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MH17:‘Let’s all pay our last respects’

Publication Date : 21-08-2014


All Malaysians have been asked to join hands and show their respect for the victims of the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 by observing a minute of silence when the remains of the first 20 victims come home tomorrow.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the government had done all it could to involve everyone in obser­ving tomorrow as a National Day of Mourning.

“We have done what we can in trying to include the people in paying their last respects, especially during the one minute of silence.

“There is no reason for anyone of us not to pay our last respects,” said Hishammuddin, although he acknowledged that no one could be forced to do so.

He was speaking at a a press conference at the Communication and Multimedia Ministry here yesterday on the ceremony to receive the remains of 20 of those on board the ill-fated MH17.

On Tuesday, the Malaysian Employers Federation called on all its 5,000 members to observe the minute’s silence in honour of those who perished in the Malaysia Air­lines Flight MH17 tragedy.

Hishammuddin confirmed that the remains of 20 victims – four more than the 16 announced last week – would arrive at the KL International Airport tomorrow.

“The remains of a Dutch national, which were supposed to be in Friday’s batch, will not be flown back due to personal reasons."

“The increase in number will not disrupt our preparations for the ce­remony at Kompleks Bunga Raya and the transportation to the res­pective burial grounds,” he said.

He added that Ipoh-bound remains would travel on a C-130 aircraft while those for Segamat and Pagoh would be transported on board an EC 725 helicopter.

“We expect more will be flown to Kuching for burial."

“We will release the names of the 20 victims and finalise the destinations for their burial on Thursday. As of now, the states involved remain the same.”

Hishammuddin said the second batch of MH17 remains were expected to arrive on Sunday.

He said the authorities were trying their best to ensure the remains that were not cleared for departure on Friday would arrive on Sunday.

The remains of 28 Malaysians have been identified by the authorities in Amster­dam.

Also at the press conference were Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek and Women and Community Development Minister Datuk Rohani Abdul Karim.

Flight MH17 went down in eastern Ukraine on July 17 as it was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 283 passengers and 15 crew including 43 Malaysians on board. The Boeing 777-200 aircraft is believed to have been shot down over the troubled country.


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