was then delib­er­ate­ly flown around north­ern Indone­sia instead of fly­ing over the coun­try before it head­ed in a souther­ly direc­tion towards the Indi­an Ocean where a mul­ti-nation hunt is cur­rent­ly look­ing for it, Robert­son said.

    The senior cor­re­spon­dent said the new infor­ma­tion could now help inves­ti­ga­tors build a psy­cho­log­i­cal pro­file on the flight crew aboard MH370, espe­cial­ly the two pilots man­ning the cock­pit.

    In an imme­di­ate reac­tion to the news, CNN avi­a­tion spe­cial­ist Peter Goelz said this fur­ther con­firms that “what was going on in the cock­pit was delib­er­ate”.


    ‘We deny that the plane inten­tion­al­ly dodged radar detec­tion and our proof is that Indone­sian radar did­n’t detect the plane.’ Is that the response?

    Also note that Anwar Ibrahim has been sug­gest­ing that author­i­ties must be with­hold­ing infor­ma­tion. Why? Because when he was Finance Min­is­ter he per­son­al­ly approved of new radar sys­tems that he is con­fi­dent should have imme­di­ate­ly detect­ed a change in flight path:

    The Tele­graph
    MH370 Malaysia Air­lines: Anwar Ibrahim says gov­ern­ment pur­pose­ful­ly con­ceal­ing infor­ma­tion
    Malaysia’s sophis­ti­cat­ed radar sys­tem would have imme­di­ate­ly detect­ed Flight MH370 as it crossed the country’s main­land after chang­ing course and should have alert­ed the air force, Anwar Ibrahim, the oppo­si­tion leader, has claimed
    By Bar­ney Hen­der­son

    8:30PM BST 03 Apr 2014

    Malaysia’s gov­ern­ment is delib­er­ate­ly con­ceal­ing infor­ma­tion that would help to explain what hap­pened to miss­ing Flight MH370, the country’s oppo­si­tion leader has claimed.

    In a wide-rang­ing inter­view that cast doubt on the offi­cial inves­ti­ga­tion into the dis­ap­pear­ance of the plane, Anwar Ibrahim said the country’s “sophis­ti­cat­ed” radar sys­tem would have iden­ti­fied it after it changed course and crossed back over Malaysia.

    Mr Anwar, who per­son­al­ly knew the pilot of the Malaysia Air­lines Boe­ing 777 that went miss­ing in the ear­ly hours of March 8 dur­ing a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Bei­jing, called for an inter­na­tion­al com­mit­tee to take over the Malaysian-led oper­a­tion because “the integri­ty of the whole nation is at stake”.

    He indi­cat­ed that it was even pos­si­ble that there was com­plic­i­ty by author­i­ties on the ground in what hap­pened to the plane and the 239 peo­ple on board.

    In an inter­view with The Tele­graph, he said that he had per­son­al­ly autho­rised the instal­la­tion of “one of the most sophis­ti­cat­ed radar” sys­tems in the world, based near the South Chi­na Sea and cov­er­ing Malaysia’s main­land and east and west coast­lines, when he was the country’s finance min­is­ter in 1994.

    It was “not only unac­cept­able but not pos­si­ble, not fea­si­ble” that the plane had not been sight­ed by the Mar­coni radar sys­tem imme­di­ate­ly after it changed course. The radar, he said, would have instant­ly detect­ed the Boe­ing 777 as it trav­elled east to west across “at least four” Malaysian provinces.

    Mr Anwar said it was “baf­fling” that the country’s air force had “remained silent”, and claimed that it “should take three min­utes under SOP (stan­dard oper­at­ing pro­ce­dure) for the air force planes to go. And there was no response.”

    He added: “We don’t have the sophis­ti­ca­tion of the Unit­ed States or Britain but still we have the capac­i­ty to pro­tect our bor­ders.”

    It was “clear­ly baf­fling”, he said, to sug­gest that radar oper­a­tors had been unable to observe the plane’s progress.


    As hope fades of recov­er­ing the plane’s black box before its bat­ter­ies start to fail – which could be as ear­ly as Mon­day — Mr Anwar said it was “at the least, incom­pe­tence” on the part of the Malaysian gov­ern­ment that it is still not known what hap­pened to the plane, but there was also a delib­er­ate “inten­tion to sup­press key infor­ma­tion”.

    “Unfor­tu­nate­ly the man­ner in which this was han­dled after the first few days was clear­ly sus­pect,” he said. “One fact remains. Clear­ly infor­ma­tion crit­i­cal to our under­stand­ing is deemed miss­ing.

    “I believe the gov­ern­ment knows more than us. They have the author­i­ty to instruct the air force … or Malaysia Air­lines. They are privy to most of these miss­ing bits of infor­ma­tion crit­i­cal to our under­stand­ing of this mys­te­ri­ous dis­ap­pear­ance of MH370.”

    Mr Anwar indi­cat­ed that it was a pos­si­bil­i­ty that offi­cials on the ground were com­plic­it in what hap­pened on the plane.

