Media Statement & Information on Flight 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
In recent days, Prime Minister Najib Razak has held meetings with European governments to discuss the MH17 situation. Following discussions between the Prime Minister and President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine, the Ukraine Parliament yesterday ratified a bilateral agreement providing for the deployment of Malaysian personnel at the MH17 crash site.
The agreement allows up to 90 Malaysian non-military personnel to join the Dutch-led team to facilitate the recovery of remains and conduct the investigation called for in the UN Security Council Resolution 2166.
Prior to ratification of this agreement, Malaysian police and investigators had conducted operations at the crash site. Due to unsafe conditions, the personnel were unable to remain at the site.
Speaking earlier today, Prime Minister Najib Razak said:
“I welcome this bilateral agreement, which formally authorizes the deployment of Malaysian personnel at the site. Now is the time to make it count.
I implore all parties to cease fighting and allow the international team of investigators safe and unfettered access to the crash site”.
+603 8787 1276
+603 8777 5698
For the passenger manifest of MH17, click here