Capt Zaharie pictured here in front of the flight simulator that he built.
PETALING JAYA: The family of Capt Zaharie Ahmad Shah, pilot of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 plane, have defended his reputation in an episode of Australian Broadcasting Corporation's (ABC) Four Corners program.
Capt Zaharie's brother-in-law, Asuad Khan, said the 53-year-old pilot was a "happy, generous and kind man" who fell victim to false rumours and inaccurate reporting.
Asuad, who spoke on behalf of Capt Zaharie's wife, Faizah Khan, also said claims of the captain committing suicide for life insurance are untrue.
"If you are talking about life insurance he didn't have one. Trust me, check. He didn't have one. He didn't believe in it so why would he want to (commit) suicide?" he said.
"Because if you say that he wanted to (commit) suicide in the Indian Ocean, I say prove it. He was not suicidal," he added, citing Capt Zaharie's good life, wealth and love for his daughter as deterrents against taking his own life.
Asuad also dismissed claims that the captain could have been a rogue pilot on a suicide mission, and claimed the authorities may be using Capt Zaharie as a scapegoat.
The day before the plane disappeared, Capt Zaharie did some work around the house, which was not out of character for the "DIY person".
"He likes to repair a lot of things by himself at home. On that day, my sister told me he was repairing the door for the bathroom if I'm not mistaken," said Asuad.
Asuad also shed light on questions that the police asked Capt Zaharie's wife and their maid, which included queries on whether the pilot was depressed or faced any marriage problems.
"All sorts of questions, (including about) his mental state. But he was a sane man. I don't think he was a crazy man," he added.
On March 8, Flight MH370 disappeared from Malaysian radars at 2.15am and vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board.
The flight is believed to have ended in the southern Indian Ocean off the West Australian coast, where search efforts for the plane is ongoing.