PUTRAJAYA, Aug 28 (Bernama) — The people have abeen advised against falling into the trap of certain groups who play up the issue on the special honour accorded to victims of the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH17 crash and the intrusion in Lahad Datu to break up national solidarity.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said although the government gave special honour to the victims of the MH17 tragedy, the sacrifices of the police and soldiers who died in the Lahad Datu incident would continue to be highly appreciated.
“There are always people who want to break us up. In the Lahad Datu incident, the same people who alleged that it was a drama questioned why we did not accord a special honour to members of the security forces who had died although initially they claimed it was just a drama,” he said.
“In the Lahad Datu incident, we have given more assistance than usual…so, don’t turn it into an issue…this is a matter for all of us,” said Najib in his speech at the Ulama-Umara Premier Council and Malaysian Mosque Award 2014, here Thursday.
The Prime Minister said he had done his level best with regard to the MH17 incident by achieving something that had never been done before, that is, communicating with the rebel leader.
“So, (in) our foreign policy, we communicate with the major powers, we also have relations with the developing countries, in fact, we also negotiate with the rebel groups because we believe in whatever that is good.
“If I had not played this role, it would have been impossible for us to retrieve the remains (of the MH17 victims) to be received by their beloved family members,” he said.
Najib said he had made the effort because when he met the families of the victims personally, he was deeply touched and saddened, thus he had promised to do whatever he could to bring back the remains of the victims of the MH17 crash.
“So, I appealed to the rebel group without promising anything in return…I did not pay even a single sen. I said please and they said they would help and hand over the black box and remains of the victims to the Malaysian team,” he said.
He said that from his observation, the MH17 and MH370 tragedies had clearly shown the unity of the people in facing the sadness of the nation by rejecting political differences regardless or religion and race.
“The incident should be taken as a lesson for everyone.
“When the nation is tested by various challenges, as the head of the government I appeal for your help…together we build an excellent future for the Muslims,” Najib added.