    How­ev­er, he lat­er added that “the realm of pos­si­bil­i­ties is so vague, I mean, any­thing can have hap­pened”, adding: “Whether they (the author­i­ties) are com­plic­it in a ter­ror­ist act, I’m not in a posi­tion to com­ment.”

    A source close to the gov­ern­ment claimed that Mr Anwar was attempt­ing to exploit the tragedy for polit­i­cal gain.

    “The inter­na­tion­al media response, com­plete­ly con­demn­ing Malaysia, is unfair. It’s been part­ly orches­trat­ed by Malaysia’s oppo­si­tion,” the source said.

    “The gov­ern­ment has a duty to the fam­i­lies not to release uncor­rob­o­rat­ed infor­ma­tion that leads to false hope or wild goose chas­es which ham­per the inves­ti­ga­tion. At every step, inter­na­tion­al inves­ti­ga­tion pro­to­cols have been fol­lowed.

    “The sit­u­a­tion is unprece­dent­ed. And the search has actu­al­ly been han­dled well. The gov­ern­ment is coor­di­nat­ing an enor­mous oper­a­tion, and both the com­man­ders on the ground and all the inter­na­tion­al inves­ti­ga­tors involved have been com­pli­men­ta­ry about Malaysia’s efforts.”

    “Far from avoid­ing ques­tions or with­hold­ing infor­ma­tion, since day one the Malaysian author­i­ties, includ­ing min­is­ters, mil­i­tary chiefs, the depart­ment for civ­il avi­a­tion and Malaysia Air­lines have made them­selves avail­able to the media dai­ly. As soon as infor­ma­tion has been cor­rob­o­rat­ed, it has been released.”

    Malaysian author­i­ties did not respond offi­cial­ly to requests for com­ment on Mr Anwar’s accu­sa­tions, but have pre­vi­ous­ly accused him of politi­cis­ing the cri­sis.

    Efforts to recov­er the plane in the south­ern Indi­an Ocean, more than 1,000 miles off the coast of Perth, con­tin­ued on Thurs­day night over a search area rough­ly the size of Poland. A British Trafal­gar-class nuclear sub­ma­rine is help­ing to hunt for wreck­age, includ­ing the black box – before it stops emit­ting pings.

    Mr Anwar, 66, was once deputy prime min­is­ter in Malaysia’s rul­ing coali­tion, which has gov­erned the coun­try since inde­pen­dence from Britain in 1957.

    How­ev­er, after falling out with the country’s lead­ers, he was charged with sodomy, impris­oned twice and beat­en in cus­tody. He now leads a pro-democ­ra­cy coali­tion of par­ties that lost last year’s elec­tion despite win­ning over 50 per cent of the pop­u­lar vote amid alle­ga­tions of wide­spread cor­rup­tion by the gov­ern­ment.

    Mr Anwar was con­vict­ed for sodomy, an offence under Malaysian law, for the third time just hours before the flight went miss­ing and is cur­rent­ly on bail pend­ing appeal. He claimed that the gov­ern­ment moved his court date to stop him stand­ing in provin­cial elec­tions.

    Inves­ti­ga­tors and media have focused on the plane’s pilot, Capt Zaharie Ahmad Shah, a pas­sion­ate sup­port­er of Mr Anwar’s pro-democ­ra­cy oppo­si­tion coali­tion, despite there being no evi­dence against him.

    Reports have claimed that Capt Zaharie was a “fanat­ic” who could have hijacked the plane in despair at the lat­est set­back to the oppo­si­tion leader.

    How­ev­er, both Mr Anwar and Capt Zaharie’s fam­i­ly have strong­ly denied any such pos­si­bil­i­ty.

    “After per­son­al­ly hav­ing been sub­ject­ed to such unjust accu­sa­tions, I strong­ly feel that you should not cast asper­sions against peo­ple until you have evi­dence to sup­port it,” he said.

    “If you say or sug­gest that the pilot may have been involved, what about the con­ceal­ing (of infor­ma­tion)? He could not have con­cealed the radar read­ings. He could not have instruct­ed the air force to remain com­plete­ly silent. Or the prime min­is­ter to remain com­plete­ly silent. The inves­ti­ga­tions have got to be far-reach­ing and open.”

    Describ­ing him as an “ardent sup­port­er”, Mr Anwar said he had had sev­er­al exchanges with Capt Zaharie and that he “was nice, smart, artic­u­late – but there was clear­ly a strong pas­sion for jus­tice. He is known to be very attached to the fam­i­ly, a fam­i­ly man.

    “To con­demn a per­son because he is a sup­port­er of democ­ra­cy is total­ly unjus­ti­fied. Hav­ing said that, there’s noth­ing stop­ping the police or the author­i­ties from con­duct­ing an open and fair inves­ti­ga­tion into any­body – includ­ing the radar oper­a­tors, the defence min­is­ter – why are they con­ceal­ing this infor­ma­tion?”

    The dis­ap­pear­ance of MH370 has placed the Malaysian gov­ern­ment under unprece­dent­ed inter­na­tion­al scruti­ny, with per­sis­tent crit­i­cism that the release of offi­cial infor­ma­tion has been both inac­cu­rate and incon­sis­tent.

