KLUANG - Malaysia's Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein has denied a report by Britain's Telegraph newspaper that Captain Zaharie Shah was the prime suspect behind the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370.
The Telegraph report said that Captain Zaharie, who had piloted the plane which disappeared in March with 239 people on board, had plotted a flight path to a remote island far into the southern Indian Ocean where the search is now focused.
The daily quoted unnamed sources close to the investigators as saying that the route, which was deleted before MH370 disappeared on March 8, was made on the pilot's home flight simulator machine.
The discovery has intensified suspicion that he deliberately hijacked his own plane and diverted it from its approved flight path to Beijing, The Telegraph said.
Mr Hishammudin on Sunday described the newspaper's decision to publish the report as irresponsible and that it was only to increase the newspaper circulation.
"If we want to entertain the newspapers in UK, they have new stories everyday.
"If there is a basis to it, they have to give us the proof and leads. We will investigate. There is no need to announce it in the newspapers," he told reporters.
Mr Hishammuddin, who is also Defence Minister, said Malaysia had consistently said that confirmation from experts and authorities would have to be obtained before any information could be made public.
"So, we should not entertain conspiracy theories because if there is something that is hidden, there'll be parties that will protest," he said.