PETALING JAYA: Fellow pilots in Malaysia Airlines have come out in defence of Capt Zaharie Ahmad Shah as the probe into the disappearance of MH370 refocuses on the crew and passengers.
The pilots who had worked with the veteran colleague over the years said they did not believe that he was capable of sabotaging his own flight.
“He is such a kind-hearted person and would not have been able to think of anything like this,” said a close friend of Zaharie.
“Zaharie is always smiling and ready with a joke,” said another pilot who has flown alongside Zaharie previously. “He won’t do something like this.”
On reports in several blogs and Facebook pages that Zaharie had been introduced by a fellow pilot to a religious teacher named Syeikhul Hadith Maulana Abd Hamid at Madrasah Miftahul Ulum, a former colleague said this was not true.
According to one of the blogs, the pilot had taken part in tabligh (Islamic missionary) activities and had expressed his wish to contribute to the development of Islamic schools.
Zaharie’s Facebook page, which he last updated on Jan 3, gave no indication of him harbouring any extremist views. Many of his postings reflected his political beliefs, which are in support of Pakatan Rakyat and critical of Barisan Nasional, while others highlighted his hobbies, including flying and upgrading his flight simulator, cooking, and home improvement projects.