Media Statement & Information on Flight MH17
Today, 22 August 2014, 20 Malaysian bodies arrived in Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 9.50am (local time). Flight MH6129, departed Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam at 3.23pm (local time) on Thursday, 21 August 2014 and was commanded by Captain Dato’ Missman Leham.
With the assistance of the Malaysian and Dutch government, Malaysia Airlines was able to reunite the family members and repatriate the victims of MH17 to their homeland.
As a mark of respect for the victims of MH17, Malaysia Airlines observed company-wide mourning.
Black ribbons have been distributed to its cabin crew while the company’s flag has been flying at half mast.
All department heads across the organization led a two-minute silence/Recital of Al-Fatihah at 10.55am simultaneously, while the official ceremony was being carried out at Bunga Raya Complex, KL International Airport.
The Company also approved time-off from 10.00am to 2.00pm to give staff based in Kuala Lumpur, the opportunity to pay their last respects to their colleagues and friends by lining the road from Bunga Raya Complex as the procession left for the respective final resting places.
Meanwhile, Malaysia Airlines will be organizing a tahlil prayer and recital of Yaasin in remembrance of the passengers and crew of MH17 and a special prayer for MH370 on Tuesday, 26 August 2014.
The prayers, which will be held at Masjid Tengku Kelana Jaya Petra, Kelana Jaya, will give the opportunity to the public to offer their respects and prayers.
Malaysia Airlines is deeply saddened by this devastating tragedy. It has been a long and painful wait for the families and friends of the passengers and crew onboard MH17.
I have met with the Malaysian ambassador to Netherlands Datuk Dr. Fauziah Mohamad Taib and Malaysia Airlines Operations Service Department Vice President Datuk Bahrain Mohd Yatim on Saturday, and was briefed the latest development.
I came to understand that there will be at least 21 bodies of Malaysian victims from the MH17 tragedy will be flown home from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on Aug 21st.
The bodies, 18 in caskets and three cremated remains in urns, will be flown home on a special flight which will depart at noon from Schipol International Airport here. This means the total number of bodies that will be flown home this Friday will exceed the projected 16.
We will put in more effort and are in the process of bringing more bodies of Malaysian victims for the flight home. As a matter of fact, we are working hard to obtain the green light for one more body to be included in the first flight.
We understand the procedures and regulations here in the Netherlands are rigorous and we need to respect that.
We are hopeful that the documentation processing for the handling of the other Malaysian victims by the Dutch authorities would proceed smoothly.
At the same time, I will meet with AG Tan Sri Gani Patail and IGP Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar today to discuss the documentation as well as other affairs related to the victims.
I would also meet with the management of the funeral home today to discuss the handling of the funeral rites.
Before this, I have already met with some of the victims' family members here and reassured them that all effort would be made to ensure a smooth process.
For the funeral rites and prayers prior to the departure of the bodies to Malaysia, we have also enlisted the aid of monks from the Fo Guang he Hua Temple in Amsterdam, who will provide volunteers from the temples in Portugal, Belgium and France.
On the other hand, I was told that 2 more bodies of Malaysian victims have been identified as of today. This latest development was relayed by Dutch government to the Malaysian embassy in the Netherlands as well as MAS.
As for the sending off for the bodies from the Funeral Home to the airport on Aug 21st, the process will be done in a low-key manner.
The bodies will be transported to the airport from the Funeral Home and depart for Malaysia at noon via a special flight.
The next-of-kin of the victims will depart on an earlier flight and arrive in Kuala Lumpur around two hours before the bodies. This is to enable them to receive the bodies of their loved ones there.
We all mourn for the lost souls. I hope , while in face with this difficult ordeal , all Malaysian irrespective of race and beliefs ; will put our spirits together and welcome back the Malaysian bodies with utmost respect .
DATUK DR. WEE KA SIONG,
MINISTER IN THE PRIME MINISTER'S DEPARTMENT
From The Hague, The Netherlands
+603 8787 1276
+603 8777 5698
For the passenger manifest of MH17, click here