Mahathir takes flak for rehashing MH370 takeover theory

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Malaysia’s former prime minister and strident opposition candidate against incumbent Prime Minister Najib Razak in this year’s election, Mahathir Mohamad, has been publicly chided for resurrecting the theory that missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 might have been “taken over remotely in a bid to foil an attempted hijack.”

Speaking to The Australian newspaper during a visit to Sydney, he said that “it is known that Boeing has the capacity to operate the takeover of a hijacked plane while it is flying so I wonder whether that’s what happened or not. It’s very strange that a plane leaves no trace at all.”

According to reports, Boeing in 2006 was awarded a US patent for a system that, once activated, could take control of a commercial aircraft away from the pilot or flight crew in the event of a hijacking. But it’s unknown whether it has ever been used or if the Malaysian government would have approved such a move.

“The capacity to do that is there. The technology is there. You know how good people are now with operating planes without pilots. Even fighter planes are to be without pilots. Some technology we can read in the press but many of military significance is not published,” Mahathir said, adding that he did not believe Kuala Lumpur was involved in any cover-up.

He immediately took the flak from the chairman of Malaysia’s Civil Aviation Authority Azharuddin Abdul Rahman who said that speculating about a takeover of MH370 was “inappropriate” and would distress the families and loved ones of those on board the ill-fated flight.

“We wish to note that it is inappropriate to speculate theories without any substantive and verified evidence,” Rahman statement went.

“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,” it added.

Flight MH370, on the way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014, made a radical change of course less than an hour after takeoff and crashed in the southern Indian Ocean off Western Australia six hours later. A two-year, $200-million search led by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau at the request of the Malaysian government failed to find the aircraft in a 120,000-square kilometer search zone.

A new search by a Texas-based ocean surveying company Ocean Infinity operating on a “no-find, no-fee” basis, is currently underway in an adjacent area to the original search zone. However, two months into the new search, no traces have been found either yet.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Malaysia’s former prime minister and strident opposition candidate against incumbent Prime Minister Najib Razak in this year’s election, Mahathir Mohamad, has been publicly chided for resurrecting the theory that missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 might have been “taken over remotely in a bid to foil an attempted hijack.”

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Malaysia’s former prime minister and strident opposition candidate against incumbent Prime Minister Najib Razak in this year’s election, Mahathir Mohamad, has been publicly chided for resurrecting the theory that missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 might have been “taken over remotely in a bid to foil an attempted hijack.”

Speaking to The Australian newspaper during a visit to Sydney, he said that “it is known that Boeing has the capacity to operate the takeover of a hijacked plane while it is flying so I wonder whether that’s what happened or not. It’s very strange that a plane leaves no trace at all.”

According to reports, Boeing in 2006 was awarded a US patent for a system that, once activated, could take control of a commercial aircraft away from the pilot or flight crew in the event of a hijacking. But it’s unknown whether it has ever been used or if the Malaysian government would have approved such a move.

“The capacity to do that is there. The technology is there. You know how good people are now with operating planes without pilots. Even fighter planes are to be without pilots. Some technology we can read in the press but many of military significance is not published,” Mahathir said, adding that he did not believe Kuala Lumpur was involved in any cover-up.

He immediately took the flak from the chairman of Malaysia’s Civil Aviation Authority Azharuddin Abdul Rahman who said that speculating about a takeover of MH370 was “inappropriate” and would distress the families and loved ones of those on board the ill-fated flight.

“We wish to note that it is inappropriate to speculate theories without any substantive and verified evidence,” Rahman statement went.

“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,” it added.

Flight MH370, on the way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014, made a radical change of course less than an hour after takeoff and crashed in the southern Indian Ocean off Western Australia six hours later. A two-year, $200-million search led by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau at the request of the Malaysian government failed to find the aircraft in a 120,000-square kilometer search zone.

A new search by a Texas-based ocean surveying company Ocean Infinity operating on a “no-find, no-fee” basis, is currently underway in an adjacent area to the original search zone. However, two months into the new search, no traces have been found either yet.

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