KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who previously claimed he did not know the pilot of missing MH370 aircraft, has now revealed that, “Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah is related to one of my in-laws”.
“I am not denying that he ( Zaharie) is related to one of my in-laws and that I have met him on several occasions.
“In fact, he is a close friend of (Subang MP) R. Sivarasa as we said before.
“However, to politicise it is not right. We should respect the family’s rights and pray for them instead of prosecuting him before the investigation is completed,” Anwar told reporters in Parliament yesterday.
Britain’s The Mail on Sunday reported that Zaharie, was a “political fanatic” and “obsessive” supporter of Anwar.
It alleged that Zaharie had diverted the plane from its original Kuala Lumpur-Beijing path as he was upset with Anwar’s court verdict on sodomy.
The report was immediately rubbished by Anwar and other PKR leaders.
Anwar then told The South China Morning Post that while he had seen Zaharie at PKR meetings, he “did not know him personally”.
The report quoted him saying that he did not recollect the pilot’s name, but recalled seeing him at party meetings when shown photographs of Zaharie.
During the press conference yesterday, Anwar stated that Zaharie was a staunch opposition supporter and that they had met on occasions at party functions.
“I am not one to hide my associations with others.
“I have met him once or twice but I do not remember how many times,” he said.
He singled out pro-Umno bloggers as trying to tarnish Zaharie’s reputation despite others painting him as a ‘professional, a decent family-oriented man and someone who believed in fighting for justice’.
When asked to comment on speculation that Zaharie may have committed ‘pilot suicide’, Anwar said that it was illogical as there were many other Malaysians who were not happy with his sodomy conviction.