Ex-PM rapped over MH370 'remote takeover' theory

Dr Mahathir Mohamad told The Australian newspaper in an interview that it was possible the plane might have been taken over remotely.
Dr Mahathir Mohamad told The Australian newspaper in an interview that it was possible the plane might have been taken over remotely. PHOTO: REUTERS

PETALING JAYA • Malaysia's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has taken former premier Mahathir Mohamad to task for saying missing flight MH370 might have been "taken over remotely" to foil a hijack.

Such speculation was inappropriate and will distress the families and loved ones of those on board the ill-fated flight, CAA chairman Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said in a statement yesterday.

"The main objective in searching for the wreckage and the flight recorders is to find out... why MH370 ended its flight in the southern Indian Ocean, and bring closure for the families.

"Until and unless evidence from the wreckage and the flight recorders sheds light on what happened, it is unbecoming for anyone to draw conclusions based on baseless conspiracy theories," said Datuk Seri Azharuddin.

Last Friday, Tun Dr Mahathir told The Australian newspaper that the plane might have been taken over remotely. "It was reported in 2006 that Boeing was given a licence to operate the takeover of a hijacked plane while it is flying, so I wonder whether that's what happened or not," Dr Mahathir was quoted as saying.

In January, the Malaysian government engaged seabed exploration firm Ocean Infinity to continue the search for the Malaysia Airlines plane that went missing in March 2014 while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew members on board.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 25, 2018, with the headline 'Ex-PM rapped over MH370 'remote takeover' theory'. Print Edition | Subscribe