Najib: MH370 deliberately diverted by someone on the plane

Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak confirmed the transponder and ACARS on the missing B777-200 with tail number 9M-MRO designated MH370KUL-PEK was “Deliberately turned off by someone on the plane’.

15 March 2014| last updated at 04:20PM

MISSING MH370: PM’s statement on missing airliner

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Below is the full text of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s full statement of the missing MAS MH370 flight.

Seven days ago Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared. We realise this is an excruciating time for the families of those on board. No words can describe the pain they must be going through. Our thoughts and our prayers are with them.

I have been appraised of the on-going search operation round the clock. At the beginning of the operation, I ordered the search area to be broadened; I instructed the Malaysian authorities to share all relevant information freely and transparently with the wider investigation team; and I requested that our friends and allies join the operation. As of today, 14 countries, 43 ships and 58 aircraft are involved in the search. I wish to thank all the governments for their help at such a crucial time.

Since day one, the Malaysian authorities have worked hand-in-hand with our international partners – including neighbouring countries, the aviation authorities and a multinational search force – many of whom have been here on the ground since Sunday.

We have shared information in real time with authorities who have the necessary experience to interpret the data. We have been working nonstop to assist the investigation. And we have put our national security second to the search for the missing plane.

It is widely understood that this has been a situation without precedent.

We have conducted search operations over land, in the South China Sea, the Straits of Malacca, the Andaman Sea and the Indian Ocean. At every stage, we acted on the basis of verified information, and we followed every credible lead. Sometimes these leads have led nowhere.

There has been intense speculation. We understand the desperate need for information on behalf of the families and those watching around the world. But we have a responsibility to the investigation and the families to only release information that has been corroborated. And our primary motivation has always been to find the plane.

In the first phase of the search operation, we searched near MH370’s last known position, in the South China Sea. At the same time, it was brought to our attention by the Royal Malaysian Air Force that, based on their primary radar, an aircraft – the identity of which could not be confirmed – made a turn back. The primary radar data showed the aircraft proceeding on a flight path which took it to an area north of the Straits of Malacca.

Given this credible data, which was subsequently corroborated with the relevant international authorities, we expanded the area of search to include the Straits of Malacca and, later, to the Andaman Sea.

Early this morning I was briefed by the investigation team – which includes the FAA, NTSB, the AAIB, the Malaysian authorities and the Acting Minister of Transport – on new information that sheds further light on what happened to MH370.

Based on new satellite information, we can say with a high degree of certainty that the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) was disabled just before the aircraft reached the East coast of peninsular Malaysia. Shortly afterwards, near the border between Malaysian and Vietnamese air traffic control, the aircraft’s transponder was switched off.

From this point onwards, the Royal Malaysian Air Force primary radar showed that an aircraft which was believed – but not confirmed – to be MH370 did indeed turn back. It then flew in a westerly direction back over peninsular Malaysia before turning northwest. Up until the point at which it left military primary radar coverage, these movements are consistent with deliberate action by someone on the plane.

Today, based on raw satellite data that was obtained from the satellite data service provider, we can confirm that the aircraft shown in the primary radar data was flight MH370. After much forensic work and deliberation, the FAA, NTSB, AAIB and the Malaysian authorities, working separately on the same data, concur.

According to the new data, the last confirmed communication between the plane and the satellite was at 8:11AM Malaysian time on Saturday 8th March. The investigations team is making further calculations which will indicate how far the aircraft may have flown after this last point of contact. This will help us to refine the search.

Due to the type of satellite data, we are unable to confirm the precise location of the plane when it last made contact with the satellite.

However, based on this new data, the aviation authorities of Malaysia and their international counterparts have determined that the plane’s last communication with the satellite was in one of two possible corridors: a northern corridor stretching approximately from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand, or a southern corridor stretching approximately from Indonesia to the southern Indian ocean. The investigation team is working to further refine the information.

In view of this latest development the Malaysian authorities have refocused their investigation into the crew and passengers on board. Despite media reports that the plane was hijacked, I wish to be very clear: we are still investigating all possibilities as to what caused MH370 to deviate from its original flight path.

This new satellite information has a significant impact on the nature and scope of the search operation. We are ending our operations in the South China Sea and reassessing the redeployment of our assets. We are working with the relevant countries to request all information relevant to the search, including radar data.

As the two new corridors involve many countries, the relevant foreign embassies have been invited to a briefing on the new information today by the Malaysian Foreign Ministry and the technical experts. I have also instructed the Foreign Ministry to provide a full briefing to foreign governments which had passengers on the plane. This morning, Malaysia Airlines has been informing the families of the passengers and crew of these new developments.

