Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed, 88, claims the CIA may be withholding information about missing Malaysian Airline flight MH370. The politician made his comments on his personal blog, on which he also opined that the continuing search is futile and that too much blame has been placed on the Malaysian government and Malaysian Airlines.
"It is a waste of time and money to look for debris or oil slicks or listen for 'pings' from the black box," Mahathir wrote. "Someone is hiding something. It is not fair that MAS [Malaysia Airlines] and Malaysia should take the blame. For some reason the media will not print anything that involves Boeing or the CIA."
The Kuala Lumpur-based airline has come under heavy criticism in the wake of the MH370’s disappearance while en route from the Malaysian capital to Beijing, China, on March 8 with 239 passengers onboard.
Early media reports suggested that the aircraft had crashed in the South China Sea or in the Strait of Malaca, or that it had been hijacked and flown north to a former Soviet state in Central Asia. However, more recent indications are that the Boeing 777 crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.
However, Mahathir doesn’t believe the aircraft crashed into the sea at all. "This is most likely not an ordinary crash after fuel was exhausted. The plane is somewhere, maybe without MAS markings," Mahathir wrote.
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In what appeared to be an attempt to shift blame to the aircraft's manufacturer, Mahathir wrote in another blog post on April 25 that the flight had a good flight record and experienced pilots who "flew a plane fully expecting it to perform the task."
"I would not like to fly in Boeing aircraft unless Boeing can explain how all its systems can fail or be disabled," he added.
Now in the third month of the search, there are few answers, which has angered many of the families of the 154 Chinese passengers on board. In an open letter to Malaysian authorities, relatives have asked that the search be expanded to include land, and that those in charge improve communication with families and speed up the compensation process.
Protests have been staged by disgruntled family members outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing, and Chinese tourists have boycotted Malaysia, normally a top holiday destination.