KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 — Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein must either confirm or deny a report by Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia alleging a US intelligence agency was behind the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, the DAP demanded today.
In an opinion piece last Sunday, the Malay broadsheet’s assistant news editor Ku Seman Ku Hussein aired a belief among conspiracy theorists that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was to blame for the missing jetliner, fuelling debate on the Umno-led federal government’s role in the aviation industry’s biggest mystery to date.
“He was implying that the CIA might have a hand in MH370,” Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng said, referring to Ku Seman.
“But until now the Malaysian government, the authorities, especially Hishammuddin, have said nothing. So I want Hishammuddin to respond to this assertion by Utusan,” he told reporters at the DAP headquarters here.
The opposition party’s parliamentary leader, Lim Kit Siang, acknowledged that such conspiracy theories surrounding MH370 had been floating around the Internet for the past month since the Beijing-bound plane vanished on March 8.
But the Gelang Patah MP said the claim had gained prominence for being published in a national newspaper controlled by the Barisan Nasional government’s main party.
“I think it’s a certain reflection of a governmental position on it and I think this and many other conspiracy theories must be dealt with,” said Kit Siang, who was present at the same news conference.
“A parliamentary select committee on MH370 will be a proper body to go through all the conspiracy theories that surfaced and to investigate them,” he said, adding that it would give closure to families of the 239 passengers and cabin crew.
According to the article by Ku Seman, it was time “to think outside the box” on the mystery surrounding the plane as the incident could be a ploy to tarnish the good relations between Malaysia and China.
“If the CIA could arrange for the attack on the World Trade Centre in New York on September 11, 2001, it is not improbable to link MH370 with the intelligence agency,” Ku Seman wrote, referring to speculation on the involvement of American intelligence in the 9/11 attacks.
“What if the MH370 tragedy had been arranged by certain parties to put Malaysia’s relationship with China in jeopardy?” Ku Seman asked.
Flight MH370 flew off civilian radars in the early hours of March 8, less than an hour after its departure from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, and remains missing despite a multi-nation hunt.
Searchers trawling the southern Indian Ocean, where satellite data placed as MH370’s final location, have picked up faint “pings” from underwater that are consistent with signals emitted by a plane’s flight recorder.