Govt to bring home Awang Askandar's remains to fulfil family's wishes

PAPAR: The Prime Minister's Department (Sabah, Sarawak Affairs and Special Duties) will help bring home the remains of the Kedah Civil Defence Force (APM) director Lieutenant Colonel Awang Askandar Ampuan Yaacub, who died during the Malaysia Everest 2023 mission.

Minister Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali said this was to fulfil his family's wish to bury him in his hometown in Benoni here.

He said they would work closely with Nepali security forces to bring the body down to the Everest base camp before Awang Askandar's remains can be brought back to Malaysia.

He said it would take about three days to bring the remains down to base camp.

"Our embassy in Nepal is cooperating with the teams responsible there to help facilitate the process," he told reporters after attending the Papar parliamentary constituency and Kawang state constituency Aidilfitri celebration at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Pengalat here on Saturday (May 20).

Awang Askandar, 56, died during the mission to conquer Mount Everest, and the matter was confirmed by APM chief commissioner Aminurrahim Mohamed after receiving notification from ME 2023 chef de mission, Tan Sri Dr Salleh Mohd Nor.

Armizan expressed his condolences to Awang Askandar's family, adding that his passing has affected all APM personnel.

"We at the Prime Minister's Department are all aware that the deceased was a very committed individual. He had been planning to conquer Everest for a long time.

"He met with Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor last year and before leaving this year for Nepal, the group met with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim," he added.

Armizan said he knew Awang Askandar personally when they both served at the National Civics Bureau (Biro Tatanegara). – Bernama

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