KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 22 (Bernama) — The close diplomatic ties between Malaysia and other countries is clearly evident when most of the office of foreign missions in the country flew their respective national flag at half mast as a mark of respect to the flight MH17 tragedy.
Even though the directive to fly the national flag at half mast only involves the Jalur Gemilang, the foreign embassies did likewise to share the grief of Malaysians.
A Bernama survey revealed these office of foreign missions included the United States, the Netherlands, the Philippines, China, Japan, Italy, Spain, Germany, Thailand, Ireland, Finland, Tanzania and Colombia.
Many of the foreign ambassadors’ official residence also had their national flags flown at half mast.
National historian Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Khoo Kay Kim told Bernama that the move taken by the foreign embassies reflected their cordial and close diplomatic relations with Malaysia.
“We cannot deny that the whole world also shares the same emotions, sadness and sympathy.
“Even if they (foreign embassies) don’t shed tears, they will do something to indicate they share these feelings such as hoisting their national flags at half mast, as a mark of empathy,” he said when contacted here today.
Khoo said their efforts also indicated that they took Malaysia’s situation seriously and could uplift the country’s spirit in facing such a heart-wrenching tragedy.
Flight MH17 was carrying 283 passengers and 15 crew members when it crashed, believed to be shotdown in east Ukraine on July 17 while on its way to Amsterdam from Kuala Lumpur.
Apart from 43 Malaysians, the passengers of the Boeing 777-200 also included those from the Netherlands, Australia, Indonesia, United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, the Philippines. Canada and New Zealand.
Today has been declared as Day of National Mourning to honour the Malaysian victims of the MH17 tragedy.