AS MALAYSIA bemoans the lives lost when a missile hit Flight MH17 above eastern Ukraine this month, a Malaysian reporter did the unthinkable: Poking a burnt object believed to be human skin at the crash site for the camera.
Khairuddin Mohd Amin, chief reporter of news portal Malaysia Gazette, has been lashed by fellow Malaysians for disturbing suspected human remains when a video he made documenting the crash scene was uploaded on the Gazette's official YouTube channel on July 23, the Malaysiakini news site reported.
"A Malaysia Gazette visit has found that there are still fragments believed to be skin at the MH17 crash site," Khairuddin said in the video that lasted around two-and-a-half minutes.
The video camera, said to be held by Khairuddin's colleague Noorasrekuzairy Salim, zoomed in on a piece of charred flesh-coloured object on the ground as Khairuddin turned it with a stick, apparently to give the camera a clearer view.
The cybersphere was livid after the video was put up on YouTube as Twitter users bashed the Gazette journalists.
"It could be someone's family body parts and how can one treat it like a piece of meat and using a stick to look at it. Please treat it with respect and dignity," Twitter user Kuang Keng Kuek Ser wrote.
"@MalaysiaGazette that was just wrong in so many ways. Have some damn respect for victims of MH17!" another user, klubbkidd, wrote.
Since the crash of the Malaysian Airlines plane in Donetsk, Ukraine, on July 17, journalists from across the world have flocked to the crash site near the border with Russia where the wreckage and some of the victims' bodies still remain today.
Khairuddin is not the first reporter to have overstepped the bounds. Earlier, SkyNews reporter Colin Brazier came under fire for rummaging through a young victim's suitcase during a live report.
Dutch journalist Caroline Van Den Heuvel was also slammed for picking up a diary belonging to one victim at the crash site and reading it for the camera.