Last updated Friday, August 29, 2014 01:07pm

Peter Chong holds up his smartphone to show a photo of himself with missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah at a hotel in Sepang March 18, 2014. — Reuters picPeter Chong holds up his smartphone to show a photo of himself with missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah at a hotel in Sepang March 18, 2014. — Reuters picKUALA LUMPUR, March 31 ―The daughter of MH370's pilot has accused a British tabloid of “making up” an article in which the paper quoted her saying her father was unstable before the flight, a report said today.

The Daily Mail, whose coverage of the three-week-long missing-plane crisis has been questioned before, said in a report Sunday that family members described captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, as “disturbed”.

Authorities are closely investigating the backgrounds of Zaharie and his co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27, over the mysterious disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines flight on March 8 with 239 people aboard. Malaysia says it was deliberately diverted.

But Aishah Zaharie, the captain's daughter, said the Daily Mail report was bogus.

“Dear Daily Mail, You should consider making movies since you are so good at making up stories and scripts out of thin air,” she said in a posting late yesterday on her Facebook page, according to news portal Malaysian Insider.

“May god have mercy on your souls. You can bet your ass I will not forgive you,” the 28-year-old added.

AFP could not confirm the comments due to the restricted-access settings on Aishah's Facebook page. She did not immediately respond to an AFP message seeking comment.

The tabloid had said Zaharie was “on the brink” of divorcing his wife of 30 years.

Quoting a “source close to the pilot's family”, it said Zaharie's wife Faizah Khanum Mustafa Khan told investigators that he stopped speaking to her in the weeks before the flight and “retreated into a shell”.

Aishah was quoted as saying: “He wasn't the father I knew. He seemed disturbed and lost in a world of his own.”

In the Gallery


  • People light up candles during a ‘Love U MH370’ event in Kuala Lumpur, March 30, 2014. ― Reuters pic

  • A woman casts her shadow as she hangs messages during a ‘Love U MH370’ event in Kuala Lumpur, March 30, 2014. ― Reuters pic

  • A girl writes messages during a ‘Love U MH370’ event in Kuala Lumpur, March 30, 2014. ― Reuters pic

  • Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott meets members of Malaysia's Air Force who are currently based at RAAF Base Pearce near Perth March 31, 2014. ― Reuters pic

  • Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott is guided around a Royal Australian Air Force P-3C Orion aircraft by Australia's Air Force Group Commander Craig Heap (2nd left) near Perth March 31, 2014. ― Reuters pic

  • Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott (right) meets with South Korea's Navy Captain Lee Jin-young during his visit to RAAF Base Pearce near Perth March 31, 2014. ― Reuters pic

  • Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott (2nd left) is briefed on the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 by Royal Australian Air Force Group Commander Craig Heap (right) near Perth March 31, 2014. ― Reuters pic

  • A woman writes on a wall dedicated to the passengers of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 before the Malaysian F1 Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit outside Kuala Lumpur, March 30, 2014. ― Reuters pic

  • A Chinese relative of passengers on board missing MH370 is comforted by abbess Jue Cheng after prayers at a Buddhist temple in Petaling Jaya March 31, 2014. ― Reuters pic

  • A Chinese relative of passengers on board missing MH370 prepares to recite prayers for their loved ones at Fo Guang Shan Buddhist temple in Petaling Jaya March 31, 2014. ― Reuters pic

  • A relative of a passenger onboard missing MH370 prays at a praying room at Lido Hotel in Beijing March 31, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A sign displays a message regarding the search for missing MH370 outside the Uniting Church in the town of Kincumber in New South Wales March 31, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A sound and video technician rests during Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein’s news conference on missing MH370 in Kuala Lumpur March 31, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein speaks during a news conference on missing MH370 in Kuala Lumpur March 31, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Able Seaman Marine Technician Matthew Oxley stands aboard Australian Navy ship HMAS Success looking for debris in the southern Indian Ocean March 31, 2014. — Reuters pic

Malaysian police have questioned the families of Zaharie, co-pilot Fariq and other crew, and seized a flight simulator from the captain's house. No evidence has emerged to implicate anyone.

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim had previously criticised an earlier Daily Mail report that described Zaharie as a fanatical supporter of Anwar.

Just hours before MH370 took off, Anwar was convicted of sodomy ― illegal in the Muslim-majority country ― in a controversial case that he said was fabricated to ruin his political career. Anwar, who faces five years in jail, is appealing the verdict.

A Facebook tribute page called “Friends of Captain Zaharie MH370” and set up by a schoolmate of the captain also expressed outrage at the Daily Mail article.

It had attracted more than 25,000 followers as of mid-day today.

Zaharie's family has shied away from the media, but his 26-year-old son Ahmad Seth dismissed speculation his father may have intentionally diverted the plane for sinister purposes in an interview with Malaysia's New Straits Times last week.

Other friends and colleagues have also come to the defence of Zaharie, who flew for Malaysia Airlines for 33 years and was a respected senior pilot. ― AFP