Mt Everest climber Awang Askandar to be buried beside mother's grave in Papar

KOTA KINABALU: The remains of Mt Everest climber Lt Col Awang Askandar Ampuan Yaacub, 56, arrived at the grounds of MASKargo in Kota Kinabalu International Airport at 2.20pm on Saturday (May 27).

The arrival of the body was greeted by his brother, Awang Asim Ampuan Yaacub, 57, as the only representative of the family.

"I am the only person here representing the family. The deceased's wife and children are at home.

"We are saddened by the passing of Awang Askandar," he said briefly when met at the MASKargo compound.

ALSO READ: Body of Kedah APM director Awang Askandar arrives at KLIA

Also present at KKIA were the Deputy Foreign Minister, Datuk Mohamad Alamin; Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Sabah, Sarawak and Special Duties) Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali; former foreign minister, Datuk Seri Anifah Aman and Kawang assemblyman, Datuk Ghulam Haidar Khan.

All the leaders knew Awang Askandar personally and were from the Papar-Beaufort area, which is the hometown of the deceased.

Awang Askandar's body was carried into a van by 10 members from the Malaysian Civil Defence Force and immediately taken back to his hometown in Kampung Benoni, Papar about 60km from here where immediate family members, friends and relatives as well his colleagues from the Civil Defence Force paid their last respects.

The remains of Awang Askandar, who was Kedah civil defence force director, is scheduled to be taken to Jamek As Salam Mosque, Kampung Benoni.

ALSO READ: Malaysia thanks Nepal for help in bringing back Awang Askandar's body

His remains will be buried next to his mother's grave at the Kampung Benoni Muslim Cemetery.

Awang Askandar, who was one of the Malaysian Everest 2023 team members, died from a fall at the 8,000m mark of the Everest summit trail on May 19. He was said to be close to the peak.

Another expedition member Muhammad Hawari Hashim, 33, was reported missing after he reached the summit of Everest.

Search and rescue efforts are ongoing.

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