Clearly, the search for MH370 has entered a new phase. Over the last seven days, we have followed every lead and looked into every possibility. For the families and friends of those involved, we hope this new information brings us one step closer to finding the plane.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak delivers his statement on the Flight MH370 during the press conference held at Sama-Sama Hotel in Sepang, KLIA today. Accompanying him are Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (left) and Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman (right). Pix by Mohd Fadli Hamzah


Although the primary exercise is to locate the missing B777-200 and the 239 souls onboard, the investigation has now centered on the crew and passengers onboard the flight. Particularly the technical crew, who were trained and skilled to operate the aircraft.

Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah has been described as a ‘Political Fanatic’

The Sunday Mail UK story:

Doomed airliner pilot was political fanatic:

Hours before taking control of flight MH370 he attended trial of jailed opposition leader as FBI reveal passengers could be at a secret location

  • Police investigate data from home flight simulator of captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53
  • Investigators speak of his ‘obsessive’ support for opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim
  • Police officers fear Ibrahim being jailed could have left Shah profoundly upset
  • Flight MH370 disappeared more than a week ago with 239 people on board
  • Despite a huge multinational search effort, no signs of the plane or a crash have been found
  • Malaysian Prime Minister said yesterday that the plane was deliberately steered off course


PUBLISHED: 22:08 GMT, 15 March 2014 | UPDATED: 22:51 GMT, 15 March 2014

Police are investigating the possibility that the pilot of missing Flight MH370 hijacked his own aircraft in a bizarre political protest.

The Mail on Sunday has learned that Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah was an ‘obsessive’ supporter of Malaysia’s opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim. And hours before the doomed flight left Kuala Lumpur it is understood 53-year-old Shah attended a controversial trial in which Ibrahim was jailed for five years.

Campaigners say the politician, the key challenger to Malaysia’s ruling party, was the victim of a long-running smear campaign and had faced trumped-up charges.

Police sources have confirmed that Shah was a vocal political activist – and fear that the court decision left him profoundly upset. It was against this background that, seven hours later, he took control of a Boeing 777-200 bound for Beijing and carrying 238 passengers and crew.

Timeline: The above graphic shows how the situation may have developed



Sudden ascent and dive points to cockpit takeover


Sudden ascent and dive points to cockpit takeover



The final picture: The missing jet is pictured her in February this year above Polish airspace


The final picture: The missing jet is pictured her in February this year above Polish airspace


Yesterday, Malaysian police searched his house in the upmarket Kuala Lumpur suburb of Shah Alam, where he had installed a home-made flight simulator. But this newspaper can reveal that investigators had already spent much of last week examining two laptops removed from Shah’s home. One is believed to contain data from the simulator

Confirming rising fears, Malaysia’s prime minister Najib Razak announced yesterday that MH370 was deliberately steered off course after its communication system was switched off. He said it headed west over the Malaysian seaboard and could have flown for another seven hours on its fuel reserves.

It is not yet clear where the plane was taken, however Mr Razak said the most recent satellite data suggests the plane could have been making for one of two possible flight corridors. The search, involving 43 ships and 58 aircraft from 15 countries, switched from the South China Sea to the Bay of Bengal in the Indian Ocean.

US investigators say faint ‘pings’ were being transmitted for several hours after the flight lost contact with the ground.

Meanwhile, military radar showed the jet climbed to 45,000ft – above its service limit – which could have been a deliberate attempt to knock out the passengers and crew.


Anwar Ibrahim is a broadly popular democracy icon and former deputy prime minister whose prosecution on a charge of sodomy is seen by many Malaysians as political persecution.

The raids on Captain Shah’s home appeared stage-managed as a display of intent after the Prime Minister said the focus of the investigation was now on ‘crew and passengers’ as a result of the latest leads.

But investigators have told the Mail on Sunday inquiries into the background of the pilot actually began days earlier.

Malaysian police, helped by FBI agents from the US, are looking into the political and religious backgrounds of both Zaharie and his co-pilot. Zaharie’s home was sealed off yesterday as police spent an hour inside.

However, a senior investigation source said two laptops were taken from the property in low-key visits by police early last week despite a series of denials by officials that his home had been searched or raided.

One laptop taken away is thought to contain data from the flight simulator while a second contained little information. Zaharie’s personal laptop was not found, and is thought to have been with him in the cockpit of the plane, the source said.


Activist: Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah


Also raided: Fariq Abdul Hamid


Investigation: Pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah, left, was a political activist who attended a tense trial on the day of the flight, investigators believe. He was flying service MH370 alongside Fariq Abdul Hamid, right, from whom investigators have been keen to deflect suspicion




Hunt: Investigators have riaded the houses of both pilots. Pictured is where co-pilot Hamid lives in an upmarket Kuala Lumpur suburb


Hunt: Investigators have riaded the houses of both pilots. Pictured is where co-pilot Hamid lives in an upmarket Kuala Lumpur suburb


Zaharie’s co-workers have told investigators the veteran pilot was a social activist who was vocal and fervent in his support of Ibrahim.

