‘All MH17 victims will return home’

‘All MH17 victims will return home’
An honour guard stands by as the remains of a victim of the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 are carried during a repatriation ceremony at KLIA airport in Sepang, August 22, 2014.

SEPANG - The Government has given its assu­rance that it will take necessary actions to ensure all of the remaining bodies of the victims on board MH17 return home safely.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said without the proactive action taken to locate the remains as well as the black box, it would be impossible to carry out a proper burial for them due to the conflict in the region.

"We will do as much as we can to give respect to those in our responsibility. We pray that the remaining bodies will also be located.

"The Cabinet has decided - and it was approved by Prime Minister himself - to go back to the crash site to find all the other bo­dies," he told a news conference at the Bunga Raya Complex here yesterday.

Hishammuddin, who is also the head of the MH17 Tragedy Repatriation Ceremony Coordination Committee, released the nine names of the victims, including two pilots and the flight's first officer, that are returning today.

"From the total of nine remains, seven are Malaysians while two are Dutch. Five of the remains will come home in caskets while four remains will be in urns.

The victims are Wan Amran Wan Hussin, Subashni J. Retnam, Kaelamayajay Goes, Paul Goes, Eugene Choo Jin Leong, Sanjid Singh Sadhu, Muhamad Firdaus Abdul Rahim, Loh Yan Hwa and Fan Shun Po.

All nine remains, said Hishammuddin, would receive the same ceremonial honour as with the previous batches, which is expected to be aired live.

From the total, five remains would be brought to their respective states for the burial ceremony using hearse while the others would be flown to their states using the military's EC725 helicopter, he said.

"Two remains will be flown to Bayan Baru, Penang, and another will be flown to Teluk Intan, Perak," he said.

Women, Family and Community Develop­ment Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Karim said the remains of crew member Muhamad Firdaus would be flown to Teluk Intan, where the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah, will receive the remains before burial.

"The two remains of the Dutch citizen will be draped with the Dutch flag," she said.

The remains of Fan, the husband of Loh and a Dutch citizen, would be brought to the Kek Lok Si Temple in Penang, she added.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said a total of 587 body parts had been recovered while 183 bodies had been identified, where all the remains needed to be cleared with five documents before they could be repatriated.

He said the preliminary report on the black box from flight MH17 was expected to be released this month.

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