PETALING JAYA: Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ab Aziz Kaprawi has confirmed that the "disruptive passenger" who caused flight MH128 to be redirected back to Melbourne's Tullamarine Airport was drunk.
"Malaysia Airlines practises a high level of security and safety, so they turned back. The crew managed to handle the passenger and once they landed, they contacted airport security to have the passenger removed.
"I have no information yet as to whether the plane will be taking off again soon, but it is believed that the suspect is a Sri Lankan national, and that he was drunk," he said when contacted.
Aziz Kaprawi told AFP that only one passenger was involved in the incident.
"It is not a hijack. One disruptive passenger tried to enter the plane's cockpit," he told AFP.
"The passenger, a Sri Lankan national, claimed to have a bomb. It was not a bomb but a powerbank," he added.
In an updated statement, Malaysia Airlines also confirmed that there was no attempted hijack of the plane.
"Malaysia Airlines would like to stress that at no point was the aircraft 'hijacked'.
"MH128 safely landed in Melbourne airport at 11.41pm.
"Following the incident on MH128, the disruptive passenger has been apprehended by airport security. Malaysia Airlines together with the Australian authorities will be investigating the incident," it said.
It added that all passengers on board the plane had safely disembarked.
"The affected passengers will be accommodated at hotels. They will be offered on the next available flight or on other carriers," the airline said.