Remains of five MH17 victims brought home to Malaysia

Remains of five MH17 victims brought home to Malaysia

SEPANG - The remains of only two more Malaysian passengers of the tragic MH17 flight have yet to be identified, after five more victims were brought home, bringing the number of remains repatriated from the Netherlands to 42.

The latest to arrive here on Flight MH19 from Amsterdam yesterday were the remains of Matthew Ezekial Sivagnanam, Muhammad Afruz Tambi, Meling Mula, and Liew Yau Chee and wife Lee Kiah Yeen.

The victims' family members, numbering 120, were at the KL International Airport as the aircraft taxied to the Bunga Raya Complex at 8.38am.

Joining them to receive the remains with full military honours were Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and several ministers.

The coffin bearing the remains of Matthew Ezekial was the first to be brought out from the plane, followed by the urns containing the ashes of Liew and Lee, and then the coffins with the remains of Muhammad Arfuz and Meling.

The Liews' urns were placed in one hearse upon the request of their next of kin.

After the coffins and urns had been placed in the hearses, a moment of silence was observed by those present, before the hearses were driven past the tent set up for the next of kin and the VIPs.

The remains of Muhammad Afruz, the youngest son of Tambi Jiee and Ariza Ghazalee who were also killed when the Malaysia Airlines plane was shot down over the Ukrainian conflict zone on July 17, and Meling were flown to Kuching and Bintulu respectively on board two Royal Malaysian Air Force C130 aircraft.

The urns containing the ashes of Liew, who was the Kota Damansara Gerakan Youth deputy chief, and his wife were sent to the Nirvana Memorial Centre in Sungai Besi for day-long funeral rites.

In Kuala Lumpur, family members of Liew, 38, and Lee shunned the media as the couple's remains arrived at the memorial centre at about 10am.

A spokesman from the centre described the mood among the family members as sad and solemn.

"Tomorrow morning (today), the ashes will be taken to the Nirvana Memorial Park in Shah Alam," he said yesterday.

Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh, who was there to pay her last respects, told reporters to allow the family members to mourn in peace as per their request.

The two victims who have yet to be identified are Puan Sri Siti Amirah Parawira, the 83-year-old step-grandmother of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Hishammuddin, and Shaliza Zaini Dewa, 45.

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