Malaysia Airlines files police report for 'erroneous social media claims' about ferrying Indian nationals

Malaysia Airlines (MAB) has filed a police report against two people for their "erroneous claims on social media" after social media postings circulating online accused the airline of bringing in passengers from India via several of its flights. This was despite Malaysia's temporary ban on entry of Indian nationals. The national carrier clarified in a statement that its flights mounted between 1 to 3 May from India did not carry any passengers other than the flight crew who remained onboard during transit.

In fact, the flights were full cargo flights utilising Malaysia Airlines’ Passenger-to-Cargo aircraft carrying freight comprising pharmaceutical goods, medical supplies, mobile phones, electrical components, and courier packages. As a further precaution, the airline also did not allow any ground maintenance personnel in India to enter its aircraft.

MAB named the two individuals who made the accusations - Wan Hilmi Wan Mohd Nor Hilmi and Muhammad Fahmi Abdullah. The airline said it found the accusation by certain individuals detrimental not only to its reputation but viewed it as a threat to the country’s credibility in curbing the spread of COVID-19.

"Since the country imposed the temporary ban on entry of Indian nationals into Malaysia on 28 April 2021, the airline has cancelled all its scheduled passenger flights to/from India to comply with the ruling," MAB said. The airline reiterated that all flights deployed by the airline are subject to approval by relevant authorities in respective countries and with strict adherence to safety and health standard operating procedures.

According to the New Straits Times, Muhammad Fahmi claimed in his social media post that his employer had instructed him to pick up an Indian national from Kuala Lumpur International Airport and send him to a quarantine centre. According to him, the Indian national allegedly arrived via MH191 from New Delhi. The passenger's alleged name and passport details were also shared in Muhammad Fahmi's post. Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong subsequently debunked the claims. Quoting him, NST reported that the allegations were "irresponsible" and "had caused restlessness, panic and anger among Malaysians".

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