In his latest posting on the missing flight MH370 and adding to the conspiracy theories about its disappearance, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speculated that “someone” is not giving the full picture of how the Boeing aircraft disappeared more than two months ago.
In coming to the defence of Malaysia and national aircraft carrier Malaysia Airlines, the former prime minister again said aircraft manufacturer Boeing and certain agencies have the capacity to take over “uninterrupted control” of commercial airliners.
“Can it not be that the pilot of MH370 lost control of (his) aircraft after someone directly or remotely activated the equipment for seizure of control of the aircraft?
“It is a waste of time and money to look for debris or oil slick or to listen for ‘pings’ from the black box. This is most likely not an ordinary crash after fuel was exhausted. The plane is somewhere, maybe without MAS markings.
“Someone is hiding something. It is not fair that MAS and Malaysia should take the blame,” he wrote on his blog chedet.cc today.
Dr Mahathir’s defence of MAS and Malaysia Airlines was similar to his respond to the 1997 Asian financial crisis when he blamed everyone, including financier George Soros, for triggering a region-wide currency crisis.
However, in the MH370 case, the outspoken Dr Mahathir did not say who the “someone” was.
Stressing that airplanes do not disappear into thin air, especially with the array of modern technology available today, the nation’s longest serving prime minister insisted that MH370’s communications system and global positioning system (GPS) were disabled.
He said a search on the Internet revealed that Boeing in 2006 received a US patent for a system that, once activated, removed all control from pilots to return a commercial airliner to a pre-determined landing location.
He also provided evidence in the form of an article by John Croft in Flightglobal.com written on December 1, 2006, who wrote that “uninterruptible autopilot would be activated – either by pilot, by on board sensors, or even remotely by radio or satellite links by government agencies like the Central Intelligence Agency, if terrorists attempt to gain control of the flight deck”.
“Boeing should explain about this so-called anti-terrorism auto-land system. I cannot imagine the pilots made a soft-landing in rough seas and then quietly drown with the aircraft,” he said.
Dr Mahathir had previously fingered Boeing as being responsible for the missing jetliner, which disappeared off radars on March 8 with 239 on board en route to Beijing.
Most of the passengers were Chinese nationals.
“I am very upset over MAS employees being held hostage in Beijing by the relatives of the passengers of MH370,” he said in referring to an incident where angry Chinese relatives of the missing passengers held some of the carrier’s staff for more than 10 hours in a hotel in Beijing, China.
“I am upset because they are blaming the wrong people. The loss of the plane is due to the makers Boeing.
“MAS is not at fault, lax security or not. MAS flew a plane fully expecting it to perform the task. But the plane has somehow behaved differently. Who is responsible? Not MAS but certainly the makers of the plane – Boeing Aircraft Corporation,” he wrote on his blog previously.
A major international search effort at the southern part of the Indian Ocean had so far found no sign of the missing plane.
Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein had said on Thursday that all air and surface searches had been suspended and the focus would now be on undersea operations.
He had said that the search would now have three main priorities – reanalysis of all data; extensive mapping; and analysis of seabed and asset deployment.
A recently held multilateral meeting between the three nations also confirmed that Australia would be heading the endeavour, in consultation with Malaysia.
Putrajaya had been heavily criticised by the international media and family members of passengers and crew who were on board the plane over its handling of the search effort.
A five-page preliminary report had raised more questions on the plane’s disappearance. – May 8, 2014.