KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian government, which has been under harsh global scrutiny over the handling of its missing-plane drama, said Tuesday it would compile “false” media reports over the crisis and consider filing lawsuits.
Transport and Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said on his Twitter feed the country’s attorney general had been instructed to “compile evidence and advise” on possible legal action.
Earlier in the day Hishammuddin was quoted by the Malay Mail newspaper as saying: “We have been compiling all the false reports since day one. When the time is right, the government should sue them.” The MH370 saga and resulting world attention has put Malaysia’s long-ruling government — which muzzles its own pliant mainstream press — in the unaccustomed position of having to answer tough questions from reporters.
Hishammuddin, who has run the government’s near-daily briefings on the situation, has repeatedly denied various anonymously-sourced reports revealing details of Malaysia’s investigation into the March 8 disappearance of MH370 with 239 people aboard. He took particular aim on Monday against British tabloid the Daily Mail, which at the weekend quoted a “source close to the family” of pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah as saying police had learned he was emotionally unstable before the flight amid alleged marital trouble.