FEBRUARY 13, 2019
The cousin of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 pilot has admitted he made a ‘mysterious’ phone call to his relative before the doomed flight vanished.
Former Malaysia Airlines engineer Zulhaimi Bin Wahidin said he called Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah and spent 45 minutes on the phone with the pilot.
He said he last called his first cousin on February 2, 2014, weeks out from the mysterious disappearance of the Boeing 777 during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
The revelation comes after Mr. Zulhami broke his silence for the first time to dismiss a series of conspiracy theories that claimed the plane was hijacked, The Australian reported.
In particular, Mr. Zulhaimi brushed aside rumours he had given Zaharie technical details that subsequently allowed him to hijack the plane and ultimately destroy the lives of 238 passengers and crew members on March 8, 2014.
Conspiracy theories of Mr Zulhaimi’s role in the disappearance of the plane first swirled after an investigative report from May the same year was leaked online.
The report not only revealed police were suspicious of the phone call between the pair, but that Mr. Zulhaimi had tried to call Zaharie on his mobile three times after the plane was announced as missing.
Members of an independent group of experts spoke to the media late last year and demanded Malaysia confirm ‘the role and technical area of expertise’ of the aircraft engineer.
They wanted to know what the conversation in the phone call was about and who had tried to call the pilot Captain Zaharie Shah three times on the fateful morning.
Mr Zulhaimi admitted he tried to call the pilot three times between 10.27am and 11.12am on the day the flight disappeared.
He said the calls were made out of pure disbelief his cousin’s flight was missing.
On that tragic day, air traffic control screens lost sight of the MH370 about 40 minutes into its flight.
The sudden disappearance came about when the plane’s secondary radar transponder was turned off.
Moments afterwards, Zaharie made one last harrowing radio transmission: ‘Good night, Malaysian Three-Seven-Zero’.
Military primary radar and automatic satellite ‘handshakes’ later tracked the course of the MH370.
The ensuing investigation showed the plane flew back over Malaysia and continued up the Straits of Malacca before it turned back and followed a long course south to the southern Indian Ocean.
To this day, the plane remains lost despite two big undersea hunts to salvage the wreckage.
Royal Malaysian Police have already probed Mr. Zulhaimi a handful of times on suspicion that the plane was hijacked.
The father-of-three said his cousin was a ‘smart guy’ who was a highly experienced aviator equipped with licenses to train and test other pilots.
Therefore he already had the technical knowledge that would have allowed him to hijack the plane – and would not have needed Mr. Zulhaimi’s help.
On the matter as to why he had called Zaharie, Mr. Zulhaimi said the pair were like ‘brothers’ and were in constant contact.
While the pair’s relationship was no secret, police initially had no idea.
‘I asked them to get all of the information from the telco company to see how many times he has been calling me,’ Mr. Zulhaimi said.
‘When they found that he had been calling me so many times for the last 10 years then they did not question me anymore.’
Suspicious phone calls aside, Mr. Zulhaimi staunchly denies his cousin would have gone rogue and taken control of the plane. He said the idea did not square with the character of his cousin.
‘They’re trying to blame him for what happened and it’s very hard for me to swallow that because he’s not that kind of a person,’ M.r Zulhaimi said.
The 53-year-old said his cousin had a loving family, successful children and plenty of money. In other words, the perfect ingredients for a happy and fulfilling life.
The pair went to the same Penang Free School and would have regular play dates with each other.
When Zaharie went off to Malaysia Airlines, Mr. Zulhaimi followed his cousin.
When Zaharie visited the flight simulator, he would check in on his cousin who lived nearby.
In short, Mr. Zulhaimi and Zaharie were inseparable.
Mr. Zulhaimi last saw his cousin when he dropped by with his wife Faisah a few weeks before the flight’s disappearance.
To him, the visit was just another run-of-the-mill encounter.
‘He was around the neighborhood, around my area, so he dropped by to see my kids,’ he said.
‘Just to say hello. We chitchat for a while, about half an hour or one hour.’
Five years on and Mr. Zulhaimi said he and his family are still coming to terms with the disappearance of their family member.
Even though it has not been confirmed, Mr. Zulhaimi said he and his family had come to accept their relative was no longer alive.
Courtesy/Source: Daily Mail