KUALA LUMPUR: The remains of Malaysia Everest 2023 (ME2023) climber Lt Col Awang Askandar Ampuan Yaacub, is expected to arrive home at the latest this Saturday (May 27).
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Sabah, Sarawak Affairs and Special Functions) Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali said the body of the Kedah Civil Defence Force (APM) director was already brought to Base Camp 2 at 9.30am (Nepal time) today, and would be taken to the Everest Base Camp (EBC) in a helicopter.
"In order to fulfill the wishes of family members, Awang Askandar will be buried in his village in Papar, Sabah on the same day it arrives in Kota Kinabalu, which is expected to be either Friday or Saturday, at the latest," he said at a press conference after launching a southwest monsoon operation at the International Islamic University Malaysia here on Wednesday (May 24).
Awang Askandar, 56, was reported to have fallen when making the final ascent at 8,000m and was pronounced dead while being treated at Camp 4.
Meanwhile, Armizan said the government would give full financial commitment for the search and rescue (SAR) mission for another ME 2023 participant, Muhammad Hawari Hashim, 33, who was reported missing.
"The SAR mission for Muhammad Hawari is still ongoing. The government will not stop trying, but the search costs are quite high, such as the use of helicopters and mountain ranger fees," he said.
Muhammad Hawari, a disabled climber under ME 2023, is feared to have gone missing in the mountain range while descending from Camp 4 after conquering the world's highest peak on Thursday.
Meanwhile, ME 2023 mission chief Azim Afif Ishak, when contacted, informed that Awang Askandar’s remains had arrived at EBC, and it is understood that the body will next be flown to a hospital in Kathmandu. - Bernama