‘Colleagues made it clear to us that he was someone who held strong political beliefs and was strident in his support for Anwar Ibrahim,’ another investigation source said. ‘We were told by one colleague he was obsessed with politics.’


Anwar Ibrahim is a broadly popular democracy icon and former deputy prime minister whose prosecution on a charge of sodomy is seen by many Malaysians as political persecution.

Campaigners say the politician, the key challenger to Malaysia’s ruling party, was the victim of a long-running smear campaign and had faced trumped-up charges.

Captain Shah, who is thought to have attended the trial in Putrajaya hours before flying, is thought to be incensed by the verdict.

Co-workers have told investigators the veteran pilot was a social activist who was vocal and fervent in his support of Ibrahim.

Investigators said: ‘We are looking into the theory that Zaharie’s political beliefs may be a factor. There are huge sensitivities surrounding this but we cannot afford not to pursue any angle brought to our attention.’

In their interviews, colleagues said Zaharie told them he planned to attend the court case involving Anwar on March 7, just hours before the Beijing flight, but investigators had not yet been able to confirm if he was among the crowd of Anwar supporters at court.

Zaharie is believed to be separated or divorced from his wife although they share the same house, close to Kuala Lumpur’s international airport. They have three children, but no family members were at home yesterday: only the maid has remained there.

In the days after Flight MH370 disappeared, Zaharie was affectionately described as a good neighbour and an eccentric ‘geek’ who had a flight simulator at home simply because he loved his work so much.

Malaysian officials initially appeared keen not to direct any suspicion towards Zaharie or his co-pilot, 27-year-old Fariq Abdul Hamid, who was last week revealed to have invited two women passengers into the cockpit and smoked on an earlier flight to Phuket.

But evidence of the way the plane’s transponder and communication systems were disabled and the way the plane was expertly flown over the Indian Ocean apparently using navigational waypoints meant only a skilled aviator could have been at the controls. Investigators were also baffled by why, if hijackers took over the plane, there was no Mayday call or signal from the two pilots to say the cockpit had been breached.

At yesterday’s press conference, the suspicion over the pilot’s involvement mounted as prime minister Najib Razak said that investigators had found ‘deliberate action’ on board the plane resulted in it changing course and losing contact with ground crews.

As a result of the new information, Malaysian authorities had ‘refocused their investigation on crew and passengers aboard’, he said. Police sealed off the area surrounding Zaharie’s home and searched the house shortly after the press conference.

Mr Razak said the new satellite evidence shows ‘with a high degree of certainty’ that the one of the jet’s communications devices – the Aircraft and Communications Addressing and Reporting System  was disabled just before it had reached the east coast of Malaysia. ACARS is a service that allows computers aboard the plane to relay in-flight information about the health of its systems back to the ground.

Shortly afterwards, near the cross-over point between Malaysian and Vietnamese air traffic controllers, the plane’s transponder, which emits an identifying signal, was switched off or, less likely, failed.

According to a military radar, the aircraft then turned and flew back over Malaysia before heading in a north-west direction.

Search: Investigators from countries around the world have been scouring the oceans


Search: Investigators from countries around the world have been scouring the oceans




A satellite was able to pick up a ‘ping’ from the plane until 08:11 local time, more than seven hours after it lost radar contact, although it was unable to give a precise location. Mr Razak went on to say that based on this new data, investigators ‘have determined the plane’s last communication with a satellite was in one of two possible corridors – north from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan through to northern Thailand, and south from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean.

If as suspected the plane was diverted into the Indian Ocean, the task of the search teams becomes more difficult, as there are hundreds of uninhabited islands and the water reaches depths of around 23,000ft.

Countries in the plane’s potential flightpath have now joined a huge effort to locate the missing passengers, but China described the revelation as ‘painfully belated’. And FBI investigators say the disappearance of MH370 may have been ‘an act of piracy’ and that the possibility that its hundreds of passengers are being held at an unknown location has not been ruled out.



Meanwhile, leading aviation lawyer James Healy–Pratt, who is helping relatives, said Malaysian Airlines had declined to buy Boeing’s Airplane Health Management system, which monitors systems in real time and could have alerted it to any potential problems, rather than having to recover a black box.

‘If the transponder was manually disabled then one can only hope that the black boxes were not also manually disabled,’ he said. ‘Otherwise, the truth will never be known.’

The revelations about Zaharie’s political affiliations are highly sensitive in a country where political dirty tricks are widespread.

One of the investigation sources said: ‘We are looking into the theory that Zaharie’s political beliefs may be a factor. There are huge sensitivities surrounding this but we cannot afford not to pursue any angle brought to our attention.’

