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MH370 'ignored' by Malaysian military

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was able to vanish because the country's air force did not investigate its presence on military radar after being told the plane was missing, Malaysia's Defence Minister has admitted.

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Missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 was simply allowed to vanish because the country's military did not intervene as the commercial airliner was not deemed to be a threat, according to new revelations about the aviation mystery.

Malaysia's Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, under scrutiny over the way the country handled the matter, told ABC1's Four Corners that military planes were not sent to check on an unidentified plane which appeared on their radar.

The Malaysian Civil Aviation Authority called the military asking them to keep an eye on the plane but the military allowed the plane to just disappear after deciding it was not hostile.

Malaysian minister Hishammuddin Hussein said MH370 was allowed to disappear.

Malaysian minister Hishammuddin Hussein said MH370 was allowed to disappear. Photo: AFP

MH370 flew almost directly over the Malaysian military air base located on the island of Penang but that it appeared nothing was done.

"It was commercial, it was in our air space, we were not at war with anybody,'' Mr Hussein said.

When questioned further about the lack of military intervention he said: "If we are going to send it (jets) up, are you going to say we were going to shoot it down?"

The brother-in-law of Zaharie Ahmad Shah spoke up for the MH370 pilot.

The brother-in-law of Zaharie Ahmad Shah spoke up for the MH370 pilot. Photo: Facebook

In further revelations, the brother-in-law of the flight's captain broke his silence to tell the program that the pilot was not a political radical who deliberately crashed the plane.

Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah's brother-in-law, Asuad Khan, told Four Corners that the pilot had not attended the trial of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in the hours before the flight took off.

He also denied rumours his sister Fasia had left Captain Zaharie over an illicit affair.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 went missing on March 8.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 went missing on March 8. Photo: Reuters

"I don't believe it because she's at home," he said. 

"The normal procedure...whenever the husband flies the wife will go to another house where the younger son is staying. Otherwise, she will be alone in that big house. That's been practised since they bought the house."

He batted away suggestions of an affair, sparked by the phone call Captain Zaharie received from a mystery woman shortly before take off, saying as a Muslim he could have multiple wives.

"That I do not know about. Even if I know...why not? We are allowed to, as long as you take good care of your wife. Even if you ask my sister (Faisa)...she don't care.

"He can marry another one. Why not - we can marry four. We are Muslim."

The personal and political leanings of the 53-year-old pilot have been scrutinised since the flight disappeared on March 8, with 239 passengers and crew on board, including six Australian citizens.

Mr Khan denied reports Captain Zaharie practised risky flight moves on his home flight simulator, saying the machine had been broken for a year.

US experts have been trying to recover deleted data from the simulator in the hunt for clues about the fate of the missing plane.