KUALA LUMPUR: The remains of two Malaysians killed on board Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH17 will arrive in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
Liow told a press conference at the Nirvana Memorial Centre here on Friday that the Malaysian government was waiting for authorities in the Netherlands to release the remains of another Malaysian, with further details to be announced on Saturday.
“The second group will arrive on Sunday, Aug 24. Hopefully three bodies will return then, but we can only announce more details on Saturday. Certain documentation needs to be completed,” he said.
Liow said he hoped to have the remains of the third Malaysian secured in time to be flown back with the other two this Sunday.
“Once confirmed, we will give you the details. We are teleconferencing with our embassy in Amsterdam, and they are coordinating all the work going on in the Netherlands and the Ukraine,” said Liow.
He said the remains expected to return on Sunday would most likely arrive early in the morning, adding that more details would be disclosed on Saturday.
“We will announce the names of the victims and the burial grounds then,” said Liow.
He refuted claims that authorities in the Netherlands were holding on to the remains of a Malaysian originally intended to be flown back on Friday for investigation purposes.
“That is not true. We confirmed very early on that the remains of 20 Malaysians were coming back today. There is no delay on the part of the Netherlands or Malaysian governments,” said Liow.
He said that while the remains of 30 Malaysians had been identified, not all had been released yet.
“It is not accurate to say that bodies are being detained. The bodies will be released by the Dutch authorities in groups once the identification and investigation is complete,” said Liow.
“I do not want to cast any doubts that remains have been detained. The remains that returned today have gone through the post-mortem and investigation processes,” he said.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong added that when remains are identified as Malaysian, it was up to Dutch authorities to determine if the remains were to be autopsied.