Malaysia

All About the Missing Malaysian Pilot, Zaharie Shah

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Over at Mediaite, Andrew Kirell has pulled together what Donald Rumsfeld might call the "known knowns" about Zaharie Shah, the pilot of the missing Malaysian Airlines plane.

Plenty of questions have arisen over whether the pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 54, had any terrorist sympathies, but the truth is that evidence has, thus far, proved inconclusive.

In fact, many of Shah's internet actions paint a portrait of a man who barely fits the stereotypes of a religious fundamentalist or separatist.

Among those actions? 

He's a supporter of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, a reformer who was once charged with sodomy laws by the current authoritarian government. Shah's YouTube statistics reveal he has watched a lot of Ibrahim videos. Shah is also believed to have attended the court hearing that overturned Ibrahim's those sodomy charges. Ibrahim was once again jailed on those charges, just several hours before MH370 departed from Kuala Lumpur.

As expected, sources within the Malaysian government have called Shah a "fanatical supporter" of Ibrahim, attempting to portray his politics as radical and possibly violent. But Ibrahim's People's Justice Party is on the forefront of a coalition using elections to fight for "transparent and genuine democracy," including a constitution, separation of powers, as well as decentralized economic controls. As Slate described it: If anything, Shah is guilty of supporting "a nonviolent man who supports a pluralistic and democratic Malaysia."

Read the whole thing.

Read Reason's 24/7 latest roundup of everything related to Shah and the disappearance of Flt 370, which Malaysian officials are now investigating as deliberate.