A mark of respect: A worker at a petrol station in Batu Pahat lowering the flags to half-mast. -Bernama
JOHOR BARU: Flags at government agencies, schools and the private sector in Johor and Perak will be flown half-mast as a mark of respect for the passengers and crew on Flight MH370,
Johor State Secretary Datuk Obet Tawil said Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar was sad and concerned for the families of all those on board the flight.
“All flags statewide, whether government or the private sector, were directed yesterday to be flown at half-mast for a day,” he said.
In Ipoh, the Raja Muda of Perak Raja Dr Nazrin Shah urged all government departments, agencies, schools and institutions, as well as the private sector, to fly the state flag at half-mast today.
In a statement yesterday, Raja Dr Nazrin expressed his sadness and sympathies to the families of the passengers and crew on Flight MH370.
He said the gesture would be a symbol of sympathy of the people in the state to the affected families.
Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir said in a statement: “In this hour of sadness, we can only empathise and offer our condolences.”
In George Town, the Penang Free School lowered the Jalur Gemilang to half-mast as a mark of respect for its alumnus Capt Zaharie Ahmad Shah.
School principal Jalil Saad said the news of the loss of Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean was devastating to all Frees.
“Even though I didn’t know Zaharie personally because he was two years my junior, I feel extremely sad for the loss.
“We have lost a respectable and very talented Old Free,” he said at his office yesterday.
He added that the school would observe a minute’s silence during the assembly when the school reopens on Monday.
The youngest son and the eighth of nine children, Zaharie studied at the Jelutong English School (now known as SK Jelutong Barat) before moving to PFS from 1974 until 1978.
He joined Malaysia Airlines in 1981 and capped 18,365 flying hours.
Meanwhile, Zaharie’s neighbour and close friend Abdul Rahman Bistamam said he felt like his friend was still alive.
“Something tells me that he’s still out there.
“There is no concrete evidence to prove that he’s dead,” he said.