Separately, a police source told the Mail on Sunday: ‘I can confirm our investigations include the political and religious leanings of both pilots.’

Zaharie joined Malaysia  Airlines in 1981. He became a captain about ten years later  and has clocked up 18,360 hours of flying experience.

  • Additional reporting: Ian Gallagher



A British Airways pilot who tackled a maniac on his packed jet reveals how the threat of hijack can spring from anywhere – and tells how the fate of Flight MH370 has brought details of his horrific encounter flooding back to him…

I was asleep in my bunk when I was jolted awake by the sudden lurching of the plane, British Airways flight BA 2069 from Gatwick to Kenya.

I knew there was something seriously wrong but I thought maybe the aircraft had been damaged. It was only when I heard my co-pilot shouting for help and opened the door that I saw there was an intruder. He looked like a terrorist.

I knew we were all in grave danger as he had seized the controls and we were plummeting at full speed towards the ground. If I had considered it necessary to kill him to save everyone else on board, I would have. My wife and two of my children were on the flight, as were singer Bryan Ferry and five
members of the Goldsmith family.

I didn’t speak – I just punched the man hard and managed to pull his body back just enough to make the plane pitch up from its dive. The week before I had been speaking to my young son about how to survive a shark attack, by sticking your finger in its eye, and that gave me the inspiration to do that to the intruder.

After I had gouged his eye he came away from the controls to fight me, allowing the co-pilot to stabilise the aircraft. I shouted loudly for help and three
male passengers rushed to my aid. They grabbed the hijacker – who I later learned was a 27-year-old mentally ill Kenyan student called
Paul Kefa Mukonyi – and dragged him to the back of the plane and tied him up.

If he had been at the controls for just a few extra seconds we could all have died. The plane stalled three times, nearly went upside down and
was plummeting to the ground.

While I was still catching my breath I made an announcement to reassure the 398 passengers on board that it was over. I forgot about any rule book and just said: ‘A bad man has tried to kill us all, but everything is fine now.’

The plight of the Malaysia Airlines flight has brought the horror of that day, December 29, 2000, flooding back to me.

If there was an explosion, debris would have been spotted by now. I believe this must have been a deliberate and planned act. Pilots are encouraged to secure the safest outcome, which may well mean you comply with the demands of the hijackers.

On long-haul flights a pilot will notify air traffic control of the aircraft’s exact location every 30 minutes. I would be asking the Malaysian authorities to check the voice of whoever made the last call from the plane to see if it was the pilot.

I just hope there are answers soon, for the families who are facing this awful wait.

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Published in: on March 16, 2014 at 06:01  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. There are so many theories flying around concerning the missing flight MH370. All the theories cannot be discounted but it appears that authorities with the expert help of the Americans, British, FAA, Boeing , NTSB etc have now established that the plane was deliberately detoured. Now the question is why? The PM refused to define it as hijacking though the American experts and analysts have no qualms to use the word hijack to describe the deliberate act of detouring the plane. Yes, why detour the plane deliberately? Possible theory – the Uighur connection helped by a sympathiser or sympathisers who know a great deal about jetplanes and aviation ? If so where were they planning to land somewhere? The northern corridor would have taken the plane over China up to Kazakhstan. Did they manage after flying for 7-8 hours undetected to reach somewhere or didn’t they?

    There maybe other theories as to what happened after the plane deliberately detoured but we all wish that this disappearance had never happened in the first place. It is so very unfair and cruel to the innocent passengers and crew who had no hand in detouring the plane and crashing their hopes and futures.

  2. Pray for MH 370
    Hope everything gonna be right

  3. If this report is true and this baldy is an Anwar As-Sodomy fanatic, means the 15 years of indoctrination with the politics of hatred strategy paid of.

    Well done, these anarchy prone politics! It is clearly proven that there are cells of individuals in a nation of progressive people with huge potential could be trained to do very sinister acts.

    Forget unibomber! Forget pheasants and downtrodden destitutes being propped up to kill or be used as a weapon!

    We hv highly skilled professionals who are supposed to be very disciplined, able to maintain calm and coolness, precise in calculations and navigation and deemed high in logic, could find compartments in their mind to do acts of evil against humanity.

    Imagine if they can prove this speculation?

    How Malaysia Airlines would be gravely affected!

    PM Najib must immediately hv a plan to inject fresh capital, so that the national carrier could do immediate investments in assets, people and re-strategise campaigns to place them and gain perception in the market. And he must look into this personally.

    BTW, where the hell is Md Nor Md Yusof and Abdullah Ahmad Badawi? Dont they belong in Malaysia Airlines too?

    Shouldnt they be taking some of the load away from Ahmad Jauhari, so that normal Malaysia Airlines operations could be taken care of too?

  4. Good information
    Great Article 😀
    Thank you very much

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