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Published: Saturday July 19, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Saturday July 19, 2014 MYT 8:13:29 AM

MH17 Crash: Neighbours and colleagues praise pilot's warmth and friendliness

Happier times: Choo (far left) with 
his parents, wife and two sons 
at a wedding dinner.

Happier times: Choo (far left) with his parents, wife and two sons at a wedding dinner.

SEREMBAN: Capt Eugene Choo Jin Leong was described by his neighbours and colleagues as a friendly and humble family man.

Immediate neighbour Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah said the 45-year-old, who was one of the pilots on MH17, had never failed to acknowledge neighbours whenever he went for a walk or if he passed their homes in the gated Sri Carcosa community here.

“He was the best neighbour I ever had. Both he and his wife were among the more friendly people I have met in my life,” he said.

Mohd Ridzuan said the couple, who moved to Sri Carcosa before he did seven years ago, have two sons, aged 10 and 13.


Choo’s widow and sons were believed to have gone to the KL International Airport shortly after receiving the devastating news.

Another neighbour, who declined to be named, said Choo regularly took his boys to the Sri Carcosa clubhouse for a swim or cycling whenever he was not working.

He described Choo as a quiet man but one who readily acknowledged neighbours.

“He was a very nice man and I am certain the Sri Carcosa community will miss him dearly,” he said.

A Malaysia Airlines crew member who had been with the carrier for more than 25 years also described Choo as a humble person.

“He carried himself very well and commanded the crew’s respect. He was very friendly and always greeted his crew,” he said.

In Sungai Petani, Choo’s retired teacher father Choo Ewe Keat, 76, was distraught over his son’s death and refused to be interviewed.

Former state Exco member Datuk Paduka Beh Heng Seong, an old family friend, said the family was informed about the incident by Malaysia Airlines at about 1am.

“Some of the family members have left for Kuala Lumpur to get more information.

“The father did not go as he is not well,” he said, adding that Choo’s mother passed away several years ago.

Tags / Keywords: Nation, Transport Safety, MH17, Captain, MH17 Crash, Ukraine, MAS

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