MAS Flight MH128 Turns Back To Melbourne After Drunk Passenger Triggers Bomb Scare
PAS Youth wants Putrajaya to ban alcohol on MAS flights
The Youth wing of Islamist party PAS claims that alcohol is a "threat" to flight safety, urging Malaysia Airlines to stop serving alcohol completely following the MH128 incident.
PAS Youth said that Malaysia must make Middle East countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt and Bahrain as role models in this matter, including its neighbour Brunei.
"PAS Youth urges the Malaysian government to make a drastic policy change in MAB by halting immediately from serving alcoholic drinks that can threaten flight safety," PAS Youth's vice-chief Ahmad Fadhli Shaari said in a statement.
"Even a tiny country like Brunei is more daring in banning the serving of alcoholic drinks on board Royal Brunei Airlines flights," Ahmad Fadhli added.
Ahmad Fadhli also claimed that the thousands of Muslim MAS staff were forced to serve alcohol, contrary to their religious belief
"Peace and order can only be attained with elements of blessing. As a country led by a Muslim prime minister, this is the time to make a change if we really want to," he said, while praising the national carrier’s decision earlier this year to stop serving alcoholic drinks on short-haul flights, claiming that the move was “praised by many in the public who are its passengers”.
However, responding to PAS Youth's demand, Nur Jazlan, UMNO deputy minister, said serving alcohol during flights is not the problem
Nur Jazlan said that this was because MAS cabin crew had the right to refuse to serve alcohol to difficult or drunk passengers.
"(Cabin crew) can refuse serving alcohol to difficult passengers or when a person is drunk," he was quoted saying my FMT, adding that other airlines also served alcohol but were able to manage the situation.
"Maybe it’s the cheap fares that MAS offers that are attracting a different crowd... attracting such characters," he was quoted saying so by FMT.
After mid-air drama, the disruptive MH128 passenger now refused to appear in Court
According to reports, Manodh Marks, who is a Sri Lankan national, was arrested and charged with endangering the safety of an aircraft and making false threats.
But he refused to appear in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday over his mid-air drama that forced Malaysia Airlines to abort its overnight flight 128 bound for KL.
He had his lawyer convey to the Court that he feared for his safety in custody.
"He does have concerns for his safety in custody," defence lawyer Tess Dunsford told the Magistrate. Following which, the Magistrate excused Marks from the hearing.
The lawyer also cited Marks' age and appearance as reasons for his vulnerability in prison, and said he suffered from a psychiatric illness.
"I believe he does suffer from a psychiatric illness," the lawyer said.
Previously, on Wednesday night, a disruptive passenger is said to have tried to enter the cockpit of MAS flight MH128 flying from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur
It was 11.11pm in Melbourne (9.11pm Malaysian time) on 31 May, when Malaysia Airlines flight MH128 took off from Melbourne's Tullamarine Airport.
20 minutes later, the plane that was bound for Kuala Lumpur was forced to return to Tullamarine when a disruptive passenger reportedly tried to enter the cockpit.
Aviation news reporter, Brendan Grainger tweeted that the plane turned back and landed safely back at Melbourne's Tullamarine airport after the incident.
An official statement by Malaysia Airlines confirms that MH128 made a turn back after the captain was alerted by a cabin crew of the passenger's actions
Early news reports said that the passengers claimed he was holding an "electronic frequency" device
Another passenger onboard shared an image of a security officer onboard, adding that no one was hurt
Instagram user 'david_drvr' posted the photo with a caption that read: "Mh128 boarded by armed police. No one hurt."
It was later revealed and confirmed that the disruptive passenger was a drunk Sri Lankan who didn't have a bomb
"It was not a bomb but a powerbank," said Malaysia's Deputy Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Abdul Aziz Kaprawi. He confirmed that the "disruptive passenger" on MH128 was drunk, and that the plane was in no way hijacked.
This photo on Twitter shows the man being held down by a steward
Passengers helped the crew tie the man down as the plane headed back to Melbourne.
The security incident has forced Melbourne airport to close in lockdown mode until further notice
All planes scheduled to fly out of Tullamarine have reportedly been grounded, while all scheduled incoming flights have been diverted to the Avalon Airport nearby.
Meanwhile, the disruptive passenger has been apprehended by airport security
Passengers onboard MH128 have been given hotel accommodation and will be offered seats on the next available MAS flight out of Melbourne, or on other carriers.