Pursuant to my post "Memali Outrageous Lie:Mahathir Was In The Air On The Way To Beijing" , I have managed to extract from my archives details of former Prime Minister Mahathir Muhammad's visit to China from 20th to 28th November 1985.
Musa Hitam must have had lapse of memory. The Memali incident must have happened on the 19th November and Mahathir was only informed after he departed the country. Mahathir left for China in the early morning of 20th November 1985 and was away for 9 days visiting Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhaou, Xian and Guangzhou.
Our flight MH400 (chartered) departed Subang International Airport at 7.30 a.m bound for Beijing.
There were 132 delegates from the business sector. Many have become big names in the corporate world with some making it to the exclusive billionaires club.
It was a gathering of many top-notch businessmen from the country and if the plane had gone down, it would have taken with it three-quarters of Malaysia's top business people.
YTL's Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay and his son Francis Yeoh were both on the flight. Syed Mokhtar Albukhary, who was just run-of-the mill businessman then was also on the flight. Vincent Tan of Berjaya Group was not yet a Tan Sri, nor a Datuk.
It was a motley collection of who's who of Malaysia's corporate world.
The richest man in the country, Malaysia's Robert Kuok joined the PM's delegation in China. Mr Kuok had just started building his Shangri-La Hotel and the World Trade Center in Beijing at that time.
Without much ado, let me show the list of who's who on the flight to Beijing with PM Mahathir Mohammad (click to enlarge)
A guide handbook on China prepared by Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Amazingly, non had come out to Mahathir's defence.
There is honour among thieves, there is none among politicians.