Malaysia Airlines lodges police report against Facebook users

Malaysia Airlines said its crew remained on board the aircraft during transit in India. (Reuters pic)

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airlines has filed a police report against two social media users for accusing the airline of bringing in passengers from India despite the ban on entry of Indian nationals. The airline found the accusation detrimental not only to its reputation but viewed it as a threat to the country’s credibility in curbing the spread of Covid-19. It said flights from India from May 1 to May 3 carried freight comprising pharmaceutical goods, medical supplies, mobile phones, electrical components and courier packages.

“The flight did not carry any passengers other than the crew who remained on board during transit. “As a further precaution, the airline also did not allow any ground maintenance personnel in India to enter its aircraft,” it said. Malaysia Airlines stressed that all flights deployed by the airline were subject to approval by relevant authorities in respective countries and with strict adherence to safety and health SOPs.

The airline named the two individuals who made the accusations as Facebook users Muhammad Fahmi Abdullah and Wan Hilmi Wan Nor Hilmi. Fahmi, who is said to be a taxi driver, alleged that he was asked to pick up an Indian national from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to his quarantine centre. Screenshots of his Facebook posts have been widely shared on social media platforms including WhatsApp.

Wan Hilmi, in his post, alleged that the government was not serious in tackling Covid-19, pointing out that four flights had landed in Malaysia on May 1. However, he later edited his remarks and said he was not aware it was a cargo plane and that all flight crew had taken a mandatory swab test. Today, transport minister Wee Ka Siong clarified that Malaysia Airlines was only carrying cargo, not passengers, on its flights to and from India.

Wee said only non-commercial flights were allowed and the MH-designated flight details which had gone viral on social media only involved the transportation of cargo.

“Converting passenger flights to cargo-only flights has been a practice for Malaysia Airlines for many months now due to the pandemic,” he added.

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