    Hisham­mud­din Hus­sein, Malaysia’s defence and trans­port min­is­ter was crit­i­cised on Thurs­day for claim­ing that MH370’s dis­ap­pear­ance was a “bless­ing in dis­guise” because its loss meant he now “under­stood the beau­ty of uni­ty, the sweet­ness of hav­ing each oth­er”.


    Note that the ties between Ibrahim and Cap­tain Zaharie are a lit­tle clos­er than indi­cat­ed in this arti­cle. Zaharie is relat­ed to Ibrahim’s daugh­ter-in-law.

    We should also prob­a­bly expect a lot more accu­sa­tion to get flung about now that Ibrahim opened up the Pan­do­ra’s box of impos­si­ble radar dis­ap­pear­ances. That’s an area where things can get real­ly messy fast.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 8, 2014, 11:10 am
  2. Here’s a bit more on Anwar Ibrahim’s rela­tion­ship to the cap­tain. The cap­tain was Ibrahim’s daugh­ter in law’s dis­tant uncle:

    The Wall Street Jour­nal
    Anwar Link to Malaysia Air­lines Pilot Fuels Polit­i­cal Rival­ries
    Oppo­si­tion Leader Rejects Spec­u­la­tion of Foul Play by Flight 370’s Cap­tain

    By James Hook­way and Deb­o­rah Kan
    March 18, 2014 12:49 p.m. ET

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia—The cap­tain of the van­ished Malaysia Air­lines jet and his sup­port for oppo­si­tion leader Anwar Ibrahim have become the lat­est fod­der for polit­i­cal rivals who are accus­ing each oth­er of exploit­ing a nation­al cri­sis.

    Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, one of the pilots of Malaysia Air­lines Flight 370, is dis­tant­ly relat­ed to Mr. Anwar’s daugh­ter-in-law, and has voiced sup­port for the politi­cian’s Peo­ple’s Jus­tice Par­ty. Mr. Anwar said he was­n’t well acquaint­ed with the 52-year-old pilot but reject­ed pub­lic spec­u­la­tion that the flight’s dis­ap­pear­ance may be due to foul play by Capt. Zaharie.

    “There’s not a shred of evi­dence to sug­gest any uncan­ny action by him or by me,” Mr. Anwar said in an inter­view Tues­day.

    Mr. Anwar, 66 years old, is sel­dom far from the head­lines in this pre­dom­i­nant­ly Mus­lim nation of 28 mil­lion peo­ple. On March 7, he was con­vict­ed of break­ing Malaysi­a’s strict sodomy laws by hav­ing sex with a male aide, a charge he denies and describes as an attempt to end his polit­i­cal career. He served six years in prison for anoth­er sodomy con­vic­tion, which he also denies, before it was over­turned in 2004. He has denied all of the charges against him.

    Police have ramped up their inves­ti­ga­tions into Capt. Zaharie and co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid after Malaysian offi­cials deter­mined that delib­er­ate action was respon­si­ble for Malaysia Air­lines Flight 370 dis­ap­pear­ing from civil­ian radar screens while en route to Bei­jing in the ear­ly hours of March 8. Inves­ti­ga­tors searched both men’s hous­es over the week­end. Malaysian and for­eign intel­li­gence agen­cies haven’t report­ed any­thing in their back­grounds that sug­gests links to ter­ror­ist or crim­i­nal orga­ni­za­tions, a per­son famil­iar with the sit­u­a­tion has said. In a series of media inter­views, Mr. Anwar has crit­i­cized how author­i­ties have placed Capt. Zaharie and 26-year-old Mr. Fariq at the fore of the inves­ti­ga­tion. Mr. Anwar also dis­missed spec­u­la­tion that he or his polit­i­cal cause were some­how involved.

    Capt. Zaharie, who is a dis­tant uncle to the politi­cian’s daugh­ter-in-law, is “a par­ty loy­al­ist” who does­n’t hold any posi­tion at the Peo­ple’s Jus­tice Party—part of the three-par­ty Peo­ple’s Alliance that near­ly unseat­ed Malaysi­a’s rul­ing Nation­al Front coali­tion in elec­tions last year.

    “[Capt. Zaharie] has been very pas­sion­ate about reform, about democ­ra­cy and free­dom in Malaysia,” Mr. Anwar said, adding that he met the pilot only briefly at polit­i­cal-par­ty meet­ings and social gath­er­ings.

    The oppo­si­tion leader, cur­rent­ly free on bail pend­ing appeal on his lat­est con­vic­tion, also took the oppor­tu­ni­ty to chide the Malaysian gov­ern­men­t’s han­dling of the inves­ti­ga­tion.

    “The man­ner, man­age­ment of the cri­sis is deemed to be incom­pe­tent,” Mr. Anwar said, refer­ring to a series of some­times con­tra­dic­to­ry state­ments from Malaysian offi­cials on the inves­ti­ga­tion. “They seem to be hid­ing some­thing. The report is not trans­par­ent. This is caus­ing con­cern. There’s a major out­rage among Malaysians.”


    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 8, 2014, 11:59 am
  3. Whoops, wrong ini­tial link on this com­ment. Here we go.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 8, 2014, 3:44 pm

Post a comment