Following explosive revelations from former Australian Prime Minister Toby Abbott that the “highest levels” of Malaysia’s government told him that the disappearance of MH370 was most probably linked to a mass murder-suicide, many are now asking for answers from the upper echelons of the Barisan Nasional government.
Ruling coalition party leader Lim Kit Siang of DAP has waded into the story, suggesting that an international inquiry be held into the matter to investigate whether there is any credence to Abbott’s claims that “very early on” former government officials believed that the entire tragedy was perpetrated by the pilot in charge of the doomed flight that night.
Lim’s comments follow an appearance by the former Australian PM in a two-part documentary that airs this week on the country’s Sky News network. MH370: The Untold Story purports to show the former leader confirming that Putrajaya told him within a week of the plane’s 2014 disappearance that pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah was responsible for the incident.
Australian officials have said that Zaharie’s home flight simulator indicated he had programmed a course that flew to the southern Indian Ocean.
At the time of the plane’s still-unsolved disappearance, Malaysia was led by a BN government, with Prime Minister Najib Razak at the helm and Liow Tiong Lai as the country’s transport minister.
On March 8, 2014, the regularly scheduled MH370 flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing took off from KLIA as per usual. An hour into the flight, the plane is alleged to have turned around and crossed over the Malaysian peninsula again. Authorities believe the vessel eventually turned southwards towards the Indian Ocean, however, no search has managed to turn up significant portions of the plane, or any conclusive evidence of its fate. Two-hundred and thirty-nine people were on board, including six Australians.
Since its disappearance, over 120,000 square kilometers of ocean floor have been searched for wreckage, with the bill being footed by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau to the tune of AU$200 million over two-and-a-half years. The search was suspended in January 2017, with US company Ocean Infinity stepping in for three months in 2018 to look for the plane under a no-fee agreement with the Malaysian government should no evidence turn up. Their search concluded with no further discovery.
A report published after the general election in July 2018 concluded that MH370 was deliberately taken off course, but stopped short of naming the person or persons responsible.