Kedah APM director Awang Askandar's passing a great loss, says ex-Kedah coach

ALOR SETAR: The death of Malaysian Civil Defence Force's (APM) Kedah director Lt Colonel (PA) Awang Askandar Ampuan Yaacub on Friday (May 19) during a Mount Everest expedition has been described as a big loss to the country by Azraai Khor Abdullah.

The 70-year-old former Kedah football coach said Awang Askandar was determined to enhance Malaysia’s name by conquering the world’s tallest mountain.

"I got to know Awang Askandar by joining the Civil Defence Emergency Response Team (CDERT) through a cooperative in 2020.

"From our first meeting, he had come across as very friendly and humble. He was also a keen football fan.

"We became close and met frequently, including when attending diving courses and participating in flood relief missions,” he told Bernama when contacted here Saturday (May 20).

Azraai Khor said Awang Askandar had almost reached the peak as part of the Malaysia Everest 2023 expedition when tragedy struck.

"He had told me how proud he would be to wave the Civil Defence and Jalur Gemilang flags atop Mount Everest. Malaysia has lost a good leader who was generous in sharing his knowledge and experience,” he said.

Azraai Khor said he learnt about Awang Askandar’s death from his Civil Defence friends and was saddened and found it hard to believe that he is gone.

"I last met him in March but we frequently kept in touch by telephone and WhatsApp. I passed him some stuff including pickled fish for his Everest trip."

Awang Askandar, 56, was reported to have fallen when making the final ascent at 8,000m and was pronounced dead when he was being treated at Camp 4. - Bernama

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