SHAH ALAM, Jan 30 – A friend of the Malaysia Airlines MH370’s pilot expressed disappointment at the way the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) handled the next of kin of the missing jet’s crew and passengers. Dr Mohd Ghouse Mohd Noor, a schoolmate of Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, rebuked the DCA for being insensitive to the suffering and sadness of the families and loved ones of those onboard the ill-fated MH370 by cancelling a briefing on the plane at the last minute.
“The DCA press conference was cancelled without any explanation. The perception management by the Malaysian government pertaining to the MH370 was very bad and poor. “They created a vacuum, and again, speculations and rumours will spread,” he said in a Facebook post on a tribute page to Zaharie, titled “Friends of Captain Zaharie MH370”.
His comment was in response to DCA cancelling a media briefing in Putrajaya at 3.30pm after realising several next of kin were in the room although they had not been invited. Later, in a taped recording broadcasted on RTM 1 at 6pm, DCA chief Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman declared officially that the missing plane incident was an accident and all crew and passengers were presumed to have lost their lives.
Meanwhile, Zaharie’s wife had not accompanied the other next of kin to sit in the media briefing but had remained at home to wait for the announcement. When the New Straits Times visited her, Faizah Khanum Mustafa Khan declined to give any comments on DCA’s announcement.