Missing flight MH370 is back in the spotlight, after Australia’s former Prime Minister revealed in a new documentary that Malaysia suspected the pilot had committed mass murder-suicide.
The flight went missing in 2014, with no conclusive reason attributed to its disappearance.
Netizens who watched the documentary criticised it for not presenting any new information and hurting the feelings of victims’ families.
Others questioned why the former PM had waited so long to reveal his information.
Despite happening six years ago, the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia’s MH370 aircraft is trending on social media again, after a new documentary aired bombshell claims that high-ranking Malaysian officials suspected the plane had been sabotaged by its pilot in a suicidal mass murder.
The claims were made by Australia’s former Prime Minister Tony Abott in a two-part documentary titled “MH370: The Untold Story”.
Australia had organised a massive search for the plane’s black box, which ended in 2017, in a bid to determine what happened to the 284 passengers and crew on board.
“My very clear understanding, from the very top levels of the Malaysian government, is that from very, very early on, they thought it was murder-suicide by the pilot,” Abbott said in an interview.
“I’m not going to say who said what to whom, but let me reiterate, I want to be absolutely crystal clear, it was understood at the highest levels that this was almost certainly murder-suicide by the pilot.”
“I’ve read all these stories that the Malaysians allegedly didn’t want the murder-suicide theory pursued because they were embarrassed about one of their pilots doing this. I have no reason to accept that,” he added.
“Let’s assume that it was murder-suicide by the pilot, and if there is any part of that ocean that could have been reached on that basis that has not yet been explored, let’s get out and explore it,” he said.
Malaysia’s Police Inspector-General Abdul Hamid Bador on Wednesday (Feb 19) refuted Abbott’s claims in a press conference, saying there was no concrete evidence pointing to a mass murder-suicide, and that he did not know the identity of officials Abott had referred to.
State news outlet Bernama quoted him as saying that Malaysian police had considered all possible investigative angles following the disappearance of the aircraft.
“I was personally involved in the investigation into the disappearance of MH370, and we were investigating it from all aspects, including terrorism, hijacking by certain parties, as well as various other theories involving the use of advanced technology,” he said.
The same day, former Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the investigation team had not reported “any conclusive answers on the exact cause of the missing plane”, while former Prime Minister Najib Razak said that pilot suicide had not been ruled out, but it was “unfair and legally irresponsible” to make claims without black box evidence.
DS @HishammuddinH2O press statement regarding recent statement made by former Australian PM @HonTonyAbbott on the tragedy of #MH370. Anyone with relevant info that may assist investigation should immediately provide it to relevant authorities for further action. pic.twitter.com/48WLq1uX3g
— H2O Comms (@H2OComms) February 19, 2020
According to The Star, Malaysia’s Transport Ministry said on Feb 11 that in the absence of new and credible evidence, it had not decided whether to relaunch an international search mission for the missing flight.
On date, Malay Mail reported Democratic Action Party leader Lim Kit Siang as saying that it was likely that an international commission of inquiry “would be necessary as a result of Abbot’s revelations.”
He also demanded the officials Abott had referred to own up immediately.
The “highest levels” of the former Malaysian Government who believed from “very early on that the MH 370 tragedy was a murder-suicide plot” must now speak up
— Lim Kit Siang (@limkitsiang) February 19, 2020
Documentary a “colossal waste of time”: Netizens
Online, Abbott’s comments were met with interest by some netizens, who floated theories that the Malaysian Government had been hiding the truth about the plane’s disappearance from the global public.
Others, however, were suspicious of his motives, given that years had passed since the investigation concluded.
“I don’t know what your intention to speak ill of the MH370 tragedy is, but you surely got the attention that you seek,” a Twitter user with the handle @thelostsiv said.
Another user named Lee Hui Seng added: “Tony Abbott alleging that MH370 was brought down in a suicide mission by Pilot Kapt Zaharie is like bringing skeletons out of closet. Let the issue rest now that search mission has been called off, and don’t antagonise victims’ families any further.”
“How can (Abott) even suggest a mass murder theory when the MH370 black box was never found?” said a third Twitter user, Tajuddin Kamil. “What evidence have you got? Don’t add salt to injury.”
The former head of Malaysia’s Civil Aviation Authority, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, also voiced confusion over Abbott’s comments.
“I met Abbott during the course of MH370 investigations but I have never confirmed such theories nor spoken to him personally,” Malay Mail quoted him as saying.
“I am surprised he is raising this theory now — for what purpose, I do not know.”
Still more on social media called out the program for hurting the feelings of victims’ families.
A netizen with the handle @LesStonehouse said two of his best friends were on the flight.
“It seems every year they use this tragic incident as clickbait, just like Abbott did to try and boost his popularity back then,” he said.
“So annoying that Sky News is making a big song and dance about some new facts about MH370 that’s just the same s**t rehashed… I’m very close to the family of (the missing passengers) and it’s wrong to pretend they have new information when they really haven’t.”
Added Australian radio DJ @jc_on_the_radio: “Hard to believe that Sky News has been sitting on exclusive and “crystal clear” evidence while it hammers its (documentary) promos… Should we expect a recovery and closure as soon as the program finishes?”
Some also said they felt cheated after watching the first part of the documentary, calling it “a colossal waste of time”“.
“This is not an untold story, nothing new, only rehashed,” said Twitter user @oceankoto, while another user, @Tigerised, said: “There was no new mind-blowing reveal on this MH370 special unless I blinked and missed it. What a load of BS and waste of 2 hours.”
Added a third netizen with the handle @David89904414: “35 minutes in and absolutely nothing we didn’t already know… Sky has been promoting this for several weeks. I’m sure we would have heard anything new.”
But several commenters were still keen to get to the bottom of the mystery.
“I like how #MH370 is trending in 2020,” said a Twitter user with the handle @kyleshawn9.
“It’s been six years since the incident, but that doesn’t matter – as long I know what really happened to it before I die.”
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