SINGAPORE: Tomorrow, June 8, will be declared a Day of National Remembrance for the victims of the Sabah earthquake.
State flags on all government buildings will be flown at half-mast. One minute of silence will be observed at the beginning of the day at all SEA Games venues.
"We hope that this collective expression of sympathy and support from all Singaporeans will give solace and comfort to the families and loved ones of the victims," said a statement from the Prime Minister's Office on Sunday.
Six pupils and one teacher from Tanjong Katong Primary School (TKPS) are confirmed to have died in the 6.0-magnitude earthquake on Friday. The Singaporean adventure guide who was with them on a field trip to Mount Kinabalu also died.
Another pupil and a teacher are still unaccounted for.
The pupils who died are Peony Wee Ying Ping, Ameer Ryyan Mohd Adeed Sanjay, Emilie Giovanna Ramu, Matahom Karyl Mitzi Higuit, Rachel Ho Yann Shiuan and Sonia Jhala.
Teacher Loo Jian Liang Terrence Sebastian and guide Muhammad Daanish Amran also died. Operations are continuing to locate pupil Navdeep Singh Jaryal s/o Raj Kumar and teacher Mohammad Ghazi Mohamed.
The statement said that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is deeply saddened by the deaths of the Singaporeans.
"On behalf of all Singaporeans, the Prime Minister expresses his deepest condolences and sympathies to their families and loved ones. As we grieve over the loss of these young lives, we also take heart that they were striving to stretch their limits and take on new challenges," the statement said.
The Prime Minister also thanks all those who are working tirelessly in the search, rescue and recovery efforts - the Malaysian authorities, the search and rescue teams, the hospital staff, and all the officers and volunteers who are helping in Sabah and Singapore, it said.
The victims were part of a group of 29 pupils and eight teachers who were on Asia's highest peak when the earthquake struck at 7.15am on Friday. The others survived.
It hit Ranau with the tremors felt in several areas including Tambunan, Pedalaman, Tuaran, Kota Kinabalu and Kota Belud. Malaysian authorities said the quake had claimed 13 lives so far.
It struck near the picturesque Kota Kinabalu mountain, a popular tourist destination, sending landslides and huge granite boulders tumbling down from its wide, 4,095m-high crown.
Ministry of Education and other government officials are in Kota Kinabalu, and are providing assistance and support to the families during this difficult period.
Arrangements are being made for the family members and the bodies to be flown back to Singapore as soon as possible.
On Sunday, alumni and members of the public visited TKPS to pen notes of hope and condolences. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network
Did you find this article insightful?