KUALA LUMPUR (dpa/Bernama) – Two remains of Malaysian passengers of the airliner that crashed in eastern Ukraine arrived on Tuesday in Kuala Lumpur, Prime Minsiter Najib Razak said.
“Today we bring home two more victims of (Malaysia Airlines) flight MH17,” Najib tweeted. “My prayers are with their families in these trying times.”
The arrival brought to 34 the number of remains repatriated, according to Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai. There were a total of 43 Malaysians aboard the crashed plane.
They arrived on a commercial flight by Malaysia Airlines from Amsterdam where all the remains taken from the crash site were being examined by international forensics experts.
The aircraft carrying the remains of Tambi Jiee and that of one-year-old Benjamin Lee Jian Han arrived at the complex at 8.28am for the commencement of the ceremony to honour the victims, Bernama reported.
Present to give their last respect were Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom.
Soon after the first casket, which contained Tambi’s remains, was brought down from the aircraft at 8.37am, followed by the casket containing Lee’s ashes at 8.40am, the next of kin and relatives of the victims were seen in tears and hugging one another.
After the caskets were transferred into the hearses at 8.44am, those present observed the minute of silence at a last respect for the victims.
The casket containing Tambi’s remains was then flown to Kuching, Sarawak, on a Royal Malaysian Air Force Hercules C130 to be buried with his wife and child who were also killed in the tragedy.
Tambi’s wife, Ariza Ghazalee, 46, and their oldest child, Muhammad Afif, 19, were buried last Aug 22.
Tambi, a Shell employee, was based in Khazakhstan since three years ago and was with his wife and four children in the ill-fated MH17 to return home as he had been transferred to the Shell headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.
Meanwhile, the casket containing Lee’s ashes was taken to the Xiao En Bereavement Centre in Cheras.
Lee was on the ill-fated flight with his mother, Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) lecturer Ng Shi Ing, 33, and an aunt, Elisabeth Ng Lyeti, 30.
Shi Ing, a lecturer in the Teaching of English as a second language (TESL) at the USM’s Faculty of Psychology and Education, was returning home with her son and sister after attending a conference at the University of Antwerp, Belgium.
The remains of the two sister were repatriated last Aug 24 and also kept at the Xiao En Bereavement Centre, pending the arrival of Lee’s ashes.
With the arrival of the remains of Tambi and Lee yesterday, it means the remains of 35 victims of the MH17 tragedy had been repatriated.
They included a passenger with dual citizenship, Loh Yan Hwa, and two Dutch nationals, Paul Goes and Fan Shun Po.
Flight MH17 crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17 as it was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 283 passengers and 15 crew on board.
The Boeing 777-200 aircraft is believed to have been shot down over the troubled country.