In the light of controversies and allegations on First Officer Fariq Abdul Hamid‘s ‘lax behavior’, adding to the photographs of a co-pilot of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 that have emerged showing him entertaining teenage tourists in an aircraft cockpit during a previous flight, Malaysia Airlines issues clarification statement to give way to the viral topic in the internet.
Tuesday, March 11, 11:30 PM MYT +0800 Malaysia Airlines MH370 Flight Incident – 13th Media Statement
Malaysia Airlines has become aware of the allegations being made against First Officer, Fariq Ab Hamid which we take very seriously. We are shocked by these allegations.
We have not been able to confirm the validity of the pictures and videos of the alleged incident. As you are aware, we are in the midst of a crisis, and we do not want our attention to be diverted.
We also urge the media and general public to respect the privacy of the families of our colleagues and passengers. It has been a difficult time for them.
The welfare of both the crew and passenger’s families remain our focus. At the same time, the security and safety of our passengers is of the utmost importance to us.
马来西亚航空在此声明我们非常认真地看待针对副机师 Fariq Ab Hamid 所做出的指控。我们对这些指控感到震惊。
Malaysian MH370 co-pilot entertained teenagers in cabin on earlier flight
Photos emerge of Fariq Abdul Hamid and colleague with two South Africans on flight in 2011 from Phuket to Kuala Lumpur.
The images came to light on the day Malaysian officials said they were investigating potential “psychological problems” of the crew or passengers for possible reasons as to why the aircraft could have gone missing.
The first officer, Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27, invited two South African teenagers in to the flight cabin for the entirety of a flight in 2011 from Phuket to Kuala Lumpur. He and his colleague entertained the two girls, smoked cigarettes and posed for photographs with them.
Jonti Roos, who said she and a friend were once invited into the cockpit of a Malaysia Airlines flight by missing co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid.
Jonti Roos, one of the passengers, told Australia’s A Current Affair: “They were actually smoking throughout the flight, which I don’t think they’re allowed to do.
“At one stage, they were pretty much turned around the whole time in their seats talking to us. They were so engaged in conversation that he [Hamid] took my friend’s hand, and he was looking at her palm and said, ‘your hand is very creased – that means you’re a very creative person’, and commented on her nail polish.”
The women were approached by an air steward as they took their seats on the flight and spent the whole of the one-hour trip, from takeoff to landing, in the cockpit with the two pilots.
Roos told the 9 Network programme she and her friend were picked out by Hamid as they waited to board the plane, and later were asked to have a night out in Kuala Lumpur in what Roos described as a “slightly sleazy” encounter.
In what is likely to be viewed as a damning reflection on Malaysian Airlines’ security practices, Roos said she had come forward with the information because so little was known about what had happened to flight MH370.
“I’m really not saying that I think the co-pilot was in the wrong with this flight at all,” she said. “It could have been absolutely anything. This is just the little bit of information that I have.”
Hamid joined Malaysia Airlines in 2007 as a first officer, and had clocked up 2,763 flying hours by the time of the disappearance. His captain on the MH370, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, joined the airline in 1981, and had flown about 18,000 hours.
Shah was an “aviation tech geek” who spent his weekends at home going through drills on a Boeing 777 flight simulator and flying remote-controlled miniature aircraft, said colleagues.
His excellent track record with the airline has thrown doubt on pilot error as an explanation. “He knew everything about the Boeing 777,” said a colleague. “Something significant would have had to happen for Zaharie and the plane to go missing. It would have to be total electrical failure.”
Despite the potentially grave security lapse during Roos’s flight, the South African, who lives in Melbourne, said she believed the two pilots had been “very competent in what they were doing”.
“We wished they [would] stop smoking, because it is such a confined space. But you can’t exactly tell a pilot to stop smoking[that],” she added.
It was only by reading messages that friends and family had posted on Hamid’s Facebook wall that Roos realised he had been co-pilot on the MH370 flight.
“I was just completely shocked. I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “My heart really broke for them, and my heart broke for the family of the passengers. It’s just a really sad story.”
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