Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Can Mahathir solve Malaysia Airlines’ riddle?

New investigation into Flight MH370's tragic disappearance offers few new answers, but hopes are rising the new premier can lift the sunken carrier's fortunes

An investigative report by the Malaysian government into the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines’ (MAS) Flight MH370 – which went missing shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur on March 8, 2014 – offered few new conclusions on the Beijing-bound flight.

But certain hopes are rising that new Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad can manufacture a turnaround of the beleaguered national flag carrier. The new report, released earlier this week, said that the Boeing 777-200ER plane was deliberately manipulated off course, but stopped short of apportioning specific blame.

The aircraft’s transponders were shut off without a mayday call less than an hour into the ill-fated flight carrying 239 people. As the plane left Malaysian airspace, it was soon thereafter manually turned away from its flight path, veering thousands of miles off course where it is believed to have plunged into the Indian Ocean.

“We are not of the opinion it could have been an event committed by the pilots,” said Kok Soo Chon, head of the MH370 safety investigation team. Psychiatrists assisted investigators in conducting background checks into Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah and co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid, who concluded they were “quite satisfied” with the pilots’ training and mental health.

Read the full story at Asia Times.

Nile Bowie is a writer and journalist with the Asia Times covering current affairs in Singapore and Malaysia. He can be reached at