MH17: Malaysians come together to mourn Flight MH17 victims

PETALING JAYA, Malaysia - The national day of mourning for the victims of the doomed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 has touched the lives of Malaysians, some of whom have personal links with the families.

Andrea Dennis, 31, an executive at an advertising agency, said the crash had a personal bearing on her family as her brother is a MAS pilot.

"My brother knew Ahmad Hakimi Hanapi (the first officer of MH17) and had flown with some of the crew members who died in the crash. Wearing black and saying a prayer for them is the least I can do to show support for the victims' friends and families," she said.

Raj Spencer Nall, 27, also an advertising executive, said: "The best way for Malaysians and the citizens of the world to remember and honour the victims is to take steps to ensure an incident like the attack on MH17 will never happen again."

Aimi Nurhaneem Sohaimi, 27, will be watching the ceremony on TV.

"I want to see the ceremony as I have been following the news of MH17 crash closely," said the legal advisor of a billboard-leasing company.

Nestle Products Sdn Bhd will be observing the day of mourning with all Malaysians by observing a one-minute silence at all of its locations.

"There will be a PA announcement to all staff to indicate the moment," said Nestle media executive Nur Fadilah Badroddin.

All Nestle locations are flying the national and company flags at half-mast today.

Meanwhile, motorists travelling on Jalan Syed Putra will not miss the huge billboard displaying a tribute to the victims of Flights MH17 and MH370.

It has "MH17" written within a red heart, accompanied by the words "298 - Sentiasa di Hati - Always in Our Hearts".

The figure denotes the number of victims onboard Flight MH17.

"We want to support the Government and all Malaysians during this time of grief, so we decided to display this tribute," Libroff Media managing director Datuk Maarof Rahman said.

"The heart represents all Malaysians," he said, adding that he was personally affected by the two tragedies as the wife of a friend was onboard MH17 while the wife and children of a neighbour were on MH370.

Flags at all KFC and Pizza Hut outlets are being flown at half mast today.

QSR Brands (M) Holdings Sdn Bhd executive director Mohamed Izaham Abdul Rani said there would be no advertisements in newspapers, TV, radio and social media.

"Both the KFC and Pizza Hut Facebook pages will carry messages to pay our last respects to fellow Malaysians who perished in the tragedy," he said.