A businessman from Muar has insisted he despatched mangosteens to China on board the ill-fated flight MH370 on 8 March 2014.
When contacted, Poh Seng Kian, speaking in bazaar Malay, said, “Yes, they were mangosteens.”
Sounding agitated, Poh said this was not the first time he had sent such shipments. “I also made similar despatches on 6 and 7 March” as well as a day or two after the incident. “You can check the customs documents for those dates.”
A question on many people’s minds was put to him: how was it possible to find so many mangosteens in the off-season?
“You ada duit? (You have money?)” he asked. “If you have, I can source mangosteens for you.”
But where did he source those 4.5 tonnes, especially as Johor Fama had stated that that quantity of mangosteens could not have come from the state?
“A little from what I planted (saya tanam) in Muar, the rest from elsewere.”
Elsewhere? From Indonesia, Thailand or Malaysia?
“Outside Johor, within Malaysia,” he replied, without wanting to be specific when asked for a more precise location. “I have my sources.”
Poh complained bitterly that he had no peace since the MH370 incident. Reporters had been snooping around in his neighbourhood, he said. “Instead of asking me, they were asking my neighbours all sorts of things.”
He declined to discuss the nature of the company he is involved in or his other plantation interests. “Let’s stick to mangosteens. Don’t talk about anything else.”
I had plenty of other questions to ask him, but I felt he was not prepared to disclose more or might not know the answers. Questions like: How were the mangosteens transported to KLIA? Where was it stored in KLIA? Was that batch of mangosteens actually put on board the plane? Who checks that the cargo is intact before it is loaded onto the plane? How thoroughly is the cargo inspected?
The following document was part of the cargo manifest released by the government on 1 May 2014:
Interestingly enough, on 30 April 2014, a day before the government released its preliminary report on MH370, a Facebook user by the name of Seng Kian Poh (who had started his Facebook profile in April 2012) changed his profile photo to one depicting mangosteens (below).