He said "All right, good night" before transponder was disabled

The search for the Malaysia Airlines passenger jet that disappeared without a trace more than a week ago was on Monday expanded to include a wider area spanning Australia to Kazakhstan.

Malaysia’s Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told reporters here that Australia and Indonesia were leading the search from the west of Sumatra to the south of the Indian Ocean. China and Kazakhstan are searching in the northern corridor from Laos to the Caspian Sea.

Flight MH370 with 239 people on board disappeared on March 8 en route to Beijing from Kuala Lampur. Most of the passengers of the Boeing 777-200 were Chinese nationals.

In addition to hijack, investigators are exploring the possibility of a suicide bid by the pilot or co-pilot, sabotage, kidnapping and terrorism.

A police source said investigators were studying the flight simulator found at the home of pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 52. The experienced pilot is a member of Malaysia’s Opposition party, whose leader, Anwar Ibrahim, was convicted of sodomy a few hours before the jet disappeared.

“So far there’s no evidence politics was involved in this incident,” the source said on condition of anonymity.

Malaysia Airlines said co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid was most likely to have made the final spoken communication with the ATC in Kuala Lumpur before the aircraft disappeared from the radar.

Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, the airline’s chief executive, said the voice from the cockpit said, “All right, good night,” at about 1.19 a.m. on March 8 (1719 GMT, March 7), 12 minutes after the last transmission of data from the jet’s ACARS communications system.

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