While there’s no denying Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah may be at the front and center of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 March 2014 tragedy, we also can’t forget there are other theories too. Though arguably the most significant aspect of it all, no matter the angle you choose to look at it from, is the fact each of the 227 passengers as well as 12 crew members are presumed dead. Yet for now, if you just wish to learn more about the one constant voice representing the pilot in command through everything — his sister Sakinab Ahmad Shah — we’ve got the details for you.
Who is Sakinab Ahmad Shah?
Although the Shahs admittedly come from a relatively poor yet big family comprising nine kids, Zaharie and his elder sister Sakinab had always managed to maintain a happy, peaceful bond. In fact, as adults, the duo lived quite close by in Kuala Lumpur, allowing them to be an unwaveringly constant part of one another’s lives as well as experiences in nearly every way imaginable. The siblings even had lunch together at a local restaurant to catch up a mere two weeks prior to the bizarre vanishing incident, wherein Zaharie was reportedly “his normal self, making jokes.”
That’s why the allegation of him committing mass murder-suicide is hard for Sakinab to swallow; she maintains he had no money, health, marriage, or substance issues to serve as a motive. “We were brought up in a very decent family,” she once said. “A simple village boy from poor beginnings and he became a commercial pilot. It was a dream come true. He stayed with Malaysia Airlines for 30 years, recorded over 18,000 hours of flying time. No bad record, nothing untoward. He was just a few years from retirement. Do you think he would want to throw this all away?”
Sakinab even added, “[The moment Zaharie became a suspect] was very hurtful [in itself]. It added to the stress of the loss. A very close brother of mine is missing, and on top of that I have to contend with all the accusations. It’s a very difficult situation. We cry often, my siblings and I.” In another interview, she candidly stated she’d actually heard of MH370’s disappearance through a close friend, and when she later learned her younger brother was at the helm in the cockpit, all she could do was repeatedly say, “No, no, no. It’s not him, it can not be him. it’s impossible.”
Sakinab actually used to dream of Zaharie taking care of all their siblings as they grew older, especially because she knew he’d be able to have fun while also ensuring everything was in order. Thus, when her reality tilted upside down on March 8, 2014, it was no small feat for her to adjust to — she felt as if the family was left suspended in mid-air with everything that unfolded. Nevertheless, she gave several interviews in support of her brother to make it clear there was zero tangible evidence connecting him to the actual vanishing, making him utterly innocent until proven guilty.
Where is Sakinab Ahmad Shah Now?
The truth is the FBI did find evidence implying that deleted data from Zah arie’s home flight simulator planned out a route through which he could’ve flown in the air until MH370’s fuel ran out. However, the Malaysian authorities eventually deemed there was “nothing sinister” in this because it’s possible he simply could’ve been trying out different flights or routes or anything else. Still, Sakinab served as his voice as she believed “if I don’t talk on his behalf, if I don’t portray him as the real person that he was, nobody will be any the wiser” of who he was or what transpired.
Therefore, of course, she was over the moon when the Malaysian Safety Investigation Report in July 2018 showed “nothing negative” about the pilot, virtually clearing him of all blame. “I’m so happy for the fact that he is cleared but at the end of the story we want the plane or wreckage to be found,” Sakinab said, making it clear her ultimate goal is closure for everybody, including their own family, too. As for her current standing, from what we can tell, she has since stepped away from the limelight and prefers to lead a quiet, comfortable life in Kuala Lumpur alongside her loved ones.
Read More: Where Are Zaharie Ahmad Shah’s Wife and Kids Now?