THE HAGUE, Netherlands: The remains of two more Malaysian victims have been identified by authorities from the Netherlands, bringing the total of Malaysians identified in the Malaysian Airlines (MAS) Flight MH17 tragedy to 26.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Dr Wee Ka Siong said this latest development had been relayed by the Netherlands government to the Malaysian Embassy and Malaysia Airlines (MAS).
"I was informed of the matter in a meeting with our ambassador to the Netherlands Datuk Dr Fauziah Mohamad Taib and MAS Services Operation vice-president Datuk Baharom Mohd Yatim on Saturday.
"The families have also been informed. The documentation process is being carried out and will be completed as soon as possible before funeral arrangements are carried out," Wee said here late Saturday.
"Also, both governments are working hard to ensure the remains of the two victims can be sent back quickly," he said.
On Aug 14, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the remains of 24 Malaysian victims had been identified.
He also said the remains of 16 of these victims, including that of a non-Malaysian, would be sent back to Kuala Lumpur in a special aircraft and expected to arrive at the KL International Airport (KLIA) on Aug 22 at 10am.
The day was also announced as a day of national mourning and a ceremony in honour of the victims would be held at the Bunga Raya Complex at KLIA.
Wee, who had been appointed to handle the process of managing the remains of Buddhist Malaysian victims, said the ashes and remains of those already identified would be collected on Thursday to be sent back to Kuala Lumpur.
According to Wee, continuous discussions were being held with the government of the Netherlands and updated to ensure all standard operation procedures and documentation were done correctly and smoothly.
Commenting on the presence of numerous non-Muslim heads of religions who were specially brought from Malaysia to manage the remains in a religious context, Wee said he was satisfied with the good response given over the matter.
"We do not know when the remains of more non-Muslim Malaysian victims would be placed under them after this, and as such we will continue to discuss and cooperate to ensure the ceremonies run smoothly.
It is reported that the Buddhist religious head Reverend Sing Han, Tao Daozhang religious head Tan Boon Sin, Hindu religious head S Mohanshan and Sikh religious head Sardar Harcharan Singh were specially flown from Malaysia several days ago for the management of the religious ceremonies for non-Muslim victims.
Flight MH17, carrying 298 people including 15 crew, crashed in the Donetsk region, east of Ukraine close to the Russian border on July 17. The plane is believed to have been shot down.
Twenty-eight of the passengers were Malaysians. - Bernama