KOTA BAHARU, Aug 13 (Bernama) — The government has given complete freedom to all families of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH17 crash victims on the funeral and burial rites of their loved ones.
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim said the next-of-kin had the right on how the bodies were managed according to their respective religions and beliefs.
“The committee (MH17 Victims’ Body Management Committee) will carry out the requirements as agreed by both the wife’s and husband’s families.
“For non-Muslims, their families can choose the location of their respective crematoriums and so on,” she told reporters after closing the 40th National Level Al-Quran Reading and Nasyid Competition at Universiti Sains Malaysia Health Campus, here Tuesday night.
Rohani said to date 80 per cent of the crash victims’ families had informed the committee of their requirements including the burial location.
“Some 80 per cent have made their decision while the remaining 20 per cent are still undecided. We respect the space they need on the matter but we hope they will decide before the bodies are brought home,” she said.
She said the government understood the feelings of victims’ families in making the decision but was confident they would reach an agreement among kins.
Rohani said the ministry was in contact with victim’s families on the latest development including the processes of repatriating the bodies back.
“It was a relief for the victims’ families when we told them the bodies of their loved ones have been found,” she said.
The minister said the ministry would continue to provide counselling to all victims’ families in the tragedy and it would be continued as long as it was needed.
The MAS Flight MH17 was carrying 298 people including 15 crew members when it crashed in Donetsk, east Ukraine near the Russian border on July 17.
The airliner was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was believed to have been shot down but so far no parties had come forward to claim responsibility.