Sydney: Malaysia’s government-controlled media has reportedly lashed out at Australian media’s reports about the alleged misconduct by the co-pilot of the missing passenger jet during a previous international flight.

Calling the coverage by Channel Nine as ‘gutter journalism,’ chairman of Kuala Lumpur media company Media Prima, Johan Jaffar, said that the reports were ‘one-sided and based on hearsay.’

Two women passengers have alleged that the co-pilot of the ill-fated MH370, Fariq Adbul Hamid, invited her and her friend inside the cockpit of a previous flight in 2011, where they smoked, posed for pictures and talked throughout the flight.

Former managing editor of the New Straits Times, Nuraina Samad, said that she was saddened by the report that went to air in Australia and then went viral around the world, Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Meanwhile, former editor in-chief of the state news agency Bernama, Azman Ujang, said freedom of the press should not be abused, adding that the media has to be responsible as the pilot is not around to defend himself.

Jonti Roos, one of the two women passengers furnished the images clicked in the cockpit, showing the young women smiling with the pilots, which were then circulated by Channel Nine to prove the allegations weren’t hearsay.

Executive Producer of A Current Affair, Grant Williams, said that their story simply demonstrated that one of the flight crew had a history of allowing civilians into the cockpit during flight, a practice that is prohibited.

The Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 went off radars after an hour of take off from Kuala Lumpur enroute to Beijing and investigators have so far been able to conclude that the plane was disintegrated and crashed into the ocean.

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