Malaysia

Hishammuddin dismisses Utusan’s CIA-link theory in flight MH370’s disappearance

Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (pic) has dismissed the suggestion by Utusan Malaysia last week that the US Central Intelligence Agency, or CIA, had played a role in the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

He compared the paper's claim to speculative reports in the Western media, saying it was their freedom to do so.

"At the end of the day, if their report is false, they will lose credibility,” Hishammuddin (pic), who is also the defence minister, told reporters during his visit to check preparations for the Defence Services Asia exhibition, at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

On April 7, Utusan had said that it was time "to think outside the box" over the incident, saying it could be a ploy to tarnish the good relations between Malaysia and China.

Backing the widely circulated conspiracy theory on CIA's involvement in the 9/11 attacks of 2001, the Umno mouthpiece said that not all such claims should be dismissed as nonsense or conspiracy theories.

"If the CIA could arrange for the attack on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001, it is not improbable to link MH370 with the intelligence agency," wrote Utusan's assistant editor Ku Seman Ku Hussein.

Hishammuddin, however, pointed to the US's strong participation in the Defence Services Asia exhibition, which opens tomorrow.

“If there is (CIA involvement), I don’t think we would see such a strong presence of the US here,” he added.

The mysterious disappearance of flight MH370 has led to a string of speculation on the Internet, including one which alleged that the passenger plane with 239 on board could have landed on the US military base in Diego Garcia, located among the coral atolls in the Indian Ocean.

A spokesman for the US embassy in Kuala Lumpur has denied the suggestion, saying there was no truth to the speculation.

Hishammuddin's denial today was the second in two days related to flight MH370, which went missing on March 8.

Yesterday, he had questioned a front-page report by the New Straits Times, which cited a source as saying that MH370's co-pilot, Fariq Abdul Hamid, had made a telephone call when the plane was flying low over Penang.

"I cannot comment (on the newspaper report) because if it is true, we would have known about it much earlier," he was quoted by Bernama as saying. – April 13, 2014.

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